€85 million EU cash for online safety projects; six projects already helping to keep you safe online
Date: Tue, 03/04/2014 - 19:33
Funding is available now for cyber security under the Commission’s Horizon 2020 research programme. The Commission is seeking to develop trustworthy ICT solutions guaranteeing a secure and reliable digital environment in Europe
The Internet is at the heart of our lives, so citizens and businesses need to have the same degree of confidence and trust. This is why the European Commission will be investing at least €500 million in projects dealing with cyber-security and online privacy under the new research & innovation programme, Horizon 2020
Above, press conference by Catherine Ashton and Neelie Kroes, Vice-Presidents of the EC, and Cecilia Malmström, Member of the EC, on the EU Cybersecurity plan
Horizon 2020 addresses security, trust and privacy in a coherent way from technological, economic, legal and social perspectives, helping to promote innovation and economic growth in the EU, while protecting Europe's society, economy, assets and fundamental rights. In Horizon 2020, cyber-security and online privacy can be found within two research areas: the Societal Challenges of "Inclusive, innovative and secure societies" and the Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies (LEIT) Challenge.
If you thought someone could easily break into your house to steal your money, your identity card or your confidential documents, would you feel safe at home? No. What about online?
The Internet is at the heart of our lives, so citizens and businesses need to have the same degree of confidence and trust. This is why the European Commission will be investing at least €500 million in projects dealing with cyber-security and online privacy under the new research & innovation programme, Horizon 2020. As you can see from the projects below, €350 million have already been invested in this strategic field, and €85 million are available this year.
The projects tackle various challenges, from ensuring that you can use applications anonymously to guaranteeing that the components of your smartphone are genuine. Partners such as research institutes, companies large and small from all over Europe are involved and share their expertise to make our connected continent more secure.
And here are 6 European projects already helping to improve trust & security online.
1. Secure social network & anonymous course evaluation. Pupils of Norrtullskolan secondary school in Soderhamn, Sweden, can exchange information online and discuss with a counsellor or a nurse while their privacy is protected via an anonymous authentication. In Greece, at the University of Athens, students can give their feedback on a course knowing they cannot be identified. At the same time, the university is able to confirm that a student is eligible to participate. These pilot applications allowing youngsters to express themselves freely are made possible by ABC4Trust. This project works on Attribute-based Credentials (ABC) which allow a holder to reveal just the minimal information required by an application, without giving away full identity information.
2. One protection network for several mobile devices. Protection of mobile devices from Internet threats is usually achieved by installing appropriate tools (e.g. anti-virus, personal firewall, parental control) on each device. However, this poses several issues: users need to have access to all devices which need protection, appropriate protection tools may not exist on all the platforms or their capabilities may vary greatly across the different devices, and tools may consume too many resources. The SECURED project proposes an innovative architecture to achieve protection by offloading execution of security applications into a programmable device at the edge of the network, such as a home gateway or an enterprise router. So that all the mobile devices used in a company or in a house can be easily protected from online threats.
3. “Unclonable” genuine hardware. Hardware – the fixed parts that make up computers, smartphones, tablets, etc. – is key for security. Nowadays, there are growing concerns about counterfeiting or cloning of hardware components and the threat of “Hardware Trojans” or hidden functions in integrated circuits. The HINT project addresses these challenges with novel technologies to guarantee that a hardware system is a genuine and non-modified one.
4. An innovative biometric accessory for smartphone. The PCAS project is developing a Secured Personal Device (SPD) which will allow users to securely store their data and share them with trusted applications. The SPD will recognise its user using multiple biometric sensors, including a stress level sensor to detect coercion. Using the same biometric authentication, the SPD will be able to enforce secure communication with servers in the cloud, relieving the user from memorising passwords. The SPD will take the form of a smartphone add-on that draws power from the smartphone and uses its communication services.
5. The benefits of the project will be demonstrated with two use cases: electronic health and university campus access control.
6. Technologies to auto-evaluate online security. The Trust in Digital Life (TDL) community, formed by leading industry partners and institutes, considers that trustworthy ICT solutions must become a commodity enforced by citizens and law. TDL community encourages the industry to develop innovative and affordable technologies, enabling consumers and enterprises to judge for themselves if their devices, applications and services are trustworthy enough to protect them from Internet threats.
7. Towards a European Advanced Cyber Defence Centre. ACDC is a pilot project whose aim is to set up a European "Advanced Cyber Defence Centre" to fight botnets, a specific type of powerful cyber threats. With 28 partners from 14 countries, ACDC sets up a central data clearing house and provides a complete set of solutions accessible online for mitigating on-going attacks. This unique network fosters extensive sharing of information across Member States to improve the early detection of botnets and creates an open community of knowledge in the field of cybersecurity.