DataONE Cybersecurity Plan

About:This document forms Appendix C of the DataONE management plan, version 3.0

General Principles

Cybersecurity for DataONE is predicated on the fact that DataONE is a collaboration of researchers, data providers, institutions, coordinating nodes, member nodes, data collections and other infrastructure components. As such it is inherently a virtual organization. DataONE as an entity spans many organizations and administrative domains. The goal of the cybersecurity in DataONE is to protect the infrastructure that those organizations and administrative domains contribute to DataONE as well as the data collections and the DataONE user community. DataONE, as a virtual organization, will naturally need to accommodate the highly variable security regimes that are in use in its various partners. In planning for cybersecurity in this environment, a layered approach must be used. Each DataONE entity must simultaneously meet requirements of its local institution and must also integrate into the DataONE cyberinfrastructure. DataONE is also a mixture of operational systems to accept and deliver scientific data and research endeavors to improve the overall data management lifecycle. The cybersecurity management for DataONE will need to be flexible enough to support the very different needs of research and operations. The cybersecurity posture of DataONE will evolve over time both because of continuing maturation of DataONE operational strategies and because of an ever-evolving cybersecurity landscape.

DataONE Institutional Components

DataONE consists of several types of components both in terms of humans, systems, institutions, and organizations. This section is a brief summary of those components and their DataONE roles in terms of cybersecurity:

Scientific Researchers

DataONE will host data and provide access to data for science researchers. DataONE will frame appropriate data curation policies as part of Partnership Agreements with Member Nodes. Data integrity must be maintained throughout the data life cycle when managed by DataONE.

DataONE staff and team members

DataONE funded staff will operate DataONE resources and develop DataONE software and tools in accordance with DataONE cybersecurity policies and the policies of their home institutions. DataONE coordinating nodes: A critical part of the DataONE physical cyber- infrastructure will be located at the Coordinating Nodes. These components will be operated within the current acceptable policy environments of these host institutions. In addition, these resources must meet the requirements for DataONE nodes.

DataONE member nodes

All data collectively managed by DataONE will be located at the member nodes. These components will be operated within the current acceptable policy environments of these host institutions. In addition, these resources must meet the requirements for DataONE nodes. Member nodes will vary in terms of size, sophistication, and current and future management that will be accommodated. Specific organizational data security policies and practices will be adhered to within DataONE in the process of sharing data through or within the DataONE network.

DataONE data collection owners/contributors/stewards

Data aggregated in DataONE will, in many cases, be delivered by or derived from existing datasets. The obligations and expectations of DataONE and these collections sources will be documented in Partnership Agreements by the involved organizations/institutions.

DataONE data collections

One of the key goals of the cybersecurity plan is protecting the integrity, availability and confidentiality of the data collections managed by DataONE. DataONE will develop the necessary policies, practices, and processes to insure data are properly protected and available only to those permitted access.

Research organizations that generate long-lived data

DataONE will engage with data creators to host, replicate, and/or curate data collections. DataONE will use appropriate Partnership Agreements to specify how these activities will occur, including cybersecurity agreements.

Research Libraries

DataONE will engage with research libraries both as contributors of data provided by DataONE and as institutional users of DataONE digital data services. Appropriate Partnership Agreements will be created and executed in order to understand the agreed levels of mutual service between DataONE and research libraries. Educational Institutions: DataONE will view educational institutions as users and outreach and education opportunities. DataONE will engage with institutions and their students as individuals or a group to define user access rules and acceptable use policy

Standards Bodies

DataONE will use several data and computing standards both for operations and as cybersecurity policy and plan guidelines.

DataNet Partners

All DataNet awardees will, in concert, develop appropriate uniform approaches to data management and curation for the DataNet program. DataONE cybersecurity policies and posture will need to be compatible with DataNet guidelines.

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF)

DataONE and DataNet project and program sponsor. DataONE is responsible to NSF for cybersecurity operations and any Foundation specific policies or practices.

