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Silicon Valley university joins IU-led cybersecurity operations center

By working with Santa Clara University, OmniSOC expands beyond the Big Ten

Security and privacy Oct 14, 2021

BLOOMINGTON, Ind.—Santa Clara University (SCU) has partnered with the Indiana University-led OmniSOC, which provides 24x7x365 network security monitoring for SCU’s networks, conducts proactive threat hunting, and shares threat intelligence cybersecurity research. SCU is the first university outside of the Big Ten Academic Alliance to join OmniSOC.

OmniSOC experts will protect SCU students, faculty, staff, research, and operations

OmniSOC collects cybersecurity data from partners; integrates this data with other threat intelligence, conducts proactive threat hunting; and monitors, triages, and analyzes security events. 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.

Santa Clara University is in the heart of Silicon Valley in Santa Clara, California. Founded in 1851, SCU offers its nearly 6,000 undergraduate students more than 50 majors, minors, and programs, blending high-tech innovation with a social consciousness grounded in the Jesuit educational tradition.

As we collaborate together from first awareness of a cybersecurity threat anywhere, we are able to reach mitigation everywhere with a much faster response.

Von Welch, executive director of OmniSOC

Additionally, in the school’s first-ever showing in the U.S. News & World Report’s National Universities category, SCU placed in the top 15 percent (No. 54) among nearly 400 national-level universities in the publication’s 2020 “Best Colleges” edition.

“We are excited to partner with OmniSOC to bolster our own efforts to secure our students, faculty, staff, research, and operations,” said Kristen Dietiker, chief information security officer at SCU. “OmniSOC has proven to be an excellent partner and is a key part of our plan to reduce our cybersecurity risks.”

Von Welch is executive director of OmniSOC.

“We welcome Santa Clara University to the family of OmniSOC members that include higher education institutions and research facilities,” said Welch. “As we collaborate together from first awareness of a cybersecurity threat anywhere, we are able to reach mitigation everywhere with a much faster response.”

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 in addition to SCU. 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.

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