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Call: Improved monitoring of threats, intrusion detection and response in complex and heterogeneous digital systems and infrastructures

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Programme
Acronym HE-CL3-CS
Type of Fund Direct Management
Description of programme
"Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 4: Increased Cybersecurity"

Europe is in the midst of a digital transformation. Digital technologies are profoundly changing our daily life, our way of working and doing business, and the way people travel, communicate and relate with each other. Digital communication, social media interaction, artificial intelligence, e-government, e-commerce and digital enterprises are steadily transforming our world. They are generating an ever-increasing amount of data, which, if pooled and used, can lead to a completely new means and levels of value creation. The more interconnected we are, however, the more we are vulnerable to cyber threats.

Digital disruption, notably caused by malicious cyber activities, not only threaten our economies but also our way of life, our freedoms and values, and even try to undermine the cohesion and functioning of our democracy in Europe.

Regardless of the economic, political or personal motivations behind the cyber threats, securing our future wellbeing, freedoms, democratic governance, and prosperity depend on improving our capacity to shield the EU from malicious attacks and to address digital security weaknesses in general. The digital transformation requires improving cybersecurity substantially, so as to ensure the protection of the increasing number of connected devices and the safe operation of network and information systems, including the ones used in power grids, drinking water supply and distribution services, vehicles and transport systems, hospitals and the overall health system, finances, public institutions, factories, and homes. Europe must build resilience to cyber-attacks and create effective cyber deterrence, while making sure that data protection and freedom of citizens are strengthened. These efforts should include considerations for particularly vulnerable organisations and citizens.

The technological tools of cybersecurity are strategic assets, as well as being key growth technologies for the future. It is in the EU's strategic interest to ensure that the EU retains and develops the essential capacities to secure its digital economy, society and democracy, to protect critical hardware and software and to provide key cybersecurity services.

Cybersecurity research and innovation activities will support a Europe fit for the digital age, enabling and supporting digital innovation while highly preserving privacy, security, safety and ethical standards. They will contribute to the implementation of the digital and privacy policy of the Union, in particular the NIS Directive [[Directive (EU) 2016/1148 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 6 July 2016 concerning measures for a high common level of security of network and information systems across the Union (NIS Directive).]], the EU Cybersecurity Act [[Regulation (EU) 2019/881 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 April 2019 on ENISA (the European Union Agency for Cybersecurity) and on information and communications technology cybersecurity certification and repealing Regulation (EU) No 526/2013 (Cybersecurity Act).]], the EU Cybersecurity Strategy [[Joint Communication to the European Parliament and the Council The EU's Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade JOIN/2020/18 final.]], the GDPR[[Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 April 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation).]], and the future e-Privacy Regulation.

Research and innovation will build on the results of Horizon 2020 such as the pilot projects funded under SU-ICT-03-2018 [[Establishing and operating a pilot for a Cybersecurity Competence Network to develop and implement a common Cybersecurity Research & Innovation Roadmap.]].and other relevant H2020 topics and cybersecurity activities (e.g. carried out by ENISA [[https://www.enisa.europa.eu/]] or relevant parts of work of the EIT Digital[[https://www.eitdigital.eu/]]). The activities will be aligned as relevant with the future objectives of the Cybersecurity Competence Centre and Network of National Coordination Centres (Commission proposal COM(2018) 630). They will be complementary to actions under the Digital Europe Programme, Specific Objectives 3 and 4, which will strengthen EU cybersecurity capacity by support to deployment of cybersecurity infrastructures and tools across the EU, for public administrations, businesses, and individuals, and support digital skills including in cybersecurity. For example support is foreseen to specialised education programmes or modules in key capacity areas such as cybersecurity. Generally, cybersecurity is a horizontal challenge and is not be limited to Horizon Europe Cluster 3. In addition to the calls of the Horizon Europe of Cluster 3 - Civil Security for Society, other activities relevant for Cybersecurity will be supported in particular in the Work Programme part of Cluster 4 - Digital, Industry and Space.

Research and innovation results may feed into the operational work on preparedness and response in the Joint Cyber Unit [[see section 2.1 in The EU's Cybersecurity Strategy for the Digital Decade, JOIN(2020) 18 final. https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/GA/TXT/?uri=CELEX:52020JC0018]].

Expected impacts:

Proposals for topics under this Destination should set out a credible pathway contributing to the following impact of the Strategic Plan 2021-2024: "Increased cybersecurity and a more secure online environment by developing and using effectively EU and Member States’ capabilities in digital technologies supporting protection of data and networks aspiring to technological sovereignty in this field, while respecting privacy and other fundamental rights; this should contribute to secure services, processes and products, as well as to robust digital infrastructures capable to resist and counter cyber-attacks and hybrid threats".

More specifically, proposals should contribute to the achievement of one or more of the following impacts:

  • Strengthened EU cybersecurity capacities and European Union sovereignty in digital technologies
  • More resilient digital infrastructures, systems and processes
  • Increased software, hardware and supply chain security
  • Secured disruptive technologies
  • Smart and quantifiable security assurance and certification shared across the EU
  • Reinforced awareness and a common cyber security management and culture
Link Link to Programme
Call
Improved monitoring of threats, intrusion detection and response in complex and heterogeneous digital systems and infrastructures
Description of call
"Improved monitoring of threats, intrusion detection and response in complex and heterogeneous digital systems and infrastructures"

Expected Outcome

  • Improved disruption preparedness and resilience of digital infrastructure in Europe
  • Improved capacity building in digital infrastructure security including organisational and operational capabilities
  • Robust evidence used in cybersecurity decisions and tools
  • Better prediction of cybersecurity threats and related risks
  • Improved response capabilities based on effective collaboration and/or coordination with other relevant national or EU bodies in charge of Cybersecurity, including holistic incident reporting and enabling coordinated cyber-incident response.

