Cryptography to Optimize Privacy and Cybersecurity

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Niccolò Zazzeri

01 January 2018

16 August 2020

EC funded project

Introduction

This project will provide solutions to the increasing demand of cybersecurity by developing cryptographic protocols optimizing confidentiality, integrity and availability of data, while preserving privacy for persons and entities. We propose the following general objectives:

  1. Designing and developing cryptographic protocols that optimize the security of stored data that are transported through networks.
  2. Implementing the cryptographic techniques thus developed over the most commonly used portable devices, in order to improve the cybersecurity of citizens, companies and entities, while abiding all privacy measures that protect such devices. The solutions should stem from the fields of cryptography we work on.

Who is the project designed for?

The ubiquity of users connectivity to Internet from anywhere by means of portable devices and the emergence of the IoT, seen by many as the upcoming revolution in the current Data Society, have given rise to an enormous growth in the exchange of information through networks. Such information becomes more and more enticing as new data mining techniques are developed and deployed, allowing one to have access to data of users such as buying habits, hobbies, etc., something which clearly raises security and privacy issues. Big companies foresee huge economic revenues if allowed to access and exploit such data. But, at the same time, it is easy to imagine scenarios where users’ privacy might be compromised even if exploiters use only legitimate means. In any case, availability to tools permitting users to protect their privacy is a must. Other agents might use (even illegitimate) means to reach their goals, thus threatening users’ cybersecurity. Those goals could range from (relatively harmless) actions such as offering unsolicited advertisements, to other much more harmful and aggressive behaviors, such as breaking open access to confidential data, impersonate or spoof identities, etc, thus very likely causing economic losses, if not worse consequences, to their victims.

How will your project benefit the end-user?

Information Society is more and more becoming a Data Society. New technologies and personal habits turn data (particularly personal data) into valuable assets. Methods for analyzing information, procedures to collect data and new communication networks allow companies to store and trade with private information obtained from Internet. At the same time, it is also possible to know the exact geolocation of virtually any user of mobile, tablet or wearable devices, since most of them are ubiquitously connected to Internet. All these technologies, while smooth out daily life chores and open new business models (e. g. IoT or cloud computing, which are fundamental for the 4.0 generation) involve at the same time serious threats to cybersecurity and citizen's privacy. Reaching the objectives of the Project will highly benefit end-users by providing security to the exchange of their personal data through internet netwoks. At the same time the project will contribute to reduce user’s concerns about the risks of using new technologies, widespreading and enlaging users’ confidence.

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