“Security” is YOU!

Usually, people consider “Computer Security” a technical problem: firewalls, intrusion detection, anti-virus software, encryption… but I don’t. I consider “Computer Security” being like swimming or crossing a road.


You usually don’t actively think about your safety at all, you just do it. You just move your arms and legs or look “left-right-left” (“right-left-right” in countries of the British commonwealth or Japan). This was imprinted on us during our childhood… and I believe we should achieve the same for “Computer Security”!

So, like swimming or crossing traffic, I would like to see a similar culture evolve for “Computer Security”. We need a new mind set. “Computer Security” starts with the human body sitting in front of the screen - the guy who configures a device, the lady who programs an application. “Computer Security” is a people problem, and it can only be solved by people, not by technique. It depends on us ensuring that our Windows/Linux/Mac/iOS/Android operating system is regularly patched. We should remember that passwords are personal and should never be shared. We should protect files and documents appropriately, and we should first take suitable training before writing software or configuring computing services. All this, of course, is independent to CERN. It applies to your life at home too.

Thus, make “Computer Security” a small part of your daily life - like swimming or crossing the road. I'm not asking for a big investment. Just you subconsciously thinking of doing IT the secure way whenever you touch a keyboard, mouse or touchscreen. Also recall that in the free academic environment of CERN, “Computer Security” has been delegated to you. You are, in first instance, responsible for the computer security of the laptops, smart phones and PCs you use, the accounts and passwords you own, the files and document you hold, the programs and applications you have installed or, in particular, you have written, and the computer services and systems you manage. The Computer Security Team is ready to help you assume this responsibility. Alternatively, you can delegate that responsibility to the IT Department who provides a multitude of secured computing services.

At CERN or at home, “Computer Security” is not complete without you!

For further information, please check our web site or contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch.

Access the entire collection of Computer Security articles here.

by Computer Security Team