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CENIC and ESnet Announce Joint Cybersecurity Initiative

Lee Ann • January 12, 2016

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) are pleased to announce a partnership between their organizations in the area of cybersecurity. The defense of information systems and networks is a necessary function of all modern enterprises, but scientific research organizations face particular challenges: support of open science and, increasingly, big-data science; diverse research portfolios; openness to experimentation across all intellectual domains; openness to collaborations within and across institutions – regionally, nationally, and internationally; and the need for seamless access to remote data-sources, scientific tools, and computational resources. The ESnet and CENIC communities share these challenges and are committed to improving the cybersecurity capacity of both organizations so that research is both open and secure.

The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) are pleased to announce a partnership between their organizations in the area of cybersecurity.

“CENIC is a critical partner of ESnet’s, and we already collaborate actively to improve research outcomes in California and beyond,” said ESnet Director Greg Bell. “This new initiative is timely and exciting. Because data exchange is the lifeblood of open science, both organizations require innovative and flexible cybersecurity solutions in order to succeed. Aligning our strategies and teams is an important step forward.”

The defense of information systems and networks is a necessary function of all modern enterprises, but scientific research organizations face particular challenges: support of open science and, increasingly, big-data science; diverse research portfolios; openness to experimentation across all intellectual domains; openness to collaborations within and across institutions – regionally, nationally, and internationally; and the need for seamless access to remote data-sources, scientific tools, and computational resources. The ESnet and CENIC communities share these challenges and are committed to improving the cybersecurity capacity of both organizations so that research is both open and secure.

“Effective cybersecurity is not only about building a thicker skin but about building a stronger immune system,” said Inder Monga, CTO of ESnet. “Collaboration on cybersecurity helps us take advantage of variety of our experiences with networks and R&E customers. Coupled with Science DMZs and the Pacific Research Platform, this collaboration will lead to stronger security for data-intensive science applications.”

In particular, the organizations seek to establish themselves as a collective center of excellence and “go-to resource” for cybersecurity strategy for the research and education networking communities both in California and beyond. Among other activities, they will explore ways to leverage each other’s strengths in cybersecurity strategy, research goals, operational practices, and technologies, and they will develop a roadmap to achieve closer coordination of the CENIC and ESnet cybersecurity teams.

"Cybersecurity is a daunting problem for research and education networks, where we believe the community should be unconstrained by the physical location of data, scientific tools, computational resources, or research collaborators, and where global networks are an essential substrate for scientific collaboration,” said Louis Fox, president and CEO of CENIC. “Our partnership with one of the world’s leading R&E Networks, ESnet, and advances like ESnet’s Science DMZ, which makes possible broad-scale scientific collaborations like the Pacific Research Platform, will provide the roadmap for ensuring that scientific research is both open and secure. Ultimately, all of the communities served by CENIC will be the beneficiaries of this work.”

 

About CENIC • www.cenic.org 
CENIC connects California to the world—advancing education and research statewide by providing the world-class network essential for innovation, collaboration, and economic growth. This nonprofit organization operates the California Research & Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network designed to meet the unique requirements of over 20 million users, including the vast majority of K-20 students together with educators, researchers, and other vital public-serving institutions. CENIC’s Charter Associates are part of the world’s largest education system; they include the California K-12 system, California Community Colleges, the California State University system, California’s Public Libraries, the University of California system, Stanford, Caltech, and USC. CENIC also provides connectivity to leading-edge institutions and industry research organizations around the world, serving the public as a catalyst for a vibrant California.

About ESnet • www.es.net 
The Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) is an international, high-performance, unclassified network built to support scientific research. Funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science (SC) and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, ESnet provides services to more than 40 DOE research sites, including the entire National Laboratory system, its supercomputing facilities, and its major scientific instruments. ESnet also connects to over 140 research and commercial networks, permitting DOE-funded scientists to collaborate productively with partners around the world.

About Pacific Research Platform • prp.ucsd.edu
The Pacific Research Platform’s (PRP) data sharing architecture, with end-to-end 10-100 gigabits per second (Gb/s) connections, will enable region-wide virtual co-location of data with computing resources and enhanced security options. PRP links most of the research universities on the West Coast (the ten University of California campuses, San Diego State University, Caltech, USC, Stanford, University of Washington), via the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC)/Pacific Wave’s 100G infrastructure. To demonstrate extensibility PRP also connects the University of Hawaii System, Montana State University, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Northwestern, and the University of Amsterdam. Other research institutions in the PRP include Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) and four national supercomputer centers (SDSC-UCSD, NERSC-LBNL, NAS-NASA Ames, and NCAR). In addition, the PRP will interconnect with the NSF-funded Chameleon NSFCloud research testbed and the Chicago StarLight/MREN community.

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