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The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC).The Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California (CENIC) and the Energy Sciences Network (ESnet) have announced they will partner to develop cybersecurity strategies for California’s research and education networks.

Separately, CENIC announced that the conference program is now available online for its 2016 annual conference being held March 21-23 at University of California, Davis. Visit the CENIC Annual Conference event page for more information.

CENIC is a partner of the California Community Colleges Telecommunications and Technology Unit, and provides the community colleges and other educational segments access to high-speed Internet via its California Research & Education Network (CalREN).

The partnership with ESnet is a necessary step in creating a network for scientific research that is both open and secure, according to CENIC President and CEO Louis Fox.

"Cybersecurity is a daunting problem for research and education (R&E) 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,” Fox said. “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.”

Sean Peisert, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, was named to lead the CENIC/ESnet Joint Cybersecurity Initiative.Cybersecurity ‘Center Of Excellence’

The CENIC/ESnet Joint Cybersecurity Initiative was announced on Jan. 12, and will be led by Sean Peisert of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s (Berkeley Lab) Computational Research Division. Peisert, who was also recently named chief cybersecurity strategist for CENIC, is a noted security expert who has worked extensively in computer security research and development. He will continue his work at Berkeley Lab and as an adjunct faculty member of the University of California, Davis.

Through the joint initiative, CENIC and ESnet will seek to establish themselves as a collective center of excellence and “go-to resource” for cybersecurity strategy for the R&E networking communities in California and beyond.

Among other activities, the partners 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.

Existing Partnership Expanded

“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 cybersecurity initiative focuses on identifying the specific challenges faced by scientific research organizations like ESnet and CENIC , including 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.

“Effective cybersecurity is not only about building a thicker skin but about building a stronger immune system,” said Inder Monga, Chief Technology Officer 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 [large-capacity data network] Pacific Research Platform, this collaboration will lead to stronger security for data-intensive science applications.”

About CENIC & ESnet

CENIC is the non-profit operator of the California Research & Education Network (CalREN), a high-capacity network serving K-20 education systems, researchers, and other public-serving institutions.

ESnet is an international, high-performance, unclassified network built to support scientific researchers and their commercial research partners. ESnet is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science, and managed by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Information provided by CENIC