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Integrated Framework for Predictive and Collaborative Security of Financial Infrastructures

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FINSEC (Integrated Framework for Predictive and Collaborative Security of Financial Infrastructures)

Reporting period: 2019-11-01 to 2021-04-30

FINSEC (Integrated Framework for Predictive and Collaborative Security of Financial Infrastructures) is a flagship project which will develop, demonstrate and bring to market an integrated, intelligent, collaborative and predictive approach to the security of critical infrastructures in the financial sector. The infrastructures of the financial sector are nowadays more critical, sophisticated and interconnected than ever before, which makes them increasingly vulnerable to security attacks. Despite increased awareness, most security measures remain fragmented and static and are thus inappropriate for confronting sophisticated and asymmetric attacks. FINSEC considers the critical infrastructures of the financial sector as large-scale cyber-physical systems, which must be protected based on a holistic approach that considers both physical security risks and cyber-security risks, along with their interrelationships, interactions and cascading effects across the financial services supply chain. FINSEC will introduce a novel, standards-based and integrated Reference Architecture for combined cyber and physical security of critical infrastructures in the financial services industry.
The work started with the analysis of stakeholder requirements and the specification of reference use cases, the analysis of the pilot scenarios and the methodology for executing those pilots and the review of the regulatory and legal requirements that financial institutions are required to comply with. The initial specification of the FINSTIX Data Model allows a structured language for describing cyber and physical threat information so it can be shared, stored, and analysed in a consistent manner. The specification of the FINSEC Reference Architecture was also detailed.
The common goal was to customize the technologies from each task to work in the Financial Service context and to collaborate in order to provide a set of security services from the perspective of an integrated platform. The FINSEC Big Data Infrastructure was realized and then specifically designed to be hosted in the cloud in order to work seamlessly with the other applications of the Reference Architecture to enable the delivery of security services based on the SECaaS paradigm. Furthermore, the first integrated version of FINSEC Platform, Services and Tools, including its full set of features, its architecture and relation to the general FINSEC RA, its platform technology stack, its detailed documentation were built.
The first wave of development, deployment, test and assessment of all the project pilots has been performed, after its detailed planning. These activities also involved different stakeholders’ workshops in order to support a collaborative security assessment process.
The first version of Market Platform implementation has been developed. In order to do it, the architecture and technical specifications were defined and the initial content.
Communication and dissemination plans and strategy were defined, and FINSEC social media accounts and website created and managed. Templates and support communication material have been produced; a special attention was given to the organisation and participation of conferences and workshops, with stakeholders both from a financial and academic background, as well as to the planning and publications of academic papers. Engaging with relevant stakeholders, policy makers and standard bodies has been done, as part of standardisation and policy making activities. Templates for the business model of the FINSEC platform and exploitation fiches have been generated, while IPR agreement and second year exploitation activities have been planned. Finally, it was created a cluster of H2020 CIP project, with the definition of a liaison plan, covering technical, scientific, communication and commercial aspects.
Finally, relevant opinions for research with humans were collected, including both the opinions of the competent committees within organisations hosting pilot activities and an ethics clearance at project level from the Ethics Committee of NRS. A deliverable that contains the name, contact details and a short CV of each Data Protection Officer (DPO) of FINSEC partners involved in data collection and/or handling was produced. Finally, a deliverable with the declaration on compliance for collecting and processing personal data was produced, including statements from the designated DPO and FINSEC data protection/privacy impact assessment (DPIA). In the context of pilot activities, an information sheet was produced about the data treatment process, which was distributed among the workshops participants; moreover, a consent form on the same topic was prepared and signed by the attendees.
Among the main results achieved, there is the creation of a set of specifications for the FINSEC architecture and framework covering the approach for integrated, collaborative and predictive security that is feeding the work done in the technical Work Packages, and integrated models of physical and cyber assets and their relationships, including a proposal for the overall FINSEC Data Model (FINSTIX) were realized. The integrated model covering both cyber and physical is further elaborated and shows how STIX can be extended respecting the requirements that relate to physical infrastructure as well. In addition, it was realized an approach for predictive security analytics combining both the algorithmic approaches and the architecture to support the analytics process. The main expected result until the end of the project is the introduction of a novel, standards-based Reference Architecture for combined cyber and physical security of critical infrastructures in the financial services industry. This reference architecture will be integrated, as it will consider critical infrastructures as cyber-physical systems, while integrating technologies and measures for cyber and physical security. It will be driven by standards for cyber security and physical security in general (e.g. ISO 27000 and ISO 28000) and financial services standards (e.g. ISO/TC 68/SC 2). Mechanism for intelligent and adaptive monitoring and data collection will be defined taking in account the physical-cyber security context. The FINSEC consortium is aware of the ethical implications of the proposed research and pays specific attention to ethical, legal and societal issues. It will design and develop FINSEC system with a clear methodology to preserve the privacy of people and their fundamental rights and values and to properly address any issue or concerns in relation to such rights and values. The FINSEC consortium will respects the ethical rules and standards reflected in HORIZON 2020 and in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and will conform to the applicable regulatory framework13, including 1) Current Legislation and Regulations in the country where the research will be carried out, 2) European Legislation, and 3) International Conventions and Declarations.
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