Tuesday, August 31, 2021

2021 Open OnDemand Engagement Concludes

Open OnDemand, funded by NSF OAC, is an open-source HPC portal based on the Ohio Supercomputer Center’s original OnDemand portal. The goal of Open OnDemand is to provide an easy way for system administrators to provide web access to their HPC resources.

Open OnDemand is facing increased community adoption. As a result, it is becoming a critical production service for many HPC centers and clients. Open OnDemand engaged with Trusted CI to improve the overall security of the project, ensuring that it continues to be a trusted and reliable platform for the hundreds of centers and tens of thousands of clients that regularly utilize it. 

Our engagement centered on providing the Open OnDemand team with the skills, tools and resources needed to ensure their software security. This included using the FPVA methodology to conduct in-depth vulnerability assessments independently. In addition, we evaluated the static analysis and dependency checking tools used by Open OnDemand. The analysis of this evaluation led to interesting findings regarding the way tools behave and a set of recommendations regarding which tools to use and how to most effectively configure them.

Trusted-CI has performed in-depth assessments for NSF projects in the past. In this engagement with Open OnDemand, we took a step forward as Trusted CI taught a group how to perform the assessment themselves. In general, the NSF community benefits from being able to carry out that kind of activity in an autonomous way.  In addition, the lessons in this engagement related to automated tools will benefit any NSF software project.

Open OnDemand Software Engineer, Jeff Ohrstrom, shared positive feedback regarding the value of the engagement, stating “The biggest takeaway for me was just getting muscle memory around security to start to think about attack vectors in every change, every commit, every time.”

Our findings and recommendations are summarized in our engagement report, which can be found here