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I2-NEWS: High-Performance Network Security Center Established for Research and Education

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  • From: Greg Wood <>
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  • Subject: I2-NEWS: High-Performance Network Security Center Established for Research and Education
  • Date: Fri, 21 Feb 2003 15:19:07 -0500


Indiana University center responds to "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace" and higher education framework to improve network security

Washington, DC--February 21, 2003--The first higher education-focused Information Sharing Analysis Center today was established by Indiana University through an agreement with the National Infrastructure Protection Center (NIPC). The Research and Education Network Information Sharing Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) operated by Indiana University will focus on the high performance network infrastructure dedicated to research and education. The "National Strategy to Secure Cyberspace" announced by President Bush last week calls for establishing ISACs to facilitate communication, develop best practices, and disseminate security-related information.

"The agreement with the NIPC will facilitate the sharing of summary information and security research with other sectors, and, in addition, we will apply what we learn from the other sectors to the operation of the research and education networks," said Michael A. McRobbie, Indiana University Vice President for Information Technology and CIO. "One of IU’s cybersecurity goals is to use our expertise in this area to help improve the security of higher education networks in general through the REN-ISAC, which also then contributes to the security of the national infrastructure."

The REN-ISAC also supports the framework to improve information technology security at all colleges and universities developed last year by an expert working group drawn from the membership of EDUCAUSE and Internet2, the two major information technology organizations in higher education. Endorsed by leading national organizations for higher education, the five-point action framework includes raising the level of collaboration among higher education, industry and government, and integrating the work of higher education into the broader national effort to strengthen critical infrastructure.

EDUCAUSE Vice President Mark Luker said, "EDUCAUSE endorses the REN-ISAC for advanced network users as an important first step in translating principles of the cybersecurity framework into action for the higher education community. The EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force will be developing additional resources and action plans to improve the security of all campuses’ information and network environments."

"Establishing the REN-ISAC demonstrates the higher education community’s commitment to making IT security a priority," said Douglas Van Houweling, President and CEO of the University Corporation for Advanced Internet Development, home of the Internet2 project and the Abilene network. "I am pleased that a member of the Internet2 community and the Abilene network are helping lead the way in the national effort to strengthen information technology infrastructure."
Network security is increasingly important to the research and education community's ability to use advanced networking capabilities to collaborate and access network-connected resources. In order to ensure continued excellent network service for the Internet2 community and Abilene-connected sites, the REN-ISAC will combine an expanded set of security services, including proactive security monitoring, assessment, and reporting.

These new services include around-the-clock monitoring of the Abilene network by NOC staff for security incidents, including distributed denial of service attacks sourced from, passed through, or waged against Abilene-connected sites, as well as analysis and reporting of virus outbreaks or behaviors that negatively impact network service provided to the Internet2 community. As these problems are identified, they will be analyzed and affected sites will be notified as soon as possible. In addition, all other Abilene-connected sites will receive a summary event report so that they may benefit from information discovered about these incidents.

Under the REN-ISAC agreement, the NIPC will provide information about threats, warnings, and actual attacks reported by other organizations under NIPC agreements concerning the national IT-infrastructure. In addition, summary information gleaned from the REN-ISAC’s analysis of network traffic anomalies that are likely to be related to security incidents will be transmitted to the NIPC and other sector ISACs, when appropriate.

For more information about the EDUCAUSE/Internet2 Computer and Network Security Task Force, and the complete "Information Technology Critical Infrastructure in Higher Education: A framework for action," see and

About Internet2(R)
Led by over 200 U.S. universities, working with industry and government, Internet2 is developing and deploying advanced network applications and technologies for research and higher education, accelerating the creation of tomorrow's Internet. Internet2 recreates the partnerships among academia, industry, and government that helped foster today's Internet in its infancy. For more information see

About Indiana University
Indiana University is one of the oldest state universities in the Midwest and also one of the largest universities in the United States with more than 110,000 students, faculty and staff on eight campuses. IU has a growing national and international reputation in the areas of information technology and advanced networking. IU, at its Indianapolis campus, is home to the Abilene Network Operations Center as well as the Global Research Network Operations Center (Global NOC). For more information see

Greg Wood

Indiana University
Karen Adams

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  • I2-NEWS: High-Performance Network Security Center Established for Research and Education, Greg Wood, 02/21/2003

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