Cybersecurity Initiatives: The EU’s CONCORDIA
CONCORDIA is Europe’s largest cybersecurity consortium, funded by the EU Commission’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program. Amongst its aims and those of three other EU cybersecurity initiatives it works with, are to pilot a European Cybersecurity Competance Network and create a common European Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Roadmap.
Accelerating cybersecurity research and collaboration for a more secure digital Europe
The consortium, which began in January 2019, is a collaboration across Europe to “accelerate cybersecurity research” encourage cybersecurity collaboration between both industry and academia, pool expertise, overcome industry fragmentation, and create a shared cybersecurity ecosystem and a more secure digital Europe.
It has 55 partners including universities and organizations from 19 countries. It began this year with 42 partners and is planned as a four-year cybersecurity project. Some of CONCORDIA’s other goals include closing the gender gap in the cybersecurity industry and quantifying cybersecurity’s value in order to communicate with stakeholders, decision makers, and cyber insurance companies. It’s also working to raise cyber security awareness and increase cybersecurity competence, it liaises with other bodies and agencies, and can provide counselling and funding to cybersecurity startups.
The other three cybersecurity initiatives funded by the EU are ECHO, SPARTA, and Cybersecurity for Europe.
Collaboration and awareness are key to cybersecurity success
Cybersecurity collaboration and consortiums of this nature are vital to the fight against cybercrime, improving cybersecurity and preventing data breaches. Individual cybersecurity companies and those companies taking the brunt of cyberattacks can learn from every threat. Sharing threats and responses can mean every business is better protected and that cybersecurity technology is better for everyone. And, with the pace of digital transformation, the development of emerging technologies and the move to the cloud, attack surfaces get broader and threats become greater and more sophisticated daily.
– Engage your staff with scenario-based security awareness training or “In-the-Moment” training.
Ericsson joins CONCORDIA and aims to confront new threats from 5G and IoT development
One particular threat on the agenda of CONCORDIA is the development of 5G networks and the resulting growth of IoT device deployment. A key collaborator, Ericsson, has shared this week why it has joined the consortium “which has a mission to establish an EU-integrated cybersecurity ecosystem for digital sovereignty in Europe.”
Ericsson joined CONCORDIA last year and is now “working proactively on many levels to maintain and develop the security and reliability of telecom networks.” With CONCORDIA and a number of mobile network operators Ericsson is developing a “telco threat intelligence platform” and pilot that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning for “detecting, sharing and exchanging threats in 5G networks, and enable intelligent processing of ML/AI threat information and privacy-preserving ML/AI.” Ericsson adds:
“This major pilot is being launched to address the cybersecurity questions that will inevitably arise – from both a political and technological perspective – as our society becomes increasingly digitalized and connected.”
5G and the development of widescale IoT usage is a very serious new cybersecurity threat. Ericsson writes:
“5G will enable massive deployment of IoT networks, potentially inviting large-scale attacks which naturally need to be prevented. Hence, one of Ericsson’s main interests in CONCORDIA is researching machine learning (ML)-assisted technical solutions for efficient prevention and detection of malware and botnets in mobile networks.”
In a 5G network, as in corporate networks, malware and botnets can “roam” so “real-time data including threat intelligence information needs to be shared between telco companies so others can take proactive measures against attacks.”
The telco collaboration will also investigate how to process Indicator of Compromise (IoC) data that is shared by Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) platforms in order to disseminate the information and deploy it quickly for the right industry. Telecommunications systems threats may be different to banking threats, for example. The pilot also aims to aid a move to data privacy and reduce data breaches, it adds:
“The telco pilot also considers cases where service/content providers collect information in violation to privacy legislations like GDPR e.g. without user consent. Information about such service/content providers could be rapidly propagated via CTI platforms so that consumers or privacy agents can take measures to prevent information from being leaked.”
Ericsson and its telco project partners have chosen to use CTI platform MISP, which is financed by the EU, to develop its “European Threat Intelligence Pilot” which will share telco threat intelligence. There are similar pilots planned for the financial and insurance sectors.
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