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Securing cyberspace: Concrete results through EU research and innovation

The steady increase of cyber-attacks on ICT devices, systems and networks, along with the lack of guarantees and control over data privacy, are major concerns for citizens, industry and decision makers alike. The European Union has the ambition to be a global leader in cybersecurity, ensuring trust, confidence and protection of citizens and enterprises.

Digital Economy

This is why the Commission's proposals for the next multiannual EU budget starting in 2021 will include a European Cybersecurity Industrial, Technology and Research Competence Centre with a Network of National Coordination Centres. The purpose is to support industry and the public sector in adopting state-of-the-art security solutions made and pioneered in Europe.

Cybersecurity: Policy challenges and EU action

Through the seventh Framework Programme (FP7) and Horizon 2020 projects, the Union is focusing on areas such as cryptography, digital authentication and privacy enhancing technologies. In two years from now, the EU will have invested close to EUR 1 billion in cybersecurity and online privacy projects, be it under FP7 or Horizon 2020. Close to half of this will have been within the framework of the contractual public-private partnership on cybersecurity for the period 2017-2020.

Highlighting innovative EU research efforts

This CORDIS Results Pack showcases some of the most promising and successful of these EU-backed projects. It covers the likes of novel security frameworks and recommendations for businesses, technologies tackling issues related to increased device interdependence and networking, authentication, cryptography, innovative solutions for developers, and privacy-control tools. To companies looking for enhanced security, the MUSES project provides a device-independent corporate system that will be of particular help to businesses with a BYOD (Bring your own device) policy. Meanwhile, the RASEN project grants companies a toolbox that will enable them to combine assessment and testing of their security solutions. And the WITDOM project aimed to help answer the question "Is the cloud safe?" by developing a new security and privacy framework for outsourced data in untrusted ICT environments. Developers are not left behind either. Thanks to a kit enabling them to contemplate security by design in their new mobile applications (ASPIRE) as well as a tool capable of spotting vulnerabilities in their source code (STANCE), the creation of security-proof apps and software will now be much easier. Last but certainly not least, end users stand to benefit from two major research trends. The first is the quest for easy and secure authentication methods. ABC4TRUST, for example, focused on ease of use by reducing the need for ‘over-identification’ while not compromising on security and anonymity of the user. FUTUREID, on the other hand, fast-tracks into the future of multi-purpose electronic IDs. The second trend is directly fed by increased concerns over the privacy of our online activities. PRIVACY FLAG provides a turnkey solution to protect our privacy, whilst OPERANDO goes even further by a holistic solution to balance the needs of online service providers, privacy service providers and end-users. Finally, we see how the PQCRYPTO project has been working hard to make post-quantum cryptography a reality before any ill-intended organisation or individual can get their hands on a quantum computer enabling them to break into sensitive, encrypted data. These projects, of course, provide just a glance at what EU researchers are currently working on. The EU sees cybersecurity as a key enabler for its digital economy, and many new projects will continue to be funded over the coming years.