Research Cybersecurity Guidelines

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Cybersecurity and risk management are shared responsibilities across campus. As individuals entrusted with our academic and research mission, we must work fearlessly forward to bridge gaps and ensure we are collectively protecting the cyberinfrastructure of all research conducted at University of Maryland. The research community is often met with unique challenges and  security compliance requirements that we want to help alleviate through collaboration and facilitation. 

The Research Computing team's Research Cybersecurity program aims to encourage researchers to take control of their data, understand their implementation of security controls, assess security risks, and encourage an overall better security posture across UMD's research community. The program provides clarity on centrally-managed services vs. what individuals are responsible for. 

By maintaining a complete inventory of all UMD research systems in OneTrust, the Research Computing team will develop a deeper understanding of university risks and be able to assist in reviewing data use agreements, system security plans, research software, etc.  in order to provide well-informed recommendations based on the self-attestation form completed, DIT's security controls list, and federal compliance regulations.  

Five Steps UMD Researchers can take to improve cybersecurity, protect confidential information, and prevent data loss:

  1. Use campus email for university business (IT-14), always pay attention to the sender’s email, and be suspicious of unfamiliar links. 
  2. Back up your data and store offline copies. 
  3. Use UMD owned devices with campus anti-malware solution (FireEye), or use the UMD Virtual Workspace.
  4. Automatically install updates onto your devices.
  5. Use UMD Box to collaborate with high risk data. Use Secure Share to send message and files containing sensitive information. 

Five Steps UMD Researchers with servers and lab equipment can take to improve cybersecurity, protect confidential information and prevent data loss:

  1. Back up your data and store offline copies. 
  2. Use UMD owned devices with campus anti-malware solution (FireEye).
  3. Automatically install updates onto your servers and periodically scan for vulnerabilities. 
  4. Use Duo Multi-Factor Authentication to access your servers, and contact DIT to help setup network firewalls. 
  5. Limit, monitor, and log physical access to your server facilities. 

System Security Officers - review the IT-5 Checklist and ensure your systems are meeting campus Standards. 


Process highlights

Restricted Research Data: Some data types require specific controls and processes for protections. Contact it-compliance or it-research-consult for assistance if your research involves this data. 


Cybersecurity self-attestation 

Prevent data loss and harm to the university by following best practices, documenting your security-focused implementations, and sharing your contact information with us so we can reach out to you when there are cybersecurity threats to our campus and data. DIT provides various cybersecurity tools and services that you can use to secure your systems. The practices are based on guidelines listed in NIST 800-171, UMD IT-4, and UMD IT-5.


Research cybersecurity toolkit

DIT Resources for Data Management Plans

Data Risk Guide to Commonly Used DIT Services

Data protection

Key Tools: Code42 Workstation Backups, Spectrum Protect, Secure Share, Storage Device Destruction, OneTrust, InCommon Certificates


System security

Key Tools: MECM, Nexpose, FireEye, Firewalls, InCommon Certificates


Access control

Key Tools: CAS, Active Directory, Duo, InCommon Certificates, MECM, Admin accounts



Key Tools: Splunk, Cybersecurity Training

How to implement

Use Splunk log management software: 



Coming Soon: Join the ISSO/Security Unit Liaison Community