NCSA 30 | Cybersecurity team nets four awards in 24 hours
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Cybersecurity team nets four awards in 24 hours

Cybersecurity team nets four awards in 24 hours

The NCSA Cybersecurity team received four grants—two for continuing work, and two for starting new projects, all within a 24-hour period.

At the beginning of September, Alex Withers, senior security engineer for the CyberSecurity team, was awarded a $499,136 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to build a tool to detect malicious activity. Designed to fit inside an existing security environment, the tool consumes security logs and examines separate events that may have led up to malicious activity.

Withers, along with Integrated CyberInfrastructure director Randal Butler and CyberSecurity director Adam Slagell, received a $499,206 grant to create Science DMZ Actionable Intelligence Appliance (SDAIA), which enhances the security infrastructure of open science networks.

The other grants allowed senior research scientist Jim Basney to continue work on CILogon and the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure (CTSC).

Awarded a $499,973 grant, CILogon 2.0 is a project that works to allow researchers to access online resources like supercomputers, wikis and data stores by using their campus credentials. It allows scientists to spend less time on setting up security and identity verification systems and more time on their scientific collaboration. The CILogon project began in September of 2009, and CILogon 2.0 is the “next generation of CILogon,” says Basney.

The other project that Basney is part of—CTSC—was started in October of 2012. The NSF awarded the project a follow-on grant of $4,999,709 to continue for another three years. Of that total grant, $1,374,035 is budgeted for the NCSA.

The CTSC works with projects to develop security plans and solve technical security problems. CTSC staff work with people on the project they’re assisting to produce a report, technical results or a security program plan the project can implement.