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WIT’s EU – US AEGIS project contributes to the CONNECT University and has very successful final review in Brussels

By 5th July 2019 No Comments

On 25th June, 2019, the H2020 AEGIS (Accelerating EU – US dialogue in Cybersecurity and Privacy) project was invited to contribute to a session of the CONNECT University Summer School 2019, with a dedicated focus on Cybersecurity in an Age of Digital Transformation, held in the Berlaymont building, the headquarters of the European Commission, the executive of the European Union.

AEGIS Project delegation at the Project review. Left – Right: Rebecca Wright, Rutgers University (USA),  Artsiom Yautsiukhin, CNR (Italy),  Yolanda Ursa, Inmark (Spain), Claudio Caimi, HP Enterprise (Italy), James Clarke, Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland), Fabio Martinelli, CNR (Italy), Jonathan Litchman, The Providence Group, USA, Camille Sailer, European-American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey (USA).

Established in 2015, CONNECT University represents the flagship of the EU Commission’s Directorate General on Communication Networks, Content and Technologies (DG CONNECT) that aims to develop a new digital mind-set, with digital issues systematically hardwired into Commission’s policies, legislation and communication, spread knowledge about the latest digital trends, ensure that the ongoing digital revolution retains a human element and ensure that digital issues become a systematic component of any policy, legislation or communication emerging from the Commission.  This 4th edition of the CONNECT University Summer School brought together high level cybersecurity and digital privacy experts from the academia, the industry and various EU institutions.

Due to the international nature of the AEGIS project, the entire project team from the US and EU, including WIT-TSSG’s James Clarke, was invited by DG CONNECT organisers to participate in the session on international cybersecurity challenges, which was held on 25th June, 2019. This session provided a comprehensive overview of the global actors and dimension of the cyberspace, and showed the complexity of the ever-increasing cyber risks in a hyper connected world in which international cooperation is the best way forward. The AEGIS project was highlighted in the session as to having recently contributed to the recent EU – US Information Society Dialogue (ISD) held recently in May, 2019, in Washington D.C., with their contributions on recommendations and actions toward prioritising topics of EU – US cooperation of mutual interest in the health, finance and maritime sectors.

According to Mr. James Clarke of the Telecommunications Software & Systems Group (TSSG) of WIT, “It was a very proud moment for the AEGIS project team when we were singled out for appreciation during the CONNECT University Summer School by Dr. Despina Spanou, Director for Digital Society, Trust and Cybersecurity, DG CONNECT, European Commission, as the EU-US project that contributed significantly to the recently held EU-US Information Society Dialogue in Washington D.C. that she had attended as part of the EU Delegation.”

AEGIS Project delegation at the DG CONNECT Summer School 2019. Left – Right: James Clarke, Waterford Institute of Technology (Ireland), Artsiom Yautsiukhin, CNR (Italy),  Claudio Caimi, HP Enterprise (Italy), Yolanda Ursa, Inmark (Spain), Jonathan Litchman, The Providence Group, USA, Camille Sailer, European-American Chamber of Commerce New Jersey (USA). Missing from photo: Rebecca Wright, Rutgers University (USA), Dan Caprio, The Providence Group (USA), Fabio Martinelli, CNR (Italy), Jody Serrano, Inmark (Spain)

On the following day, on 26th June, 2019, the AEGIS project team held their final review at the European Commission’s DG CONNECT premises in Brussels, where the project’s results were reviewed by two independent experts, with a very successful outcome. Once again, during the review, the project’s role in providing information towards the recent ISD was highlighted as being very useful for the Commission’s team attending the dialogue events in Washington D.C.

The main contributions of WIT-TSSG in the AEGIS project was the establishment of a high-level transatlantic Cybersecurity Reflection Group comprised of two working groups focussing on Policy related and Research and Innovation topics in cybersecurity and privacy of mutual interest to EU and US. In addition, the TSSG research centre of WIT organised a successful EU – US roundtable at ICT 2018, with participants from the EU and the United States to examine the intersection points between Technology & Policy aspects related to cybersecurity and privacy that could be addressed by the EU and US stakeholders collectively.

During the review, a number of areas were highlighted as being successful, particularly in terms of activities and assets that are contributing to the highest impact creation, including:

  • Establishing the transatlantic Cybersecurity Reflection Group EU-US as a platform for policy debate, expert opinions and recommendations in cybersecurity and privacy. As part of the Reflection Group, two Working Groups have been created: Cybersecurity and Privacy R&I WG and Cybersecurity and Privacy Policies WG. In total, there are 48 members of the two working groups, not including the project members, with a good balance of members from academia, research, industry, policy makers, and government organisations;
  • Successful events organized by the project in the review period included the EU-US Roundtable on the Interplay of Technology & Policy in Data Privacy, a side event at the ICT 2018, Vienna, held on 5th December 2018, Open Cyber Camp Europe, as a side workshop of NECS PhD Winter School at Fai della Paganella, Italy, held on 21st February 2019, EU-US Discussion between AEGIS and EC Cybersecurity Unit, input to cyber dialogue, Brussels, 16 May 2019, and the project team’s contributions at the CONNECT University Summer School 2019 on international cybersecurity challenges, held on 25th June, 2019;
  • Analyzed EU and US cybersecurity strategies, policies regarding standards and certification, privacy and data protection and public-private information sharing, and key actors, comparative analysis, policy recommendations;
  • Benchmarking analysis of identified common research priorities, application areas and sectors for EU-US cooperation, and identification of topics and key actions and recommendations by target sectors (e.g. Finance, Healthcare, Maritime);
  • Analysed exploitation and sustainability models for the project beyond its official lifetime, including following up with the EU – US Reflection Group participating within the working group structures of the European Cybersecurity Organisation (ECSO), as well as in close cooperation with the four EU Cybersecurity pilot projects launched to prepare the European Cybersecurity Competence Network (SPARTA, CONCORDIA, ECHO, and CyberSec4Europe).