Network Security Team Offers Tips to Protect SCinet and You
With approximately 12,000 researchers, students, professionals and vendors at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver for SC17, electronic device safety is no trivial matter. If those attendees are typical of most adults, about half of them possess two to four internet connected devices.
That’s a concern to Clark Gaylord of the SCinet Network Security Team. He offers the following tips to protect both SC attendees and SCinet:
● Be aware that SCinet is an open network, so security at the device layer is of utmost importance.
● Make sure your devices are up-to-date and patched at SC17.
● Set strong passwords on any devices you’ll connect to the network during the conference.
● Especially avoid exposing Internet of Things (IoT) devices, printers or similar devices that might have insecure out-of-the-box configurations and default passwords.
● Avoid peer-to-peer transfer of data while using an open network. Don’t run unintended servers on your devices or otherwise allow users to see or discover files on your Mac and Windows devices.
● Protect your device with anti-malware tools.
● Abide by the requirements provided in the SC17 Acceptable Network Use Policy.
● If you have trouble with any of your devices while attending SC, visit the SCinet Help Desk in Booth #1081.
Gaylord is the chief information officer at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute and one of a team of network security experts striving to create a safe network environment for all participants at the SC conference.
Planning for SCinet starts nearly a year prior to the conference to define the high performance network architecture, with more than 180 volunteers collaborating with more than 30 contributing vendors to ensure all attendees, exhibitors and researchers have a successful SC. Network security is closely integrated with all teams in SCinet, including those focused on wide area networking, routing, measurement and wireless.
“Network security at the scale of SCinet is fundamentally a big data problem,” Gaylord said. “Many of our tools take advantage of the parallelism of data-intensive methods and high performance computing.”
To determine potential threats to SCinet and SC attendees, the team uses analytics tools to conduct periodic network monitoring and intrusion detection analysis. They also analyze network traffic to identify anomalies and test the information security controls for potential weaknesses.
Gaylord said the SCinet Network Security team is at the forefront of HPC network security research and operation, always aiming to stay ahead of the game on emerging cyber threats to the HPC community. Working closely with other SCinet teams and contributors, they design and implement new safeguards to protect systems, and identify and mitigate threats in real-time.
The role of the SCinet Network Security team is primarily to protect SC attendees, researchers and exhibitors from malintent on the Internet, but also to protect the users of the wider Internet from possible malicious actors on the SC network.
According to Gaylord, “The critical asset to protect is not just the SCinet infrastructure itself, but SC’s reputation.”
Watch this video with Clark Gaylord to learn more about the SCinet volunteer experience and network security.