Bringing AI-powered cybersecurity to the general consumer

An EU-funded project has enabled companies to offer cybersecurity as a low-cost subscription service, boosting protection from hackers by using artificial intelligence. This could help consumers better safeguard personal data such as passwords and bank details.

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Countries
Countries
  Algeria
  Argentina
  Australia
  Austria
  Bangladesh
  Belarus
  Belgium
  Benin
  Bolivia
  Bosnia and Herzegovina
  Brazil
  Bulgaria
  Burkina Faso
  Cambodia
  Cameroon
  Canada
  Cape Verde
  Chile
  China
  Colombia
  Costa Rica
  Croatia
  Cyprus
  Czechia
  Denmark
  Ecuador
  Egypt
  Estonia
  Ethiopia
  Faroe Islands
  Finland
  France
  French Polynesia
  Georgia


  Infocentre

Published: 9 December 2019  
Related theme(s) and subtheme(s)
Information societyInformation technology  |  Internet
Innovation
Research policyHorizon 2020
Security
Countries involved in the project described in the article
Greece  |  Italy  |  Luxembourg  |  Portugal  |  Spain  |  United Kingdom
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Bringing AI-powered cybersecurity to the general consumer

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© peshkov # 207672771 source: stock.adobe.com 2019

Today’s cybersecurity experts deal with constantly evolving threats, making it tough to distinguish good from bad. Instead of lone wolves who are easily stopped, increasingly sophisticated teams of hackers are finding ways around current security systems and breaking into servers and networks to steal vast amounts of sensitive information.

The scale of the problem is staggering. According to a recent report from professional services firm Accenture, cyberattacks could cost companies up to US$ 5.2 trillion in additional expenses and lost revenue over the next five years.

As standard programmes struggle to keep up and the digital economy becomes more widespread, the EU-funded SHIELD project has made it possible for internet service providers (ISP’s) to offer stepped-up security services powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning at very competitive prices.

‘Traditionally, security services are only able to identify known threats with clear signatures,’ says SHIELD project coordinator Georgios Gardikis of Space Hellas, an information technology and security company based in Greece. ‘SHIELD’s artificial intelligence and advanced machine learning techniques scour the network for threats. The system catches them in real time and reconfigures itself to thwart them.’

Security as a service

While most cloud-based security services are offered remotely via clouds on northern European or US servers, SHIELD allows ISP’s to offer security services in the network closest to the user. The results are a better user experience, faster updates, and unlimited data flow.

As with Software as a Service (SaaS), people can access SHIELD’S offering for a monthly fee that is added to a standard internet connection charge.

‘It’s very user-friendly,’ says Gardikis. ‘Paying by the month means you can protect your data and systems without needing to invest in expensive cybersecurity functionality. You just pay for what you use.’

And in response to businesses using both new and old technology and sharing functionalities with different branches and subsidiaries, SHIELD’s services can easily be scaled up or down and configured or upgraded according to a consumer’s needs.

Software-based protection

Much of this is thanks to the software-based approach that underlines everything within the SHIELD framework. By literally virtualising traditional network devices, SHIELD can implement cloud-based firewalls so that companies no longer need to install firewalls on in-house servers. This also prevents attackers from modifying and hijacking the system’s critical components.

SHIELD uses innovative trust-monitoring techniques and all results are available to administrators via a dashboard, which frees up resources on a company’s IT team. Indeed, users get total management of cloud security services, security policies, and general administration.

SHEILD has released its system components on an open-source basis, bringing multiple advantages.

‘When developing the system, we relied on many open source functionalities, so we thought it was only right to keep it that way,’ says Gardikis. ‘We’re completely transparent. There’s no black box. Our customers and potential customers are free to check all our code and get a complete understanding of how the whole system works.’

The SHIELD team hopes others will build upon what it has achieved.

‘We also want other developers to use what we’ve created and expand it further,’ Gardikis adds.

Project details

  • Project acronym: SHIELD
  • Participants: Greece (Coordinator), Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, UK
  • Project N°: 700199
  • Total costs: € 4 552 060
  • EU contribution: € 3 607 245
  • Duration: September 2016 to February 2019

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