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FORTIKA - Cyber Security Accelerator for trusted SMEs IT Ecosystems

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FORTIKA (FORTIKA - Cyber Security Accelerator for trusted SMEs IT Ecosystems)

Reporting period: 2018-06-01 to 2020-05-31

FORTIKA addresses the issue of the ever-increasing cyber security threats as information and communications technologies evolve. Cyber-attacks are the fastest growing crime. During the last five years the average number of security breaches increased by 67%
It is proven that the vulnerability of a company is inversely proportional to its size. SMEs are typically poorly prepared to defend themselves, their digital assets and their client’s data and privacy against cyber threats compared to large enterprises.
Cybersecurity incidents cause major economic damage to European businesses and the economy at large. Such incidents undermine the trust of citizens and enterprises in the digital society. Theft of commercial trade secrets, business information and personal data, disruption of services - including essential ones - and of infrastructures results in economic losses of hundreds of billions of euros each year Cybersecurity threats may have serious consequences for citizens’ fundamental rights and for society at large. FORTIKA aimed to: (1) minimize the exposure of small and medium sized businesses to cyber security risks and threats, and (2) help them successfully respond to cyber security incidents, while relieving them from all complex and costly efforts of identifying, acquiring and using the appropriate cybersecurity solutions.
All FORTIKA objectives were achieved by the completion of the project.
FORTIKA introduced a hardware-enabled middleware security layer as add-on to existing network gateways. The project developed next generation cybersecurity services powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) for threat identification and mitigation.
Further, FORTIKA contributed to the objective to orientate small business users to trusted cybersecurity services through the FORTIKA marketplace of cybersecurity products , which allow to search and use solutions tailored for each enterprise and also accommodates security intelligence to encourage security-friendly behavioral and organizational changes.
The FORTIKA Cybersecurity framework was evaluated through five SMEs established in 4 different EU countries and operating in diverse sectors, that adopted and tested FORTIKA solution. The recommendations of the end users from the five pilot SMEs converge on a need to provide a more unattended way for installing and deploying FORTIKA solution.
The FORTIKA project concluded successfully after three years of implementation. During its lifetime the project developed in due time all anticipated deliverables (83 in total). Also the project achieved all defined Milestones (14 in total)
The project addressed the legal and ethical aspects that are relevant to its targets. The proposed business models evaluated thoroughly in terms of their legal compliance. Further, following the reviewer’s and PO’s suggestions, the project developed a methodology for a systematic translation of legal and ethical requirements into technical requirements and seamlessly incorporating them into FORTIKA products.
The main technical outcome of the project is the development of next generation cybersecurity services powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) for threat identification and mitigation. The new services are downloadable from the FORTIKA Marketplace. They deployed in a hardware-accelerated Gateway device installed at the SME premises, thus demonstrating the Edge Acceleration paradigm.
The project developed the FORTIKA marketplace of cybersecurity products, which accommodates solutions tailored for each enterprise. The Marketplace allow to search, select and download cybersecurity tools (bundles) that are deployed to the hardware-accelerated Gateway. The Marketplace offers also counter-parts of the services that run on the cloud.
The FORTIKA technology was evaluated in the frame of five pilots through five major types of SMEs, during the last year of the project.
A complete dissemination strategy was planned and realized during the project. This included a brochure issued in 6 languages, 6 newsletters and a website continuously updated. Further, we had considerable presence in social media. Several clustering events were organized with other projects. Finally, we developed 4 white papers intended for the end user societies. A total of 21 FORTIKA videos were developed. We published 49 user stories at the website .
The project developed and evaluated detailed business models for the exploitation of the results. A total of 11 independent exploitable asses resulted as outcomes of FORTIKA. Further, the consortium identified five differentiated potential FORTIKA products, which are combinations of the independent assets ranging from the Gateway alone to the holistic FORTIKA solution. The consortium elaborated and agreed on the IPR shares for all results.
Following a suggestion of the PO we elaborated on specific topics related to post project exploitation of the created assets. The results of this open discussion presented during the final review. Further, following the recommendations of the reviewers we prepared and submitted an updated and lean business plan for the exploitation of the basic FORTIKA product during the first post-project year. In the same framework, we elaborated and reported in the final management report our intentions on the patenting procedures to implement in post-project time.
FORTIKA achieved progress beyond the state of the art, in a number of technological areas. They are the following:
1. Artificial Intelligence cybersecurity algorithms developed and tested in ARM, Docker and FPGA-accelerated environments.
2. Demonstration of an intense application of the Edge Acceleration paradigm (AI on a FPGA-accelerated Gateway).
3. Demonstration of advanced Attribute Based Access Control (ABAC) policies to support BYOD/BYOT.
4. Demonstration on advanced applications for Social Engineering Attack Recognition Systems (SEARS), Risk analysis and level assessment, Real-time Network Traffic Analysis, Homomorphic encryption and Data minimization.
The FORTIKA project created:
a. A body of knowledge regarding the landscape of cybersecurity for SMEs and a sound design methodology that incorporates seamlessly the legal and ethical requirements to technical ones.
b. An operational, tested and mature technology
FORTIKA has a direct economic impact on the European cybersecurity industry and an indirect on the European economy. The commercialization of the proposed solution will generate revenues from the provision of the FORTIKA technology. In addition, 3rd party cybersecurity solution providers will see their revenues increased by selling their services through the marketplace.
FORTIKA will have positive impact on employment since it will create new jobs to the European cybersecurity industry, research organizations and higher education establishments.
FORTIKA value proposition offers to SMEs high level of cybersecurity at low cost and with a minimal effort. It allows them to concentrate their limited resources on their core operations and thrive. This affects not only the individual companies or their clients, suppliers and partners, but has a wider societal effect and particularly on the welfare of the European society being at local or at European-wide level. Not to mention the impact of security incidents on the moral of the personnel of the companies.
FORTIKA's team
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