Navigating the Tightrope: Research Security in International Collaboration 



In academia and innovation, the integrity and security of research not only propel the boundaries of knowledge but also safeguard the interests of national security. Strider, through its meticulous gathering of open-source data and strategic intelligence, stands at the forefront of ensuring that research institutes thrive in a complex landscape with security at the core of their efforts. 

Research Security as National Security 

The interconnectedness of global research initiatives has undeniably spurred innovation at an unprecedented scale. However, this openness has also introduced vulnerabilities that foreign entities, governments, or individuals exploit, casting a shadow over the integrity of research endeavors. The U.S. government's growing apprehension towards such influences underscores a crucial equilibrium—one where research security and international collaboration must coexist without compromising the other. 

Instances of these concerns range widely, from the inadvertent sharing of proprietary information and intellectual property to the non-disclosure of substantial foreign support. These are not mere administrative oversights but potential breaches of national security. Thus, ensuring research integrity is more critical now than ever, demanding a vigilant and proactive stance against such influences. 

Many Faces of Research Security Breaches

The National Science Foundation (NSF) regularly provides examples of the various types of research security breaches to highlight the myriad ways they occur and bolster efforts to identify and mitigate these threats. Below are two case studies NSF recently shared: 

Case Study 1 

A striking example involves an NSF-funded principal investigator who, unbeknownst to their U.S. organization, participated in a foreign talent program while holding a faculty position abroad. This case escalated when the investigator failed to disclose foreign affiliations and funding, a requirement by NSF's standards. The repercussions were severe—suspension of awards, resignation, and eventual government-wide debarment. This case underscores the critical need for transparency and adherence to funding guidelines. 

Case Study 2 

Another case saw a professor exploiting federal grants for research already conducted overseas. The breach involved not just the misallocation of funds but also an active effort to obstruct investigations by submitting falsified documentation. The subsequent criminal conviction of the professor highlights the rigorous measures taken to uphold research integrity and security. 

Using Data to Protect Data 

At Strider, our approach to safeguarding research and fostering secure international collaborations is rooted in strategic intelligence. This intelligence is sourced from a comprehensive collection of critical open-source data, which is then augmented by proprietary data processing methodologies. Our suite of products and services is tailored to preemptively identify and mitigate risks, ensuring the integrity of your research endeavors. 


Ranger stands as our flagship offering, empowering organizations to discern and protect against pursuits by foreign governments. It identifies which of your technologies and research topics are at risk of being targeted by foreign governments. It also illuminates any connections to sanctioned, restricted, or state-owned entities your employees—including researchers—may have. With Ranger, you can ensure individuals working on specific research have disclosed appropriate information and connections beforehand.   


Sentry facilitates instantaneous due diligence, screening for potential state-sponsored risks among researchers and visitors. Its sophisticated identification process illuminates connections that might pose security risks in areas including restricted government and military entities, as well as industry and education associations. 

Supply Chain Intelligence 

Supply Chain Intelligence allows organizations to conduct third-party due diligence for security risks before collaboration and partnership. It reveals connections that third-party partners may have with restricted or high-risk entities, including foreign government, defense, research, or military organizations. 


Shield is an email security tool that offers protection against covert attempts by state-sponsored actors to solicit your researchers and employees. By providing an ever-growing list of verified email addresses, domain names, and key words directly linked to such actors, you can be alerted when anyone in your organization is approached. 


In an era when the geopolitics of research security are continually evolving, Strider helps research institutes be better equipped to safely navigate state-sponsored risk with critical strategic intelligence. Reach out to a Strider representative today to see how you can better enhance security in your organization.