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Global Encryption Day – 21 October 2021

Global Encryption day

Increasing the use of end-to-end encrypted platforms not only keeps individuals and organisations safe from cyber criminals, but also improves the security of the internet as a whole. On Global Encryption Day, the Global Encryption Coalition (GEC) aims to encourage people from all over the world to ‘Make the Switch’ to end-to-end encrypted platforms to help create a safer, more secure internet for everyone.

For research and education, high-quality encryption is a fundamental element to empower the R&E community to enable it to work with sensitive data and helping create an innovative and trusted information ecosystem.

Erik Huizer, CEO of GÉANT comments: “In order to be able to ensure online security, encryption must be available for everyone and be indisputably trustworthy. GÉANT supports research on encryption and the use of encryption wherever possible. For example, by making certificate services accessible, and providing high-end open-source VPN solutions and federated identity services.”

Examples of these include:

  • eduVPN, where the R&E community is provided with a more secure access to public and private networks.
  • eduroam, which uses end-to-end encryption to protect user identities whilst authentication access to roaming wifi services.
  • eduGAIN, an initiative that enables the trustworthy exchange of information between service providers and research and education institutions or other identity providers.
  • InAcademia, an initiative that allows students to use federated identity to prove that they are students without having the need to share personal data with commercial providers.
  • The MyAcademicID Identity and Access Management Service provides Identity and Federated access management for the services of the European Student Card Initiative and the services directly supporting the digitisation of Erasmus+.

Digital Certificates are crucial to provide trusted relationships. GÉANT supports the provision of digital certificates to R&E through its Trusted Certificate Service (TCS), where we take advantage of a bulk purchasing arrangements so that participating national research and education networking organisations (NRENs) may issue unlimited numbers of certificates provided by a commercial Certificate Authority at a significantly reduced price.

Together these services provide tools and frameworks to support the need for encryption and privacy in research and education.