Big Ten institutions align to battle cybersecurity threats

Courtesy Typography Images | Pixabay
Courtesy Typography Images | Pixabay

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has partnered with four Big Ten institutions to launch a system that will provide rapid responses to cybersecurity threats.

Based at the University of Indiana, OmniSOC is a pioneering initiative designed to help higher education institutions reduce the time between first awareness of a cybersecurity threat to mitigation. Founding members of the OmniSOC system include Nebraska, Indiana, Northwestern University, Purdue University and Rutgers University.

“Universities typically face the same security risks,” said Mark Askren, vice chancellor for information technology and chief information officer at Nebraska. “The OmniSOC resulted from the Big Ten IT leaders asking the question, ‘How can we work together to create a better line of defense than we could by working individually?’

“We are not only sharing information but also sharing technologies and expertise that will dramatically reduce our response times in addressing a cybersecurity threat.”

OmniSOC is built upon two decades of experience and capabilities from Indiana’s Global Research Network Operations Center. The center provides 24/7 services to government, research and education networks across the nation.

Using real-time security information data feeds from each member campus, as well as governmental and corporate security subscriptions, OmniSOC identifies suspicious and malicious activity-requiring protections and provides rapid response through human analysis and machine learning.

Along with the global center, OmniSOC works in coordination with the federally-chartered Research and Education Networking Information Sharing and Analysis Center. Established in 2003 and based at Indiana, the primary mission of the analysis center is to aid and promote cybersecurity protection, response and information sharing among 580 research and higher education institutions.

The OmniSOC system will use Elastic Stack to analyze information, detect problems and hunt cyberthreats within member systems.

The founding five universities plan to expand membership beyond the Big Ten Academic Alliance.

Nebraska Today