Friday 31 August 2018

Spotlight on IP Intrusion - shortlisted for the 2018 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing

On 13 September we will be announcing the winner of the 2018 ALPSP Awards for Innovation in Publishing, sponsored by MPS Limited, at the ALPSP Annual Conference.  In this series of posts leading up to the Awards ceremony we meet our six finalists and get to know a bit more about them.

logo IP Intrusion

In this post, we speak to Andrew Pitts, a partner and co-founder of PSI Ltd.

Tell us a bit about your company

PSI is the brainchild of two veterans of the publishing world who, between them, hold over 40 years of STM publishing experience. It was while working for major publishers that they recognised a number of problems facing the industry that could only be overcome through communication, collaboration and innovation. PSI is an independent company. Through our work to enable publishers, membership societies, and libraries to work together securely and confidentially towards common goals, PSI has found itself in a unique position to encourage collaboration across the academic research community.

PSI is the developer of both the and and also the STM endorsed Due Diligence Bureau. With the, publishers and libraries can save time and streamline processes, eliminate errors, improve the reliability of usage metrics and ensure the right content is accessible to the right users.
With publishers, and soon libraries, can join the community driven fight against cybercrime. With the Due Diligence Bureau publishers can demonstrate compliance and protect their reputation.

What is the project/product that you submitted for the Awards?

The product we submitted for the innovation award is our IP Intrusion Service database. PSI’s IP Intrusion Service is a community liaison hub where publishers and libraries can exchange information and warn each other about threats via in REAL time.

Tell us more about how it works and the team behind it

PSI’s IP Intrusion Database is a new tool that will help both publishers and libraries by preventing intrusions of their secure IT systems. This new service will help protect publishers’ copyrighted content, universities’ intellectual property, and researchers’ personal data and identities. With the IP intrusion service, the academic research community can work together to fight against hackers, spammers, password crackers, scrapers and, most importantly, it will combat piracy and spear-phishing attacks. The PSI IP Intrusion Database exposes cyber-crime across the academic research community, with the added benefit of reducing service interruptions resulting from these malicious threats.  

PSI IP Intrusion Database was developed by PSI Ltd in collaboration with the AAP (American Association of Publishers) and a number of major STM publishers including IEEE, AMA, AWS, Taylor and Francis, SAE, Elsevier, ASME and ASTM. The service has been built using software developed by technology partner, Adactus Ltd.

Why do you think it demonstrates publishing innovation?

PSI IP Intrusion Database allows publishers and libraries to share detailed information about intrusions so they can protect themselves from future threats. Each day users of the service receive details of the latest intrusions across the industry allowing them to block the attacks at source.

graphic IP Intrusion threat notifications

As well as providing users with a block list, the database also cross-references activity against the 1.5 billion verified IP addresses held within for over 60,000 academic institutions, in effect the most comprehensive “white list” of verified institutional data available. This information is used to alert publishers that the attacks are being made via a legitimate organisation, allowing them to treat these intrusions differently, for example, by reaching out to the library before blocking access. Libraries can then be asked to review logs to determine the level of intrusion, alert users that credentials have been compromised and determine what may have been stolen. The IP-intrusion steering group will be able to assess all attacks on a regular basis in order to evaluate potential opportunities for group action.

graphic IP Intrusion

Libraries using the service are alerted in real time to breaches involving their IT systems. They will be prompted to investigate the real source IP of the intrusion and to share these details so that other libraries and institutions can block cyber-attacks from these sources before they even happen.

What are your plans for the future?

Th PSI IP Intrusion Database offers the academic research community a unique opportunity to work together to fight all forms of cyber-crime. Every intrusion reported within the database will provide the academic community with an opportunity to fight back. Having the IP-intrusion steering group evaluate all attacks on a regular basis will enable the community to take group action much faster. This will give the industry an opportunity to think ahead and try to stay one step ahead of the cyber-criminals. The consequences of not protecting published content, intellectual property, and personal data do not bear thinking about.

photo Andrew Pitts
Andrew Pitts is a partner and co-founder of PSI Ltd, he has worked in the field of STM publishing for over 20 years and has worked closely with most of the major STM publishers during that time.  


Twitter: @PubSolutionsInt, @ip_registry

The ALPSP Annual Conference and Awards 2018 will be held at the Beaumont Estate, Old Windsor, UK from 12-14 September. #alpsp18

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