Page 14 - CT Innovation in Education, July 2021
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Innovation in Education | Q & A: EXECUTIVE VIEWPOINT
Staying on Top of Cybersecurity:
A Conversation with Two
University CISOs
In this interview Tom Dugas, chief information security officer for Duquesne University, and Rick Haugerud, CISO for the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, explain how Internet2’s NET+ program is helping them manage cybersecurity for their institutions.
How are your institutions involved with Internet2 and the NET+ security program?
TOM DUGAS: I’m most involved in working with the
NET+ program by both purchasing software and services through the NET+ agreement, and also helping to bring new services to the forefront for the benefit of other institutions, such as with the Cloud Scorecard initiative. Part of my role is to work with the Internet2 team to help them understand what needs we have in the community and, where it’s necessary, to sponsor important service providers. Other people on my staff are involved in the NET+ Splunk advisory board, which is another vehicle for our voices to shape the direction of the program.
One of the things that happens as part of the community-led effort is that it helps shepherd a corporation or company through what we call a service evaluation effort, in which we actually make sure the service is fit- for-purpose, available, secure and evaluated for the rest
of the community. So, rather than having 100 universities do the evaluation of one single service independently on their own, which is what we did for many, many years, we decided that we would do that as a coordinated effort among our universities so we could benefit from each other’s knowledge and expertise.
RICK HAUGERUD: Participation in NET+ also offers that unified front and gives us a feedback loop directly into those vendors, so we can talk about things that
are specific to the higher ed environment. It might be important integrations with other academic applications, terms or something else. The NET+ team sponsors an advisory board with all of these firms, that really gives us a seat at the table as they decide on future service features and the audiences they are going to impact. As individual universities, we don’t get that opportunity.
What are some of security technologies that you have acquired through this relationship?
RICK: The first one that comes to mind is Splunk. Splunk is where we consolidate the machine logs and authentication logs for all of the systems at the university. If we were
to have some type of a security event, we’d go into that system to identify what happened on this particular day at this particular time. For our centralized log management correlation system, we had a very small Splunk instance — somewhere between 10 and 30 gigabytes — and we needed to expand that. A number of our peers put together a service evaluation for log management using Splunk. Having other schools already doing that helped not only
in terms of what they were buying but for the price they were paying. When that was done, I was able to expand that license to several 100 gigabytes in order to meet our needs.
Then, during the pandemic, the first week that we went live with full remote learning and remote work we knew that the legacy VPN we had installed was not going to hold up. So, we had to identify something that allowed us to scale service up and down as we needed it. We were able to take advantage of Palo Alto Network’s Prisma Access, which was in the service evaluation process and is now available in the NET+ Palo Alto Networks program.
TOM: We have nine security-related NET+ services in operation at the university in some way, shape or form. When the pandemic hit, it caused us to rethink a lot of things we were doing. As our students and our employees went off campus, our ability to secure the identities of our people on campus really became critical. And so, everything we did worldwide — and I say worldwide because we have students now coming and connecting internationally to
our services — was coming in through our identity access management system with Duo Security.

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