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Indiana University and Internet2 announce new $2 million cybersecurity initiative to address public sector cyber threats

Posted on Apr 24, 2013 by Iljun Kim
Tags: eduPerson & eduOrg, eduPerson and Related Schema, Initiative, Internet2 Annual Meetings, Middleware Initiative, Security

Higher education community responds to President Obama's cybersecurity challenge

WASHINGTON, D.C. – April 24, 2013 – Indiana University Vice President and CIO Brad Wheeler and Internet2 President and CEO David Lambert today announced a $2 million initiative to stimulate collaboration in cybersecurity efforts by higher education institutions and to provide thought leadership on strategic cybersecurity issues nationally and globally.

Speaking at the Internet2 Annual Meeting in Arlington, Virginia, Lambert and Wheeler invited the presidents and CIOs of other colleges and universities to join as investors and sponsors of this initiative. They noted that the higher education sector is unique in having significant cyber activities in research, education, and operations. This initiative is intended to stimulate more collaboration among these activities to enable the higher education sector to make further contributions to the national efforts. This new collaboration will immediately launch a national search for an executive director with significant operational experience in cybersecurity in the higher education community.

President Barack Obama highlighted the urgency of the cybersecurity challenge in his 2013 State of the Union address. On the same day, he issued a long-awaited executive order calling for the enhanced sharing of cyber threat information and for the creation and implementation of a Cybersecurity Framework.

"Higher education has a significant responsibility in the fight to secure our nation's cyber infrastructure," said Wheeler. "Universities are intensive users and producers of data, and play a leading role as innovators in the development and deployment of IT. Over the past decade, our historically open networks have been victims of numerous cyber attacks, and universities are targets as staging grounds for cyber attacks. In aggregate, the higher education community possesses the expertise necessary not only to develop technological responses to cyber attacks, but also to innovate ways to make those responses effective, appropriate, and practical.

"Besides taking the essential, proactive steps to secure our educational networks and institutions," Wheeler continued, "higher education can provide national leadership by example in providing incentives for the adoption of cyber defenses, addressing the legal and policy issues they raise, making them part of broader risk assessment and management systems, preparing cybersecurity professionals, and providing broader education for cyber-savvy citizens. We look forward to the communities' ongoing work with Internet2 and other partners to enhance our capacity as a community to deliver on that promise."

The new collaboration will focus on cybersecurity operations and research complementing the longstanding efforts of EDUCAUSE and the Higher Education Information Security Council. It will devote particular attention to security aspects of high performance computing and networking, notably software-defined networks and cloud services delivered over such networks. This new collaboration will help to enable community researchers focusing on these areas using the Internet2 network and related operational experience.

"Cybersecurity has a special significance for Internet2 and for Indiana University," said Lambert. "As recognized leaders in higher education IT innovation, operators of advanced research networks, and providers of IT services and products, we both face significant cybersecurity challenges and have made significant commitments to cybersecurity in the past.

"The decision to create and fund this initiative," Lambert continued, "reflects our commitment, and that of our members, to not only ensure the security of our networks and services, but also provide a real service to the entire higher education community and to the nation. We invite presidents and CIOs of other colleges and universities with active cybersecurity programs to join us in this vital undertaking."

Fred H. Cate, Distinguished Professor, C. Ben Dutton Professor of Law, and Director of the Center of Applied Cybersecurity Research at IU will serve as interim director. Dr. Robert Brammer, who heads Internet2's cybersecurity efforts and previously worked as vice president for advanced technology and chief technology officer for Northrop Grumman, will serve as Washington director.

About Indiana University

IU is an international leader in information technology and information security. It is home to the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research (, a National Center of Academic Excellence in both Information Assurance Education and Research; the Research and Education Network Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC) — one of the 16 sectoral ISACS created by the Department of Homeland Security (; the Global Research Network Operations Center (, a leader in the field of research and education networks since 1998 that provide 24x7x365 professional network support for the most advanced research and education networks in the country including Internet2; and the second largest School of Informatics and Computing in the United States (

About Internet2

Internet2 is a member-owned advanced technology community founded by the nation's leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 provides a collaborative environment for U.S. research and education organizations to solve common technology challenges, and to develop innovative solutions in support of their educational, research, and community service missions.

Internet2 consists of more than 220 U.S. universities, 60 leading corporations, 70 government agencies, 38 regional and state education networks and more than 100 national research and education networking partners representing more than 50 countries. Internet2 offices are located in Ann Arbor, Mich.; Emeryville, Calif.; and Washington, DC. For more information, visit

Higher education leaders should contact or to inquire about investing or supporting this new initiative.

Media contacts:

Indiana University, Ceci Jones Schrock at or 812-856-2337

Internet2, Todd Sedmak at or 202-331-5373