Monday, July 19, 2021

Higher Education Regulated Research Workshop Series: A Collective Perspective

Regulated research data is a growing challenge for NSF funded organizations in research and academia, with little guidance on how to tackle regulated research institutionally. Trusted CI would like to bring the community’s attention to an important report released today by the organizers of a recent, NSF-sponsored* Higher Education Regulated Research Workshop Series that distills the input of 155 participants from 84 Higher Education institutions. Motivated by the Higher Ed community’s desire to standardize strategies and practices, the facilitated** workshop sought to find efficient ways for institutions large and small to manage regulated research data and smooth the path to compliance. It identified six main pillars of a successful research cybersecurity compliance program, namely Ownership and Roles, Financials and Cost, Training and Education, Auditing, Clarity of Controls, and Scoping. The report presents each pillar as a chapter, complete with best practices, challenges, and recommendations for research enablers on campus. While it focuses on Department of Defense (DOD) funded research, Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), and health research, the report offers ideas and guidance on how to stand up a well managed campus program that applies to all regulated research data. It represents a depth and breadth of community collaboration and institutional experience never before compiled in a single place.

Organized by Purdue University with co-organizers from Duke University, University of Florida, and Indiana University, the workshop comprised six virtual sessions between November 2020 and June 2021. Participants ranged from research computing directors, information security officers, compliance professionals, research administration officers, and personnel who support and train researchers.

The full report is available at the EDUCAUSE Cybersecurity Resources page at It was co-authored by contributors from Purdue University, Duke University, University of Florida, Indiana University, Case Western Reserve University, University of Central Florida, Clemson University, Georgia Institute of Technology, and University of South Carolina.

See for additional materials from Trusted CI on the topic of compliance programs.

* NSF Grant #1840043, “Supporting Controlled Unclassified Information with a Campus Awareness and Risk Management Framework”, awarded to Purdue University
** by Knowinnovation

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Trusted CI webinar: A capability-based authorization infrastructure for distributed High Throughput Computing July 26th @11am Eastern

Open Science Grid's Brian Bockelman, is presenting the talk, A capability-based authorization infrastructure for distributed High Throughput Computing, on Monday July 26th at 11am (Eastern).

Please register here. Be sure to check spam/junk folder for registration confirmation email.

The OSG Consortium provides researchers with the ability to bring their distributed high throughput computing (dHTC) workloads to a pool of resources consisting of hardware across approximately 100 different sites.  Using this “Open Science Pool” resource, projects can leverage the opportunistic access (nodes that would be otherwise idle at the site), dedicated hardware, or allocated time at large-scallel NSF-funded resources.

While dHTC can be a powerful tool to advance scientific discovery, managing trust relationships with so many sites can be challenging; the OSG helps bootstrap the trust relationships between project and provider.  Further, authorization in the OSG ecosystem is an evolving topic.  On the national and international infrastructure, we are leading the transition from identity-based authorization -- basing decisions on “who you are” -- to capability based authorization.  Capability-based authorization focuses on “what can you do?” and is implemented through tools like bearer tokens.  Changing the mindset of an entire ecosystem is wide-ranging work, involving dedicated projects such as the new NSF-funded “SciAuth” and international partners like the Worldwide LHC Computing Grid.

In this talk, we’ll cover the journey of the OSG to a capability-based authorization as well as the challenges and opportunities of changing trust models for a functioning infrastructure.

Speaker Bio

Brian Bockelman is a Principal Investigator at the Morgridge Institute for Research and co-PI on the Partnership to Advance Throughput Computing (PATh) and Institute for Research and Innovation in Software for High Energy Physics (IRIS-HEP).  Within the OSG, he leads the Technology Area, which provides the software and technologies that underpin the OSG fabric of services.  He is also a co-PI on the new SciAuth project, led by Jim Basney, which aims to coordinate the deployment of capability-based authorization across the science and engineering cyberinfrastructure.

