Security needs you

Academic freedom is a valuable thing, but like any kind of freedom, it comes with responsibility.

Here at CERN, and in the global particle physics community as a whole, we enjoy an open academic environment, which gives us freedom of choice and freedom of expression. It is a strong tradition at CERN, but it’s not something we can ever take for granted. This is particularly true in the area of IT, where our openness and our global visibility make us an attractive target. Attacks on our IT infrastructure in the past have had a negative impact on our reputation, and have even led to changes in the way we operate computing services.

It is the responsibility of all of us, not just the experts in the IT Department, to protect our IT infrastructure while striking the right balance between security, academic freedom and the unfettered operation of our facilities. Everyone using CERN’s IT infrastructure is responsible for the security and protection of the computers they use, the operating systems they run, the applications they install, the programs they write and the data they store. For those of us who manage computing services and systems, that responsibility clearly extends to them as well.

In assuming your responsibility, you are not alone: the IT Department and the Computer Security Team are there to help, and you’ll learn more about how in this issue of the Bulletin. We all have an essential role to play in protecting our academic freedom. Let’s make sure that maintaining vigilance when using IT facilities, and proactively protecting computers & data remains an essential part of that responsibility. At CERN, security is not complete without you.

 Rolf Heuer