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Cyber security cOmpeteNCe fOr Research anD InnovAtion

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - CONCORDIA (Cyber security cOmpeteNCe fOr Research anD InnovAtion)

Reporting period: 2020-07-01 to 2021-12-31

Europe needs to step up its efforts and strengthen its very own security capacities to secure its digital society, economy, and democracy. It is time to reconquer Europe’s digital sovereignty and autonomy to prevent that Europe turns into a digital colony. The vision for Europe is to build digital ecosystems by joining forces across Europe’s research, industry and public sector and to include all human assets. The area of cybersecurity is geographically fragmented across Europe for competences, and often also technically fragmented with problem specific development of security solutions. Europe needs to build its own IT champions out of digital ecosystems. CONCORDIA addresses this by building a European secure, resilient and trusted ecosystem for innovation in the area of cybersecurity. CONCORDIA has currently officially accepted more than 50 partners, balanced from industry and research. The new partners complement even better the competences provided by CONCORDIA. Building the ecosystem means to understand that all stakeholders have their KPIs, bridging among them, and fostering the development of European IT products and solutions along the whole supply chain. A uniqueness of CONCORDIA is that new partners joining the project bring their own resources which are not EU-funded. CONCORDIA is providing a blueprint for building digital ecosystems, bridging between communities, foster growth of IT champions to assure that Europe is gaining its digital sovereignty. Even more, Europe should strive for becoming a digital power.
CONCORDIA started on 1/1/2019. All work packages (WPs) run in parallel and we will briefly describe the main results and highlights. More information can be found on the website. WP1 aims at building a European secure, resilient and trusted ecosystem for innovation in the area of cybersecurity. CONCORDIA published more than 250 papers exceeding the initial objective. Close collaboration with the 3 pilots led to the organization of schools on cybersecurity. Partners also contributed to the organization of 38 and participation of 91 conferences and workshops, and contributed to 3 Internet RFCs and 1 Internet draft. WP2 comprises 5 sector specific “pilots”. Threat Intelligence Platform (TIP) for the telecom sector and the finance sector, privacy and security in the e-health sector, security of unmanned aerial systems and cybersecurity in the supply chain of the automotive sector. WP2 successfully established collaborations with WP1 cybersecurity experts. Collaborations have also been set up with WP3 which deals with the community impact and sustainability. The WP3 has established the groundwork for information sharing of cyber threats. The cross-sector pilots TIP is progressing and the architecture of the DDoS Clearing House is in place. A significant outcome was the establishment of the legal data sharing agreement that will form the blueprint for the broader agreement needed for effective deployment at the EU level. Cyber range platforms and training offerings have been created to form a cybersecurity ecosystem to foster cyber security trainings. The EU's educational portfolio has been assessed to develop the initial methodology for creating cybersecurity courses and an associated certification schema. WP4 provided an overview of the cybersecurity threat landscape, and also provided an outlook of emerging threats and evolving attacks from various perspectives (technological, legal and economic). WP4 created working groups and established liaisons with the relevant stakeholders to develop and implement a cybersecurity roadmap for Europe. WP4 has produced the CONCORDIA service catalog as a main entry point for a stakeholder to engage with CONCORDIA. The CONCORDIA Open Door events have attracted the attention of stakeholders from all over Europe. The important subject of Women in Cybersecurity has shown significant advances with the organization of a dedicated workshop which produced the “Women in Cyber-a Manifesto for TODAY”. WP5 produced preliminary results on exploitation, dissemination, communication, certification and standardization. Several key achievements of the consortium were fulfilled: (a) collect available and reachable incubators/accelerators, (b) disseminate the various activities of the consortium, (c) identification of the connection between CONCORDIA tasks and existing standards. WP6 had many heavy and stressful tasks to accomplish due to the large numbers of partners (currently 56) to better complement the competencies provided. Careful governance processes led to the achievements like (i) Fast growth, (ii) Knowledge transfer, (iii) Building the Cybersecurity Community and (iv) Women in Cyber. WP6 also produced (and regularly updates) the Data Management Plan and also analyzed the existing best practices in innovation management which will be organized in several iterations placed in a concentric spiral model. The respective Data Management Plan is updated with the information from new partners.
Major CONCORDIA state of the art advances and innovations are:
WP1 brings together partners from academia and industry to stimulate collaboration and increase the impact of European research. From the publications so far it seems that CONCORDIA researchers and their work is focused on venues where security is applied within a specific context. This focus. is a strong indicator that CONCORDIA research is inspired by, and wants to have impact on, real-world security problems.
Major advances in WP2 include the establishment of a customized TIP for sector-specific pilots. The e-health pilot focuses on privacy and data protection in the health sector, while another pilot showcases the authentication of unmanned aerial systems. Each of the aforementioned pilots succeeded in presenting a first prototypical demonstrator and establishing a well-working collaboration with the researchers.
WP3 utilizes WP1’s technology developments and WP2’s industry pilots. Through its activities (TIP and DDoS Clearing House) WP3 has set the basis to reinforce Europe’s cybersecurity leadership.. WP3 is also trying to develop an EU-wide cybersecurity educational ecosystem and also support them by the appropriate certification schema.
The final outcome of WP4 will be something like a “one-stop-shop” threat landscape suitable for awareness and information exchange initiatives. The innovation advancement includes that all these technological issues are also viewed from the legal perspective and the economic perspective. WP4 also provides a detailed catalog of CONCORDIA services.
WP5 with its exploitation and certification results complements other WPs to maximize their impact. To further advance the value of the results incubators and accelerators have been identified and information was collected for each one of them. On the certification front, a number of standards developing organizations has been identified and we advance all this information by providing our own certification schema.
WP6 created an advanced Data Management Plan based on information provided by the CONCORDIA partners. The innovation related task is developing a unique innovation strategy for CONCORDIA by deeply understanding the Specific challenges of the cybersecurity market, the diversity of the stakeholders, the cultural differences, the dynamics of relationships that have a direct impact on trust and, the threats that can emerge from data sharing