University leaders are faced with the challenge of safely re-opening classrooms and laboratories in the fall. Many universities have announced hybrid approaches consisting of re-introducing smaller in-person classes while continuing online instruction for large lectures and opening campus in the coming weeks in order to end the quarter before the Thanksgiving holiday. These solutions present new cybersecurity challenges for university IT departments of how to protect students and faculty conducting sensitive research in the controlled laboratory environment especially when health considerations require working remotely and IT budgets are already stressed.

This challenge is exasperated by the increase in cyberattacks directly targeting research involving COVID-19. According to reporting by the Wall Street Journal in May, the FBI warned American researchers of increased cyberattacks from hostile nations. These attacks were directed towards medical research, continuing the dangerous trend of foreign nations attempting to shortcut their own research requirements. These attacks have also damaged the promising research of COVID-19 vaccines, dangerously setting countries back when safe cooperation should be at the forefront of science.

To prevent the theft of valuable intellectual property and in the interest of national security, SPYRUS Solutions (SPYRUS) has been working with top American research universities including The Texas A&M University (TAMU) System to protect federally granted government research. TAMU and SPYRUS partnered to implement a secure enclave within the TAMU network to secure research. This secure enclave meets NIST SP 800-171 requirements, ensuring TAMU is DFARS Clause 252.204-7012 compliant.

To learn more about the military grade cryptographic and management solution implemented at TAMU and how it could be implemented at your university, download the case study.