by Justina Bieliauskaite (European DIGITAL SME Alliance), Agi Karyda, Stephan Krenn (AIT Austrian Institute of Technology), Erkuden Rios (Tecnalia) and George Suciu Jr (BEIA Consult)
While highly secure and privacy-friendly solutions for sensitive domains are being developed by numerous publicly funded projects, many of them never make it into the real world. TRUSTEE is a network of projects that aims at increasing the visibility of leading-edge technologies by providing interested customers with a single contact point.
Over the last two decades, cloud services have made their way into all domains in information and communication technologies, and are still one of the major growing areas in that market. However, for sensitive domains like eHealth, eGovernment, or eFinance, the as-a-service outsourcing paradigm comes with intrinsic security and privacy problems, including: secure message transfer, secure storage, data processing, and (metadata) privacy, identity and access management and secure hardware and infrastructures.
Many national and transnational research initiatives – including but not limited to the European Commission’s FP7 or H2020 research programmes – are actively supporting a huge variety of research and innovation projects dedicated to developing solutions to these challenges. However, many of the solutions have not yet made it into the real world; in fact, even promising and mature approaches often do not achieve the visibility and prevalence they might deserve.
The reasons for this state of affairs are multifold, including the complexity and lack of standardisation of many techniques, the large amount of background knowledge that is required to correctly deploy them, and the “hidden” added value of security solutions, which are usually non-functional . Furthermore, the skills and competences are spread across a large number of experts, without a central contact point that potential customers could consult with their needs, interests, and challenges. Even more, the service offers by different, potentially competing, research initiatives are often not accessible in a centralised way, making it hard to even get an idea of the available solutions, techniques, methods, and their maturity levels.
The ambition of TRUSTEE (daTa pRivacy and cloUd SecuriTy clustEr Europe) [L1] is to consolidate the distributed and fragmented nature of ongoing European research initiatives and to serve as a central contact point for software vendors, customers, research colleagues, and decision makers who are interested in leading-edge security technologies and solutions. TRUSTEE is a network of 11 research projects funded by the European Union that was established within the Common Dissemination Booster initiative. The cluster is coordinated by AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH, and currently consists of the following projects: CREDENTIAL, MUSA, PRISMACLOUD, SecureCloud, SERECA, SPECS, SUNFISH, SWITCH, TREDISEC, UNICORN, and WITDOM, which are all performing cutting-edge research and innovation in different domains of cloud security and privacy, ranging from secure and privacy-friendly authentication over encrypted and distributed solutions for data sharing and cloud storage to data integrity, authenticity, and availability. Overall, TRUSTEE subsumes and results from more than 90 partners in 23 countries within Europe and beyond.
In contrast to related initiatives, such as the DPSP cluster on data protection, security, and privacy in the cloud [L2], or the service offer catalogues of European coordination and support actions like CloudWatch [L3] or Cyberwatching [L4], TRUSTEE does not aim at internally connecting the member projects or at providing a list of service offers per project. Rather, TRUSTEE’s ultimate goal would be to offer customers a “one-stop shop” to address their cloud security and privacy demands. This will be achieved by presenting the projects’ results by functionality and supporting customers in choosing the best option for their needs, as well as minimising the adoption pain for users through internal coordination to identify competing or mutually exclusive technologies.
In addition to making technology innovations more accessible to customers, TRUSTEE also aims at becoming a strong brand with sufficient visibility and acceptance to support the individual projects’ communication and commercialisation efforts, and thereby increase the effectiveness and impact of European research and innovation actions in the fields of cryptography, privacy, and cyber security.
 T. Lorünser, S. Krenn, C. Striecks, T. Länger: “Agile cryptographic solutions for the cloud”, E&I 134(7), 2017.
Agi Karyda, Stephan Krenn
AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH
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