EU Ploughs $500 Million into Cybersecurity R&D

EU Ploughs $500 Million into Cybersecurity R&D

The European Commission is set to plough €450 million ($500m) into a new public-private partnership designed to encourage the development of innovative new cyber security products.

The initiative comes under the remit of the EU’s research and innovation program Horizon 2020, with security “market players” – represented by the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) – set to contribute three times the amount pledged by the Commission.

Details remain vague at the moment but the plan is to spur co-operation between governments, research centres, private sector and academia to build out security solutions for various sectors including health, energy and finance.

The European Commission is also looking at improving cross-border co-operation in the event of a major cyber incident; developing a Europe-wide certification framework for ICT security products; and making it easier for start-ups to access finance to scale-up operations.

It’s unclear whether the UK organizations will benefit from these schemes, although the country’s status within the block is still technically unchanged until it triggers Article 50. The UK is also still contributing around £170m per week to Brussels, once one takes into account rebates and money coming the other way.

Securing online identities and protecting cloud infrastructure are just some of the suggestions made by the Commission on where the €450m in funding should go.

But Venafi chief security strategists, Kevin Bocek, argued that other areas should be considered.

“They need to recognize the need to secure the identities of machines, software, devices and the foundation of the internet itself, not just people,” he said. “Already software dwarfs the human population and knowing what is good or bad friend or foe when it comes to machines, software, devices will be only more important. We have to stop applying our anthropomorphic thinking, and think like those that want to threaten our way of life and economy in the 21st century.” 

The way in which entities trust the internet has not changed in over 20 years, but with keys and certificates increasingly being used and abused by the black hats, more focus is needed on developing solutions in this area, Bocek added.

“It is critical that government and business now look to strengthen the foundation, building in an immune system to protect us to know what is good or bad, friend or foe, and take immediate action to fix and repair when needed,” he concluded.

Source: Information Security Magazine