Since 2006, successive NCRIS Roadmaps have recognised Access and Authentication as crucial national research infrastructure.
One-off seed funding was provided to the Australian Access Federation (AAF) in 2009 to take the first steps towards establishing a trust and identity federation for Australia’s research and education system. Without such a strategy and funding to support it, the efficiency and effectiveness of the research system continues to be diminished and support for research is at risk. The rapid increase in cyber-attacks targeting our Research and Education system means:
- significant national and commercially valuable research data is at risk
- Australia’s research system is open to an increased risk of foreign interference
- potential damage to Australia’s competitiveness and economic prosperity
Sound identity management practices are vital to protecting our critical infrastructure and require a specific set of skills that are scarce in Australia.
- Australian Access Federation (AAF) established 2009
- Received a one-off Commonwealth Government grant
- Providing access, authentication and authorisation identity management
- Became financially self-sufficient
- Recognised as one of the leading federations globally
The Digital Data and eResearch Platforms (DDeRP) group (as outlined in the 2016 eResearch Infrastructure Roadmap as the AAF, AARNet, ARDC, NCI, and Pawsey Super Computing Centre) recently united to map the underpinning infrastructure that supports Australia’s research system. Identity and access management was highlighted as a fundamental component of the system. AAF is the only provider of identity and access management in Australia’s research system.
TO ENABLE AN INTERCONNECTED AND SECURE NCRIS SYSTEM
A system-wide approach to identity and access management is necessary to help support Australian research. This will result in all NCRIS capabilities using a common Trust and Identity Framework for Research, securely connecting researchers, nationally and internationally.
The benefits would be far reaching and include:
- Develop the necessary skills and expertise
- Provide support for research organisation and capabilities
- Enable Australian researchers to leverage global connectivity
- Result in a more connect and integrated research infrastructure system
- Result in a safer and more secure research infrastructure
THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW
TO DELIVER A SYSTEM-WIDE NCRIS TRUST AND IDENTITY CAPABILITY
To support Australia’s research system become more efficient, effective and secure the following is required:
- implement a Trust and Identity Framework for Research
- develop a series of Trust and Identity Incubators that work with cutting edge research infrastructure
- gather re-usable software solutions, tools and modules that could be used by research infrastructure providers
- develop skills and expertise for a cohort of identity and access management specialists that can work with and support the NCRIS system
- implement Access and Authorisation Infrastructure that builds on the AAF to support the unique needs of the research sector