Managing cyber security incidents for the academic community in Ecuador and Chile

Responding to the need of its partner institutions and facing the growing interest in cybersecurity issues, since 2018 REUNA has been working on the implementation of its academic and coordination CSIRT (Computer Security Incident Response Team). Its objectives are to provide security incident response services; coordinate the management of incidents that affect its members, guiding the response to attacks and helping them to take measures to prevent future incidents; detect possible security events, which are similar among the different members of the community that comprise it; and be the point of contact with response teams to national and international incidents.

As Claudia Inostroza, REUNA Operations Manager explains: “Our CSIRT has proactive and reactive functions. Among the first, there is permanent monitoring of institutions, to detect incidents that may arise; concentrate information and reported vulnerabilities from various sources; investigate new technologies and tools in cybersecurity, generating documentation in this regard; and the development of workshops and other training and awareness activities on the subject. In the case of reactive functions, our CSIRT is responsible for alerting institutions that present an incident in a timely manner, and for maintaining an automatic security incident reporting system for our community.”

To comply with it, the Corporation established an alliance with the Academic Network of Ecuador, CEDIA, which includes the use of security alert software developed by the Ecuadorian network and advice on its use, by the CSIRT and Services specialist of CEDIA, Paul Bernal.

For the Ecuadorian expert, “embarking on this work of cybersecurity is a fairly strong, but necessary and fundamental task for the entire community. With the formation of this CSIRT the work is just beginning, and I am sure that it will contribute to all the institutions of the network getting involved. The management of REUNA will be mainly of coordination, and the mitigation of the problems will be the work of each institution, with the support of the CSIRT, obviously. Therefore, it is important to form security groups in the institutions. And on behalf of CEDIA, as always, there is the commitment to collaborate and work together for the Academic Networks of our region”.

This is the first step in a series of activities that will be jointly developed by the CSIRTs of CEDIA and REUNA, and that are part of a collaboration agreement for the exchange of technical information on cybersecurity, signed in September 2019, in the framework of the TICAL Conference.

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Published: 07/2020

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