Monday, July 24, 2023

Updates on Trusted CI’s Efforts in Cybersecurity by Design of NSF Academic Maritime Facilities

As part of its “Annual Challenge” in 2023, Trusted CI has been engaging with current and future NSF Major Facilities undergoing design or construction with the goal of building security into those Facilities from the outset.  To date, this effort has focused on working with cyberinfrastructure operators in the the academic maritime domain, and has included support of the cybersecurity aspects of the acceptance testing process of the NSF-funded Research Class Research Vessels (RCRVs) at Oregon State University as well as Scripps Institution of Oceanography’s design of the California Coastal Research Vessel (CCRV).  These vessels are all expected to eventually become a part of the U.S. Academic Research Fleet (ARF).

In 2022, Trusted CI studied cybersecurity issues in operational technology (OT) in science and produced a roadmap to help lead to greater security of such systems, and thus Trusted CI’s efforts with security by design of Major Facilities this year are seeking to both refine and apply OT insights gained previously.  The U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP)’s design of the Antarctic Research Vessel (ARV) has also been contributing to Trusted CI’s understanding of cybersecurity issues in operational technology  Trusted CI has also benefited from insights from numerous conversations with domain experts in the academic maritime domain across a variety of ARF institutions, including IT personnel, marine technicians, oceanographers, ship captains, project leadership, and NSF Program Managers.

One of the highlights of this year's security-by-design efforts has been site visits to ships and facilities. The team has made site visits to the R/V Sally Ride and Oregon State University’s Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport, Oregon, where the R/V Taani — one of the initial three RCRVs being constructed — will be based upon completion of its construction.  These in-person visits, including extensive discussion with personnel involved with the facilities, have provided invaluable insight to supporting Trusted CI’s efforts.

In the second half of 2023, Trusted CI will continue working on security by design with the aforementioned organizations and will also be working with the NSF Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI) Major Facility, which is in the process of planning a refresh of its autonomous underwater vehicle (AUD) and glider fleets.

Recent site visit photographs:

Trusted CI’s Sean Peisertleft, in a crawlspace on the R/V Sally Ride examining operational technology systems.

The R/V Sally Ride, docked in Alameda, CA.

Trusted CI’s Dan Arnold, left, conferring with marine technicians on the R/V Sally Ride.

Trusted CI’s John Zage, left, looks on as RCRV’s Chris Romsos, right, explains some of the scientific instruments that will be part of the newly constructed ships at the RCRV’s offices at OSU, Corvallis, OR.

Trusted CI’s John Zage left, and RCRV’s Chris Romsos, right, view part of the expansive warehouse of items and gear to outfit the new ships under construction. OSU, Corvallis, OR.