The National Science Foundation funds over seven billion dollars of research annually, nearly all of which relies heavily on information technology. The digital data produced and computing systems used by that research are subject to risks from cyber attacks, in some cases similar to other data and computing systems on the Internet and in other cases particular to their research mission. Cybersecurity appropriate to the research mission is necessary both to make today's scientific discoveries possible and to ensure that the science is trustworthy. Appropriate cybersecurity must respect the collaborative environments that span organizational and national boundaries, the high-performance technologies used to manage large scale data and computation, and the dynamic information technology demands common in NSF research. Different science domains also have varying requirements for data confidentiality, availability, and integrity. These aspects challenge the use of traditional cybersecurity paradigms and technologies to manage the risks to trustworthy, reproducible research.
As the NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, Trusted CI brings together experts in cybersecurity, knowledgeable and experienced in the NSF research endeavor, who provide the NSF community with the leadership and support necessary to tackle the cybersecurity challenges to NSF research. Trusted CI directly supports individual NSF cyberinfrastructure projects and Major Facilities through collaborative engagements that address specific project needs. Trusted CI engagement activities include (but are not limited to) security reviews, security architecture design, identity and access management, and software assurance. Trusted CI provides cybersecurity situational awareness to the NSF cyberinfrastructure community through timely advisories and notices. Trusted CI organizes the annual NSF Cybersecurity Summit for Large Facilities and Cyberinfrastructure, providing the community with the opportunity to share lessons learned, attend practical training sessions, and collaborate on solving common challenges. Trusted CI performs outreach and dissemination of best practices via the Trusted CI website (http://trustedci.org), blog posts, email lists, and online chats, as well as providing cybersecurity training in person and via online courses. Leadership activities of Trusted CI include developing a cybersecurity framework for NSF science and fostering the transition to practice of NSF cybersecurity research.
This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.