Under Attack

Just like any other organization, CERN is permanently under attack - even right now. Attackers seek to:

  • Deface CERN's Web sites;
  • Break into CERN's Web servers or into our computing services;
  • Abuse CERN computing accounts, e.g., sending spam;
  • Find confidential or sensitive information, such as that made accidentally public by CERN users who fail to protect their information properly.

Moreover viruses and worms sneak into the CERN office network - brought in by infected laptops, through malicious emails or Web sites - and then try to spread their infection to other computers.

Consequently it's important to be vigilant about security risks, protecting CERN's reputation - and your work. The availability, integrity and confidentiality of CERN's computing services and the unhindered operation of its accelerators and experiments come down to the combined efforts of the CERN Security Team and you.

The CERN Computer Security Team

Our mandate is to:

  • Minimize both the likelihood and impact of security events;
  • Prevent and protect CERN against digital attacks;
  • Maintain premium detection and response capabilities.

The Computer Security Team has to find the right balance between CERN's academic environment, the operation of its accelerators and experiments, and security.

Your Responsibility for Security

CERN's academic environment means freedom of choice and freedom of communication. As a user, you can choose which type of computer to use, what operating system to run, the applications to install, which programming language to use and what data to store, among others.

However, while this academic freedom makes for a very dynamic and innovative environment with new systems and services being deployed all the time, it also significantly increases security risks in our computing.

You, as a CERN user, have to make your contribution to computer security: You are responsible for the security and protection of your computers, the operating systems you run, the application you install, the software you program, the data you own - and the services and systems you manage.

Assistance & Support

The Computer Security Team is ready to help you, if you have any questions or would like advice.

This Web site provides the Computing Rules you have to follow as well as recommendations & in-depth help. In addition, the Security Team provides you with training material & sessions and a list of security services. Reports & presentations give a separate view on the team's work.

In the academic environment at CERN, not everything can be prevented, protected or detected. You are an essential partner in helping to secure our computing environment.

At CERN, security is not complete without you.