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I-Light and Indiana GigaPOP collaborate with IU-led cybersecurity center on new security model

OmniSOC leverages proven security services for I-Light/Indiana GigaPOP customers

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.— I-Light, Indiana’s high-speed research and education network, and the Indiana GigaPOP have entered into a collaboration with the Indiana University-led OmniSOC to deliver cybersecurity services to enable customers to rapidly be aware of and respond to cybersecurity incidents on their networks.

OmniSOC collects cybersecurity data from partners; integrates this data with other threat intelligence; conducts proactive threat hunting; and monitors, triages, and analyzes security events. The OmniSOC also provides training and guidance on incident response to enable institutions to improve their cyber security posture and effectively respond to incidents. OmniSOC launched in 2018 as a first-of-its-kind higher education shared, collaborative cyber security operations center (SOC).

Today, OmniSOC is higher education’s only collaborative, multistate security operations center, the only collaborative SOC supporting National Science Foundation research, and the only SOC with a multi-state institutional data-sharing agreement for researchers. Notably, in December 2020, OmniSOC was ranked as the number one higher education threat-hunting team in the country.

This collaboration to provide OmniSOC services to the Indiana GigaPOP and I-Light members will create a new model for a regional network to deliver services to its customers.

Von Welch, executive director of OmniSOC

"The 24/7 network monitoring capability of OmniSOC combined with our current partnership with GlobalNOC will provide cybersecurity services at a lower cost than hiring on-premises staff,” said Marianne Chitwood, executive director, I-Light and Indiana GigaPOP. “OmniSOC’s proven model of providing specialized cybersecurity services for higher education and research provide our members with first-class threat intelligence. With cybersecurity threats escalating, we want our members to be as secure as possible.”

Von Welch is executive director of OmniSOC.

“This collaboration to provide OmniSOC services to the Indiana GigaPOP and I-Light members will create a new model for a regional network to deliver services to its customers,” said Welch. “The partnership opens up a whole new path for greater risk management and threat awareness for those members to effectively respond to incidents with professional assistance.”

OmniSOC was founded by members of the Big Ten Academic Alliance to reduce the time from first detection of a security threat to campus mitigation. Indiana University, Northwestern University, Rutgers University, and the University of Nebraska are current Founding Members of the OmniSOC. OmniSOC has since expanded to include several new members. OmniSOC also supports the ResearchSOC, the National Science Foundation (NSF) Security Operations Center, supplying cybersecurity for the nation’s greatest research. Major NSF clients include the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, GAGE/UNAVCO, and the Gemini Observatory.

I-Light is a unique collaboration among Indiana colleges and universities, state government, and private sector broadband providers. Member sites connect to I-Light at speeds starting at 1 Gigabit to 10 Gigabits per second. Located in Indianapolis and established in 1998, the Indiana GigaPOP serves as a foundation for Indiana’s research and education communities, providing an advanced high-speed, high-availability, feature-rich network.