By Gregory Moore
IU-led ResearchSOC now provides cybersecurity for NRAO’s deep-space discoveries
The National Radio Astronomy Observatory (NRAO) has engaged the services of the Research Security Operations Center (ResearchSOC) to understand and detect threats to their instruments and data. A virtual center funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and led by Indiana University (IU), ResearchSOC distributes the research cybersecurity capabilities of IU, Duke University, the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center, and the University of California San Diego.
ResearchSOC services for the NRAO will include the 24x7x365 monitoring by OmniSOC, a shared cybersecurity operations center based at IU, and the Vulnerability Identification Service, the Shared Threat Intelligence for Network Gatekeeping and Automated Response, and services by IU’s Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (CACR).
ResearchSOC addresses the unique cybersecurity concerns of the research community.
“Reducing cybersecurity risk for large, highly collaborative research infrastructure like telescopes is exactly why ResearchSOC was formed,” said ResearchSOC Deputy Director Susan Sons. “We do this by providing the operational cybersecurity services, training, and information sharing for the research and education (R&E) community. We look forward to partnering with NRAO in their quest for scientific discovery and reliable data.”
Von Welch is the project director for the ResearchSOC/NRAO partnership and the director of IU’s CACR. “The vulnerability and intrusion detection services of the ResearchSOC address the unique concerns of open science research, including the integrity of scientific instruments and the potential for research interruption and failure. Researchers must be confident that their data has not been compromised to ensure data integrity and reproducibility,” said Welch.
NRAO provides state-of-the-art radio telescope facilities for use by the international scientific community. NRAO telescopes are open to all astronomers regardless of institutional or national affiliation. Researchers use NRAO’s radio telescopes to observe the naturally occurring radio waves that come from stars, planets, galaxies, clouds of dust, and molecules of gas, and turn their observations into discoveries about the universe in which we live. Scientific research is a prime target for malware and active cyberattacks, witnessed by recent attempts to hack into COVID-19 research and a 2017 cyberattack against an Australian research telescope.
The Research Security Operations Center (ResearchSOC) is a collaborative security response center that addresses the unique cybersecurity concerns of the research community. ResearchSOC helps make scientific computing resilient to cyberattacks and capable of supporting trustworthy, productive research. For more information on the ResearchSOC, visit our website or email email@example.com.