Talk Abstracts

OmniSOC Con welcome video: Building a stronger community

February 21 | 11am

Founded as a collaboration between select Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) universities, OmniSOC has expanded outside the BTAA to a rapidly growing community made up of a wide array of higher education and research institutions. Today OmniSOC members include eleven colleges and universities, two regional networks, and five NSF Major Facilities—and counting! In this welcome address Susan Sons, executive director of OmniSOC, and Rob Lowden, CIO of Indiana University, will discuss the community needs that are driving OmniSOC's growth, how OmniSOC is addressing those needs, and how the community approach goes beyond collaboration to improve the cybersecurity posture of all OmniSOC members.

Trending Threats, Response, and Mitigation in Research and Education

February 21 | 12:30-1:30pm

The Research and Education Networks Information Sharing and Analysis Center (REN-ISAC), hosted at Indiana University, shares trends related to cybersecurity in research and education, including delving into the biggest threat vectors and current risks, such as escalating threats to credentials and changing compliance needs. Presenters will articulate some of the ways in which are R&E institutions are responding to them and provide examples of mitigation techniques that allow R&E institutions to get the most bang for their buck, e.g., identity and access management tools. This presentation will highlight some of the safeguards that are common for R&E and look at some promising future safeguards. REN-ISAC’s Executive Director Kim Milford and Technical Director Krysten Stevens take a look at the R&E Sector to share valuable information about the sector’s cybersecurity challenges and posture.

Large university CISO panel: New threats, new strategies in 2023

February 21 | 2–3pm

Higher education CISOs face accelerating changes in the pace and scale of threats to their institutions and do so with more requirements, tighter budgets, higher personnel turnover, and changing technology. Join OmniSOC member CISOs for a discussion of strategies that have worked to stay one step ahead of bad actors and keep their large university institutions secure. 

CIO panel—Building a stronger community 

February 22 | 11–12pm

Many higher ed CIOs continue to see critical shortages in cybersecurity personnel as trained staff leave for the private sector or take retirement, compounded by tighter budgets as schools try to prepare for an uncertain economy in 2023 as well as continue to recover from pandemic expenditures. Hear from a panel of OmniSOC member CIOs on how they believe higher education institutions can navigate collectively through these recent challenges.  

Leadership panel—Cybersecurity challenges in the small school community 

February 22 | 12:30–1:30pm

Small universities and colleges face unique challenges when it comes to cybersecurity. Whether it is hiring and retaining staff that wear multiple hats, or keeping up with vulnerabilities within its environment when there is little to no cybersecurity staff, small schools must be resourceful and creative. Join a panel of leaders from smaller institutions such as Santa Clara University, DeSales University, and Lehigh University, for a discussion about these challenges and how they think the community can overcome these hurdles.

A deep dive into OmniSOC's infrastructure 

February 22 | 12:30–1:30pm

Every day, OmniSOC’s infrastructure ingests over 9.4 TB in security-log volume and sees more than 14.2 billion security events. That same infrastructure carries the logs that record over 162,000 security events per second. Join OmniSOC Platform Engineering Manager CJ Kloote for a deep dive into the simple, elegant, and robust  hardware and software combination that powers higher education’s premier security operations center.

Building R&E network partnerships: I-Light and OmniSOC’s plans for 2023

February 22 | 2–3pm

In November 2021, I-Light, the Indiana GigaPOP, and OmniSOC created a new model for a regional network to deliver services to its customers. A joint project was formed to develop, deliver, and refine a set of technical and professional cybersecurity services to I-Light and Indiana GigaPOP customers with the goals of enabling those customers to rapidly be aware of cybersecurity incidents on their network, and effectively respond to those incidents with professional assistance. Join OmniSOC Executive Director Susan Sons and I-Light Director of Member Services and Community Engagement Caroline Weilhamer to discuss the partnership and what is in store for 2023.

Threat hunting up close

February 22 | 2–3pm

How do threat hunters at higher education’s premier security operations center sort wheat from chaff to identify threats to their member institutions? What’s the process, the technology, and the role of veteran eyes-on-glass analysts? How big a role do automation and machine learning play, and what are the challenges ahead and how will OmniSOC’s operations team meet them? OmniSOC's security engineering team will take attendees through its process.