In this context, security and dependability are absolutely vital if all stakeholders, including companies and consumers, are to adopt new technologies. To ensure continued developments in the area of information communication technologies (ICT), the European Commission has supported the SecurIST project, a European-wide taskforce charged with establishing the Strategic Research Agenda for ICT Security and Dependability research and development in Europe for 2007 – 2013.
"The project should provide Europe with a clear European level view of the strategic opportunities, strengths, weakness and threats in the area of Security and Dependability," says Jim Clarke,co-ordinator of SecurIST and programme manager at the Waterford Institute of Technology in Ireland. "It will identify priorities for Europe and mechanisms to effectively focus efforts on those priorities, identifying instruments for delivering on those priorities and a coherent time frame for delivery."
The project has established an EU-based security and dependability taskforce with Europe's leading security and dependability experts. It will create a roadmap and ICT strategy to take Europe beyond 2010 and leverage the knowledge base created by past, current and future researchers and projects in the security and dependability domains.
The establishment of the taskforce was a daunting task made somewhat more manageable by splitting the work into a series of linked workgroups called Initiatives. These Initiatives look at different areas like security policy, application security, dependability and trust, identity and privacy, digital asset management and biometrics, amongst others, all linked to a broader Initiative on methods, standards and certification across all the domains.
"While many of them are quite focused, there is an overarching initiative called Security Research Initiative, which is examining the work of all the initiatives in order to ensure there are no gaps or overlaps. These working groups generate quite detailed challenges and the priorities which, from their perspective, the roadmap and the Strategic Research Agenda (SRA) should address," says Clarke.
The 200+ researchers in the specific Initiatives of the taskforce are greatly complemented by a core Advisory Board of key EU experts in security and dependability, whose role is to oversee, advise, enhance and promote the work of the security and dependability taskforce.
Recently, based upon the earlier work of the Initiatives and a number of key workshops, the Advisory Board published its recommendations for a security and dependability research framework, a key step in the project's work. These recommendations are challenging because they address so many stakeholders: researchers, policymakers, technology and service companies and, of course, consumers.
"Empowerment of the citizen is vital as there is a clear technological trend towards the decentralization of technology and its management and control. Current centralized control structures need to be enhanced, or perhaps even replaced, since security and risk management considerations, identity theft for example, in fact, imply that responsibility, authority and control have to move more towards the end user," the Advisory board writes.
It's a goal made all the more difficult given Europe's broad cultural mix. "Europe has a very particularly, yet heterogeneous culture, history and set of attitudes to trust and society," the board continues. "The European Information Society will have the possibility to compete successfully with information societies in other countries if, and only if, Europe-specific needs are taken into account and actively addressed by technological and socio-technical research projects in a structured manner."
User focused and Europe-specific responses to the security and dependability challenge are just two of nine key areas in the project’s work. Others include issues like infrastructure robustness, interoperability or methods for aiding the development of more secure and dependable systems seamlessly from the very first stages of any system design.
Another key area is the security and dependability for a service-oriented architecture, a software design philosophy that focuses on small, reusable programs that can perform one function well. The particularly attractive novelty of this architecture is that these functions can be combined on the fly in real time to fulfil all sorts of useful services, without the costly development of large software programs. It will change the software development and promises to unlock prosperity from new services.
Another key issue is the development of enabling technologies for security. "Underlying all these is the need to provide higher assurance of trusted communication and handling of digital information. The two fundamental sciences and technologies are (a) cryptology and (b) trusted functionality and computing," says Clarke. "Cryptology ensures the protection of information stored or in transit outside a trusted area. The trusted functionality creates and maintains that trusted area, and ensures that information is handled within it as intended, and that the cryptographic processes are correctly executed. Security protocols establish and maintain trusted communication between trusted areas."
Tara Morris | alfa
Stable magnetic bit of three atoms
21.09.2017 | Sonderforschungsbereich 668
Drones can almost see in the dark
20.09.2017 | Universität Zürich
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!
When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...
For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.
Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...
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