Institutional Cybersecurity Requirements

Cyber-infrastructure resources in the form of data collections, access methods, data storage, and computational resources will need to operate within the established operational envelope of home institution of each DataONE component. In many instances this will be an institution of higher education where the operational envelope is defined by the institution in a process that may vary from informal to quite formal. In addition, some DataONE cyber-resources will originate within US agencies where FIPS and other NIST standards will need to be applied in order to receive a formal authorization for operations. Future DataONE cyber-resources will be located at institutions under foreign government institutions, where the governing laws, policies, and social practices may have significant differences from those at US institutions. In each instance, the home institution’s policy environment will be recognized and observed where possible. Where the home institution’s policies are not compatible with DataONE needs, home institution policy exceptions will be sought and obtained or we will find some other mechanism to address the incompatibility.

Cybersecurity requirements will originate from the requirements of the data itself, primarily in the form of maintaining data integrity, but also availability and, in some cases, confidentiality.

DataONE Wide Cybersecurity Requirements

In addition to the home institutions policy frameworks, DataONE resources as a collective entity will have an overlay cybersecurity framework that will integrate the diverse home institution policies in order to achieve DataONE goals. Specifically, DataONE will:

Initiate a DataONE cybersecurity coordination group. This group will help develop and implement policy at all DataONE components. In general, this policy will be guided by generally accepted best practices and is expected to establish a set of base requirements and a means to map those requirements to common frameworks (such as NIST and FIPS documents). This policy will also provide a framework for the consistent application of common policy guidelines, such as FIPS 199 information security classification, by providing more specific examples of terms and applications within the DataONE context.

Develop cybersecurity language (or appropriate pointers to such language) within Partnership Agreements in order to document agreements and expected service levels between DataONE and its fundamental entities:

  • Users
  • Data contributors
  • Coordinating nodes
  • Member nodes
  • DataONE staff at sub-awardee institutions
  • DataONE Collaboration and Public web presence
  • Document DataONE uniform operational requirements and best practices as appropriate
  • Develop a DataONE-wide incidence response playbook, including a point of contact at each DataONE component.
  • Analyze the emergent behavior issues that, from a DataONE-wide point of view, are highly important to DataONE’s success. Such issue will include, among other things: data integrity and availability; data access control; and federated identity.
  • Develop an incident sharing mechanism and policy among DataONE components, including real-time data sharing and available, sufficiently secure communication means for during an incident.

In this fashion, DataONE will attempt to create an integrated cybersecurity environment that meets its needs while not being overly burdensome.

DataONE Cybersecurity Planning Posture Progression Through Project Lifetime

The DataONE cybersecurity plan and subsidiary documents are living efforts. They will be reviewed and potentially revised annually. In addition, annual assessments will focus on parts of the cybersecurity environment where issues or improvements can be made either because of identified vulnerabilities of because of evolving cybersecurity issues.

Cybersecurity Milestones in DataONE Project Year One

The DataONE cybersecurity coordination group will be constituted. It will consist of the deputy director for operations, selected CCIT members, leadership team representation, working group leads from the Federated Security group, and other members as appropriate. This group will:

  • draft a charter and get it approved as a project document
  • Develop DataONE security policies for coordinating node, member nodes, and data collection providers as part of their DataONE Partnership Agreements
  • Develop DataONE acceptable use policy and appropriate user access acknowledgement format
  • Draft the initial DataONE cybersecurity plan.
  • Plan for annual assessment and revision to include, for example, a DataONE wide security incident response contact list and a DataONE wide security incident playbook

Approval Workflow

This section is the initial cybersecurity plan for DataONE. Its approval process is via the DataONE leadership team and PI. This initial cybersecurity plan is part of the overall DataONE project management plan. Future annual revisions of the cybersecurity plan will be via a standalone document that will be drawn from this section of the project management plan.