CERN joins global trust group protecting research & education infrastructures from cyberthreats

10 Nov 2021 | Network Updates | Update from CERN
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SAFER is a new operational security trust group focused on fighting computer misuse and defending the academic, research, and education mission as a global community.

SAFER (Security Assistance For Education & Research), is a group of independent security professionals that is fully member-driven. It was founded by Research and Education (R&E) security experts joining forces, and is supported by their respective organizations, including CERNDFN-CERTESETESnetLBNLSTFC and WLCG.


Most R&E organizations do not have the resources or expertise to manage threats arising from international criminal organizations or nation states.

SAFER builds on the decades of experience its members have in building international cooperation, sharing information, and operating across borders in order to solve complex human and technical challenges. Defending R&E services and people as a global community is the only way forward.

Existing security groups provide invaluable services to their constituencies and operational security support within their circle of action. However, since attacks are global we need a concerted and global effort to connect these groups. Until now, central coordination of global attacks, a critical component for the successful resolution of security incidents, was everyone’s business but nobody’s job.


SAFER aims to provide systematic, comprehensive, enduring, and truly global incident response and threat intelligence sharing capabilities for the R&E sector as a whole. It does so by liaising with R&E communities worldwide and fostering collaboration on the operational security issues affecting them all. Building on top of a secure communications platform, help to other organizations could take the form of:

  • sharing threat intelligence to support daily security operations
  • providing informal emergency incident response assistance between members
  • offering members’ unique or rare security expertise to support an investigation

SAFER does not accept applications for membership: new candidates are nominated by their peers within the trust group, those who are actively working with them to defend the R&E sector against malicious actors. The best way of being nominated to become a member is to make meaningful contributions in the operational security area of the R&E sector and become a recognized, valued, and trusted individual by the trust group peers.

Additional details are available at SAFER members annually elect a steering group, which oversees the services operated by SAFER, ensures SAFER is best positioned to fulfil its mission and follow its core values, aims at maintaining the highest level of trust in and within the group, as well as between members. The SAFER steering group can be reached at [email protected].

Do you want to learn more about computer security incidents and issues at CERN? Follow our Monthly Report. For further information, questions or help, check CERN Computer Security website or contact [email protected].

This article was first published on October 28 by CERN.

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