Scope

Digital infrastructures together with their connected devices are characterised by complex interdependencies involving various physical and logical layers and connecting a wide range of legacy IT solutions and innovative technologies. Application scenarios include but are not limited to cybersecurity of communication systems and networks and their components, e.g. 5G networks, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, medical devices, supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems, and their services, e.g. cloud-based ICT solutions. Their availability, controlled performance and reliability need to be guaranteed at every moment serving the needs, sometimes critical and safety-related e.g. in transportation, energy, healthcare, of millions of citizens, enterprises and society. Therefore, they need to be protected in real-time against ever-evolving cybersecurity threats.

Building on research and innovation in the area of cybersecurity of digital infrastructures for example projects funded from H2020 SU-DS01-2018, SU-DS04-2018-2020, SU-DS05-2018-2019 and SU-TDS-02-2018, state of the art technologies should support the logging, categorisation, data aggregation from different sources, automatic information extraction and analysis of cybersecurity incidents. This includes advanced methods for cyber threats intelligence and cyber-incident forensics enabling better prediction of cyber security threats. Proposals should develop and validate demonstration prototypes of tools and technologies to monitor and analyse cybersecurity incidents in an operational environment in line with the NIS directive and the General Data Protection Regulation. They should contribute to improved penetration testing methods and their automation by using machine learning and other AI technologies as appropriate. Moreover, proposals should support effective network traffic analysis applying detection techniques in network operations based on advanced security information management and threat intelligence. Proposed solutions should also include validation or piloting of cyber threat intelligence with early-stage detection, prediction and contributions towards response capability using predictive analytics, and as relevant, with efficient and user-friendly interaction methods, e.g. visual analytics. Furthermore, solutions deployed by this action should validate their approach to intrusion detection and incident monitoring with real end-users and their needs.

For expanding the proposed work in terms of additional pilot sites, additional user groups, additional applications, and complementary assessment of the acceptability of the use case, the actions may involve financial support to third parties in line with the conditions set out in Part B of the General Annexes. Each consortium will define the selection process of the third parties for which financial support will be granted (typically in the order of EUR 50 000 to 300 000 per party). Up to 20% of the EU funding requested by the proposal may be allocated to the purpose of financial support to third parties.

A strong culture awareness of data protection should be fostered. The proposals should also appropriately address concerns about mass surveillance and protection of personal spaces. All technologies and tools developed should be appropriately documented, to support take-up and replicability.

Consortia should bring together interdisciplinary expertise and capacity covering the supply and the demand side. Participation of SMEs is strongly encouraged. In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement.

Link Link to Call
Thematic Focus Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Justice, Safety & Security, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation, Disaster Prevention, Resiliance, Risk Management
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Public Services, National Government, Education and Training Centres, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Research Institution, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Start Up Company, Other, University, Enterprise (more than 250 employees or not defined), Association
Applicant details

eligible non-EU countries:

  • countries associated to Horizon Europe
Please see the List of Participating Countries in Horizon Europe for an up-to-date list of countries with which the association agreements have started to produce legal effects (either through provisional application or their entry into force).

  • low-and middle-income countries

Legal entities which are established in countries not listed above will be eligible for funding if provided for in the specific call conditions, or if their participation is considered essential for implementing the action by the granting authority.

Project Partner Yes
Project Partner Details

Unless otherwise provided for in the specific call conditions , legal entities forming a consortium are eligible to participate in actions provided that the consortium includes:

  • at least one independent legal entity established in a Member State;and
  • at least two other independent legal entities, each established in different Member States or Associated Countries.
Call opens 01.07.2022
Call closes 16.11.2022
Further info

Proposal page limits and layout:

The application form will have two parts:

  • Part A to be filled in directly online  (administrative information, summarised budget, call-specific questions, etc.)
  • Part B to be downloaded from the Portal submission system, completed and re-uploaded as a PDF in the system

Page limit - Part B: 70 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 4.00 and 6.00 million would allow these outcomes to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of a proposal requesting different amounts.
Indicative budgetThe total indicative budget for the topic is EUR 21.00 million.
Typ of ActionInnovation Actions (IA)
Funding rate70%

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 7 by the end of the project.

Beneficiaries may provide financial support to third parties in the form of grants. The maximum amount to be granted to each third party is EUR 300 000 to support disruption preparedness and resilience of digital infrastructure in Europe and effective collaboration and/or coordination with other relevant national or EU bodies in charge of Cybersecurity.

Submission Proposals must be submitted electronically via the Funding & Tenders Portal Electronic Submission System. Paper submissions are NOTpossible.

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News

Published on 01.07.2022

Improved monitoring of threats, intrusion detection and response in complex and heterogeneous digital systems and infrastructures

Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 4: Increased Cybersecurity

Link to Call

Published on 01.07.2022

Trustworthy methodologies, tools and data security “by design” for dynamic testing of potentially vulnerable, insecure hardware and software components

Horizon Europe - Cluster 3 - Destination 4: Increased Cybersecurity

Link to Call
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