Servizio Comunitario di Informazione in materia di Ricerca e Sviluppo - CORDIS

Final Activity Report Summary - NESTOR (Net-enabled security through operational resilience)

The general objective of the NESTOR project was to research all critical topics for the future development of a novel, next generation network centric security system. The scientific challenges were embedded in three research topics, namely secure infrastructure, advanced use of information and decision support.

Two Marie Curie fellows were concerned with secure infrastructure. An important issue for the envisaged dynamic infrastructure was security. It was of paramount importance that only authorised services got access to sensor data and information bases. Another important issue was the accessibility of information. Information from various information bases had to be explored, correlated, fused and otherwise manipulated.

Two additional fellows focussed on the advanced use of information. It was one thing to have an infrastructure that connected heterogeneous sensor and information systems, and it was another thing to be able to use it. Many threats could be encountered by using the available information in an advanced way. One such way was advanced tracking. Threats might move in ways that were not taken into account when developing the sensors. By introducing additional, i.e. software, filters, the available sensors could be used to track a wide variety of threats. And by fusing information from multiple sensors, a better and more extensive situational picture could be achieved. By combining sensor information, intelligence information etc. essential conclusions could be drawn and enable detection of threats that would otherwise remain unnoticed.

On the other hand, the task of decision makers has nowadays become increasingly difficult. Important reasons are, for example, the great increase in scenarios' complexity, the significant increase in the number of potentially hostile objects by asymmetric threats, the reduced manning, the non-analytical character of the tasks that have to be decided about and the massive amounts of information in a network-enabled context. Tooling needs to be developed to assist decision makers. Moreover, to provide them with a good situational overview, a presentation of the situation and likely scenarios in a synthetic environment is of paramount importance. This requires advanced modelling and simulation of the world, threats, counter measures etc.

The NESTOR project achieved significant results on each of the three major research topics. The work on these topics focussed on the integral common use case, i.e. scenario, of harbour and coastal protection in the European Union. Through such a common use case, synergy between the different research topics could be achieved. And, by focussing on prototypical implementations and using demonstrations as a means to convey results, a significant impact was made.

For the secure infrastructure topic, a significant result was the combination of trusted computing and multiple independent levels of security for naval systems in the context of the NESTOR common use case. This result significantly impacted the thought on a future secure infrastructure.

Regarding the advanced use of information topic, significant results were achieved concerning the tracking of small, high speed surface targets, such as jet skis, and the use of passive multi-sensor tracking and fusion, as was illustrated by the implementation of relevant algorithms.

Finally, in terms of the decision support topic, a first significant result was the construction of an integrated application toolkit for the naval domain, taking into account the possibilities and variability of the underlying communication infrastructure. The second significant result was that of an integrated rule-based system to detect anomalies, i.e. unusual situations, in the surveillance picture and to suggest likely reasons for such anomalies. This approach could become the cornerstone for maritime situation awareness and early detection for possible threats to the safety and security situation along the coast or at sea.

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