Giving Cybersecurity Awareness Month the Attention It Deserves

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By Nick Lewis, Internet2 Program Manager

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Nick Lewis profile photo
Nick Lewis

I know last year and most of this year is still a blur for many of you on campus, but even during these challenging times, there’s still so much going on in the world of cybersecurity! I’m trying to do my part by writing blogs about Cybersecurity Awareness Month and presenting at the recent Welcome to 2021 Orientation for Higher Ed Information Security and Privacy webinar.

As part of Cybersecurity Awareness Month this year, Internet2 has been updating the community on our cybersecurity activities and resources available to higher education. Internet2 works with our partners at EDUCAUSE and the REN-ISAC on cybersecurity in higher education. We are all running programs that can be used by higher education institutions to help secure their campuses. Internet2 has cybersecurity woven throughout the organization and in the work we do with the community. Our cybersecurity resources and activities include network, trust and identity, cloud services, community events, and many other activities.

Designed for the demanding requirements of data-intensive research and supporting the advanced campus and cloud computing needs of the research and education community, the Internet2 Network provides the performance, resiliency, security, and capabilities demanded by the most advanced applications.

MANRS logo

As part of this, Internet2 has several network security activities for the community to engage with, including a Network Security Special Interest Group, focused on network security, a Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security (MANRS) working group focused on routing security, a DDoS Mitigation Service for campuses to adopt to protect their network, along with our internal network security efforts to protect the Internet2 backbone network. Our Internet Routing Registries and Mutually Agreed Norms for Routing Security services continue to get a lot of attention, and we’ve held regular office hours to answer your questions. Working with the network community to improve interdomain routing security continues to be a focus of our outreach efforts.

InCommon Activities

InCommon logo

Internet2 operates InCommon, the community-built and community-driven access management infrastructure and related Trusted Access Platform that supports collaborative research across the U.S. and globally. To learn more about how your peers are using these tools, watch for recordings of events like the InCommon/GÉANT CAMP Week held Oct. 4-11. You’ll learn about and participate in developments and discussions on international identity and access management. If you’d like to participate on a regular basis and guide the work, consider joining an advisory group. InCommon’s committee chairs presented the IAM Online webinar, “You’re the Boss! Getting Involved with InCommon Community Groups” in September, which outlined the community impact and opportunities to engage.

Cloud Services

I2 Cloud NET+

Internet2 supports our members’ cloud journeys with a focus on enabling cloud access, supporting security and management needs, and fostering communities of practices. The NET+ program provides a portfolio of community-evaluated cloud services to higher education institutions as a key part of many campus cloud and cybersecurity programs. In 2021, we launched four new NET+ services for CloudCheckr, Google Workspace for Education (GWE), Palo Alto Networks, and a pre-evaluation agreement with signNow | airSlate that all may be of interest to campus cybersecurity teams.

The NET+ GWE program might not sound like it’s relevant to campus cybersecurity teams, but it is! Some of the functionality that was reviewed during service evaluation included enhanced security tools, logging, and incident response functionality that I keep hearing campuses request. We recently held a webinar for NET+ GWE that reviewed this functionality. I’ll go into more depth on what I’ve been working on with security in the cloud in my next blog post.

Community Events

TechExtra logo

While so much community work continues to be done by video conferences, email lists, and wikis, our virtual community events like TechEXtra21 are invaluable for updates from the community on the hottest cybersecurity topics. Internet2 events provide critical opportunities for our expanding and diverse community to work together and share. Participants at our various events represent the complete spectrum of the global Internet2 community — including university, industry, and affiliate members, as well as government agencies and regional and international partners.

Wrapping It Up

Cybersecurity is at the very core of the Internet2 community’s ability to collaborate, define, test, and deploy technologies that advance research and scholarship. Internet2 has working groups and many other ways for campuses to get involved in advancing cybersecurity across the community. We’d love to hear your thoughts on cybersecurity and how Internet2 can best address your challenges! Reflect on ways your own institution is enhancing security by tweeting @Internet2 and #BeCyberSmart or directly contacting me and sharing how you participated in CSAM. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions!

Read Nick’s previous blog post about Cybersecurity Awareness Month, in which he provides a recap of the recent Welcome to 2021 Orientation for Higher Ed Information Security and Privacy webinar.