Before joining Morgridge, Bockelman received a joint PhD in Mathematics and Computer Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and was an integral member of the Holland Computing Center at UNL.  His team helps advance Research Computing activities at Morgridge and are partners within the Center for High Throughput Computing (CHTC) at University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Join Trusted CI's announcements mailing list for information about upcoming events. To submit topics or requests to present, see our call for presentations. Archived presentations are available on our site under "Past Events."

Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Trusted CI Concludes Engagement with FABRIC

FABRIC: Adaptive Programmable Research Infrastructure for Computer Science and Science Applications, funded under NSF grants 1935966 and 2029261, is a national scale testbed that connects to existing NSF testbeds (e.g., PAWR), as well as NSF Clouds (e.g., Chameleon and CloudLab), HPC Facilities, and the real Internet. FABRIC aims to expand its outreach, enabling new science applications, using a diverse array of networks, integrating machine learning, and preparing the next generation of computer science researchers.

FABRIC received its initial funding in 2019 and is projected to go into operational phase in September of 2023. FABRIC reached out to Trusted CI to request a review of its software development process, the trust boundaries in the FABRIC system, and the FABRIC security and monitoring architecture.

The five-month engagement began in February and completed in June. In that time the teams worked together to review FABRIC’s project documentation, which included a deep analysis of the security architecture. We moved on to completing an asset inventory and risk assessment, covering over 70 project assets, identifying attack surfaces and potential threats, and documenting current and planned security controls. Lastly, we documented engagement findings in an internal report shared with FABRIC project leadership.

FABRIC also assisted with the Trusted CI 2021 Annual Challenge (Software Assurance) by participating in an interview with members of the software assurance team. The results of that interview will provide input to Trusted CI's forthcoming guide on software assurance for NSF projects.

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Join Trusted CI at PEARC21, July 19th - 22nd

PEARC21 will be held virtually on July 19th - 22nd, 2021 (PEARC website).

Trusted CI will be hosting two events, our annual workshop and our Security Log Analysis tutorial.

Both events are scheduled at the same time, please note that when planning your agenda.

The details for each event are listed below. 

Workshop: The Fifth Trusted CI Workshop on Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure provides an opportunity for sharing experiences, recommendations, and solutions for addressing cybersecurity challenges in research computing.  

Monday July 19th @ 8am - 11am Pacific.

  • 8:00 am - Welcome and opening remarks
  • 8:10 am - The Trusted CI Framework: A Minimum Standard for Cybersecurity Programs
    • Presenters: Scott Russell, Ranson Ricks, Craig Jackson, and Emily Adams; Trusted CI / Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research
  • 8:40 am - Google Drive: The Unknown Unknowns
    • Presenter: Mark Krenz; Trusted CI / Indiana University’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research
  • 9:10 am - Experiences Integrating and Operating Custos Security Services
    • Presenters: Isuru Ranawaka, Dimuthu Wannipurage, Samitha Liyanage, Yu Ma, Suresh Marru, and Marlon Pierce; Indiana University
    • Dannon Baker, Alexandru Mahmoud, Juleen Graham, and Enis Afgan; Johns Hopkins University
    • Terry Fleury, and Jim Basney; University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • 9:40 am - 10 minute Break
  • 9:50 am - Drawing parallels and synergies between NSF and NIH cybersecurity projects
    • Presenters: Enis Afgan, Alexandru Mahmoud, Dannon Baker, and Michael Schatz; Johns Hopkins University
    • Jeremy Goecks; Oregon Health and Sciences University
  • 10:20 am - How InCommon is helping its members to meet NIH requirements for federated credentials
    • Presenters: Tom Barton; Internet2
  • 10:50 am - Wrap up and final thoughts (10 minutes)

        More detailed information about the presentations is available on our website.

Tutorial: Security Log Analysis: Real world hands-on methods and techniques to detect attacks.  

Monday July 19th @ 8am - 11am Pacific.

A half-day training to tie together various log and data sources and provide a more rounded, coherent picture of a potential security event. It will also present log analysis as a life cycle (collection, event management, analysis, response), that becomes more efficient over time. Interactive demonstrations will cover both automated and manual analysis using multiple log sources, with examples from real security incidents.

Monday July 19th @ 8am - 11am Pacific time