Last year, just before Christmas, we announced the arrival of new protective means for your computer (“A new bonbon to protect you”): endpoint protection and anti-malware (called “anti-virus” in the ancient IT past). In addition to the new outer perimeter firewall, email protection appliances and the upcoming deployment of two-factor authentication for certain people (“Multifactor for the masses”), running decent anti-malware software on your Windows or Apple computer is considered best practice in order to protect your files, folders, documents and data. And as of now, after a roller coaster of technical finesses, CERN is offering you that bonbon: a new, sophisticated anti-malware appliance free to download to your Windows or Apple computer at CERN or at home.
One major attack vector against the Organization involves end-user devices, namely your laptops, PCs, smartphones and tablets. By getting you to click on just one malicious link or open one malicious attachment, the attacker might succeed in installing malware on your device. Malware that will then spy on your activity and actions. Enabling your microphone and camera. Logging your every keystroke and mouse movement – including your CERN and other passwords! Exfiltrating photos and documents. Eventually encrypting all your files and folders (the so-called “ransomware attack”). The device ends up under the full control of the attacker. And your personal digital life, gone.
In order to protect the Organization and your devices that are connected to CERN’s networks, a series of protective measures have been deployed. Firewalls and network segregation. Spam filtering and quarantining appliances. Single-Sign On and two-factor authentication. The next bonbon for your protection is now ready: new anti-virus/anti-malware software for your Windows or Apple computer, free to download from the CERN app store for Windows (“ESET Endpoint Security”) or via the Mac Self-Service (“ESET Endpoint Antivirus”). It can be installed on any Windows or Mac computer you own, including those used for teleworking. The only conditions are that you must be affiliated with CERN as a member of the personnel and hold an eligible CERN computing account. With that account, you can enrol your device(s) with the CERN/Microsoft Windows app store or the Mac Self-Service, respectively, and install the corresponding installation package (“ESET…”). The installation includes a “CERN software” agent that keeps track of licence usage (as someone still has to pay for that anti-malware software). The anti-malware licence is valid for the current calendar year and must be renewed for each subsequent year (again using the CERN app store or Mac Self-Service, respectively). Please note that owners of CERN “CMF” centrally managed Windows PCs and laptops don’t need to do anything. Their devices will get this anti-malware plus additional endpoint protection automatically installed as of the first half of 2023, including full support by the IT department’s CD (Compute and Devices) group.
So, ready we are. A new bonbon to protect your PC, laptop or MacBook. Now it’s up to you to better protect your files, folders, documents and data. To protect your digital life and to protect the Organization. Just install that bonbon and you’ll be fine.
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 our website or contact us at Computer.Security@cern.ch.