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Mark Bruhn (in brown jacket) participates in a panel discussion during the workshop. As IU associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance, Bruhn is responsible for information and physical security for all IU campuses.

IU hosts cybersecurity workshop to help opposites attract

Technology “matchmakers” want to bring researchers and practitioners together

In the world of cybersecurity, researchers and chief privacy officers don’t often cross paths.

Like Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, they come from very different worlds and may take some time to warm up to each other. But, like Ron and Hermione, once they get to know each other they may develop an understanding that (spoiler!) leads to an enduring relationship.

J.K. Rowling helped those fictional opposites attract—what can the cybersecurity community do?

With the goal of “matchmaking” researchers and practitioners, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Cybersecurity Center of Excellence and Internet2, a technology community founded by U.S. research and education institutions, organized the Cybersecurity Research Acceleration Workshop and Showcase. The first of several planned workshops was held on October 11 at IUPUI and hosted by the IU Center for Accelerated Research (CACR) and its director, Von Welch.

The workshop was funded by an EAGER (EArly-concept Grant for Exploratory Research) grant focusing on Transition to Practice (TTP) Acceleration (research that creates measurable improvements in the cybersecurity landscape). Florence Hudson, chief innovation officer at Internet2 and principal investigator on the grant, said the solution was clear. “The Internet2 community could match researchers with practitioners who could give feedback—what we offered to do [with the grant] was create a matchmaking mechanism.”  

We need prominent universities to step forward. We’re very grateful that Indiana University’s leadership views this as important and regularly engages.

Bruce Maas, emeritus chief information officer (CIO) and vice provost for IT at University of Wisconsin-Madison

For Bruce Maas, emeritus chief information officer (CIO) and vice provost for information technology at University of Wisconsin-Madison, the workshops provide a chance for connection between researchers and practitioners. “This is where they get introduced and hopefully back on campuses they will start to interact,” he said. “This is kind of like a first date.”

Looking beyond the single campus level, Hudson is excited about the prospect of reaching further. “We’re working with NSF to co-leverage a virtual organization where it’ll be easier for people to find each other,” she said. “You don’t have to be invited to this party in person—if you want to learn more about it, you can find it.”

Maas also highlighted the opportunity for the participants to get a better understanding of the constraints each other faces and how to best communicate their needs. “It’s very important that they understand these things ahead of time so that there are no broken hearts in this process of ‘intellectual dating’,” he said.

Both Hudson and Maas appreciated hearing from Mark Bruhn, Indiana University associate vice president for public safety and institutional assurance. “He provided a very good perspective of what he needs from researchers,” Hudson said. “I think because of his dual citizenship in the physical and digital world regarding security, it provides a much clearer perspective of what’s really needed.”

“Mark has a really unique title, being responsible for both physical and cybersecurity at IU—there are no other positions like that in the country,” Maas said. “That gives Indiana a really competitive advantage over other universities that have those functions, and it was fascinating to see the interest people had in talking to Mark because of that.”

IU’s interest in creating these relationships is definitely catching the cybersecurity community’s attention. “It was wonderful having Von host,” Hudson said. “It really adds a lot because of the Center for Trustworthy Scientific Cyberinfrastructure and its designation as an NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence.”

Maas points to IU President Michael McRobbie and Vice President for IT and CIO Brad Wheeler as leadership examples. “We need prominent universities to step forward,” he said. “We’re very grateful that Indiana University’s leadership views this as important and regularly engages.”

About the Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research

CACR is a research center affiliated with the Indiana University Pervasive Technology Institute and a member of the Indiana University cybersecurity community, which includes the Maurer School of Law, the Kelley School of Business, the School of Informatics, Computing and Engineering, REN-ISAC, the University Information Policy Office, and the University Information Security Office.

About Internet2

Internet2® is a non-profit, member-driven advanced technology community founded by the nation’s leading higher education institutions in 1996. Internet2 delivers a diverse portfolio of technology solutions that leverages, integrates, and amplifies the strengths of its members and helps support their educational, research and community service missions. Internet2’s core infrastructure components include the nation’s largest and fastest research and education network that was built to deliver advanced, customized services that are accessed and secured by the community-developed trust and identity framework.