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Project will protect researchers’ open-source software worldwide

Oct 19, 2023

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — Indiana University researchers are working to protect open-source software that institutions worldwide use to collaborate and share research findings.

Sagar Samtani, assistant professor of operations and decision technologies and a Weimer Faculty Fellow at the IU Kelley School of Business, is co-principal investigator on the project, which is being supported through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

Sagar Samtani. Photo courtesy IU Kelley School of Business. Sagar Samtani. Photo courtesy IU Kelley School of Business.

“Federally funded scientific cyberinfrastructure has accelerated ground-breaking scientific discoveries, such as black-hole imaging, genome sequencing and vaccine discoveries,” said Samtani, who also directs the Data Science and Artificial Intelligence Lab at Kelley. “But the open-source software that helps facilitate those discoveries often contains vulnerabilities that could threaten irreplaceable scientific analysis.

“We trust that our work on this project will help researchers to better protect their work and findings, and ultimately those who will be the beneficiaries of these discoveries.”

Also involved are IU’s cybersecurity and computing leaders: OmniSOC, the shared security operations center based at IU Bloomington, and Jetstream2, led by IU’s Pervasive Technology Institute, which provides cloud-based, on-demand computing and data analysis resources.

Because scientific cyberinfrastructure often lacks the personnel to manage vulnerabilities, institutions increasingly outsource such tasks to third-party research and education security providers such as OmniSOC. Those analysts also face challenges in managing the sheer volume of vulnerabilities that may be present.

This project will look for ways to employ artificial intelligence-enabled analytics to manage the susceptible data, through a Vulnerability Management System that allows security analysts to search, sort, browse and collaborate on remediation strategies.

IU is sharing the $600,000 NSF Cybersecurity Innovation for Cyberinfrastructure grant with the University of Arizona.

“Over the years, the Kelley School has helped organizations as they have confronted challenges that have arisen out of technological advances,” said Ash Soni, dean of the Kelley School and the Sungkyunkwan Professor. “This NSF grant is another example of the Kelley School doing that, but this award will also move forward our leadership in cybersecurity through the use of emerging advances in artificial intelligence.”

Samtani, who came to IU in 2020, on Oct. 15 also was honored with the INFORMS Information Systems Society Design Science Award, which recognizes research projects that have significant practical relevance. He was honored for his research, “Proactive Cyber Threat Intelligence for Scientific Cyberinfrastructure: An Artificial Intelligence (AI)-enabled Analytics Perspective,” which was supported through a previous NSF grant that Samtani received.


IU Kelley School of Business

George Vlahakis

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