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

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

Expected Outcome

  • Effective access control to system components and management of trustworthy updates
  • Modelling of security and privacy properties and frameworks for validating and integration on the testing process
  • Integrated process for testing, formal verification, validation and consideration of certification aspects (including potential synergies with the EU cybersecurity certification framework, as established by the EU Cybersecurity Act)
  • Tools providing assurance that third-party and open source components are free from vulnerabilities, weaknesses and/or malware
  • Data security “by design” e.g. via secure crypto building blocks
  • Instrumentation and secured communication with system components for dynamic testing
  • Methods and environments for secured coding by-design and by-default and secure hardware and software construction
  • Effective audit procedures for cybersecurity testing
  • Methods or procedures to make supply chains secure

Scope

Trustworthy methodologies and tools for advanced analysis and verification, and dynamic testing of potentially vulnerable, insecure hardware and software components calls for good practices for system security, with a particular focus on software development tools, IT security metric and guidelines for secure products and services throughout their lifetime. A holistic methodology is needed, integrating runtime methods for monitoring and enforcement as well as design-time methods for static analysis and programme synthesis, which allows for the construction of secure systems with the strongest possible formal guarantees. The firmware of devices, implementations of communication protocols and stacks, Operating Systems (OSs), Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) supporting interoperability and connectivity of different services, device drivers, backend cloud and virtualisation software, as well as software implementing different service functionalities, are some examples of how software provides the essence of systems and smart (networked) objects. Supply chain issues, including integration of software and hardware, should be considered appropriately.

R&I will be funded to develop hybrid, agile and high-assurance tools capable of automating evaluation processes, accountability tools for audit results and updates and lightweight, isolated virtualisation environments capable of securely inspecting and orchestrating appliances in heterogeneous hardware and software architectures. Moreover, KPIs, metrics, procedures and tools for dynamic certification of implementation security and scalable security, from chip-level to software-level and service-level, should be developed. It may also include testing methods like coverage guided fuzzing as well as symbolic execution.

The 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 Justice, Safety & Security, Digitisation, ICT, Telecommunication, Capacity Building, Cooperation Networks, Institutional Cooperation
Funding area EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Origin of Applicant EU Member States
Overseas Countries and Territories (OCTs)
Eligible applicants Education and Training Centres, Federal State / Region / City / Municipality / Local Authority, Research Institution, Lobby Group / Professional Association / Trade Union, International Organization, Small and Medium Sized Enterprises, SMEs (between 10 and 249 employees), Microenterprises (fewer than 10 employees), NGO / NPO, Public Services, National Government, Other, Start Up Company, 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: 45 pages

Type of Funding Grants
Financial details
Expected EU contribution per projectThe Commission estimates that an EU contribution of between EUR 3.00 and 5.00 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 17.30 million.
Typ of ActionResearch and Innovation Actions (RIA)
Funding rate100%

Activities are expected to achieve TRL 4 by the end of the project.

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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