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Group Manager

At the request of the Research Councils UK e-Infrastructure group, Janet established a working group from 2013-2016 to support those providing and using e-infrastructure services in achieving an approach that both protects services from threats and is usable by practitioners. More detail about the group can be found in the Terms of Reference

The Working Group published the following papers:

Information about the Working Group's activities, as well as discussion documents, links and recommendations is linked under the following categories. Unless marked otherwise, all items are works-in-progress and we very much welcome your comments and contributions.

Meetings   Presentations
Case Studies Discussions Technologies

Andrew Cormack (WG Chair)


While some e-infrastructures included accounting in their design and operations from the start, others are now
being asked or required to add accounting support to their existing systems. Typically accounting forms part of a
relationship between the infrastructure and some other organisation – perhaps a funder, host or customer –
rather than the infrastructure's relationship with its individual users. These organisations may be interested in
usage statistics across particular categories: for example by subject, by time, by project or by origin. It might be


This document provides an introduction to the work of the UK e-Infrastructure Security and Access Management Working Group and the papers it has published.

Members of the group are:

Stephen Booth, Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre

Peter Boyle, Edinburgh University

David Britton, Glasgow University

John Chapman, Jisc

Andrew Cormack, Jisc

Darren Hankinson, Manchester University

Josh Howlett, Jisc

Henry Hughes, Jisc

Jens Jensen, STFC

David Kelsey, STFC

Paul Kennedy, Nottingham University


The various organisations participating in an e-infrastructure are likely to have their own policies on its use; harmonising those policies offers an opportunity to implement them more accurately, efficiently and effectively. This paper discusses how policies are likely to interact and how those developing policies can benefit from the coordination provided by using a common infrastructure.


I was invited to present the work of our working group at a joint meeting of the UK HPC-SIG and the US Coalition for Academic Scientific Computing in Oxford last week. To describe what we've been doing I used the pictures we've developed of collaborating eInfrastructures from different perspectives: the interactions in security, access management and policies. Final versions of the diagrams can be found in our published reports.

Blog Article

I sat in on an interesting session at the CASC-HPCSIG meeting in Oxford last week, looking at different models for university-industry cooperation in high-performance computing. All considered that people, support and expertise are at least as important to a successful liaison as processors, so were slightly puzzled that publicity, bids and even informal discussions tend to focus almost entirely on size of hardware.


A growing challenge for on-line e-infrastructures is to manage an increasing number of user accounts, ensuring that accounts are only used by their intended users, that users can be held accountable for any misuse, and that accounts are disabled when users are no longer entitled to use them. Users face a similar challenge in managing multiple authentication credentials for different on-line services.


E-infrastructures are large computer systems with considerable processing and storage capacity and in some cases, holding valuable or sensitive data. They are therefore likely to be attractive targets for attackers with a wide range of motivations. However, to support international research, e-infrastructures must be accessible to users located anywhere on the Internet. In many cases users will upload and run their own software or virtual machines and exchange large volumes of data over high-speed networks.

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