The Secured project devised a system for keeping multiple devices at the same time safe from security threats, without asking individual users to take action.

Secured: protecting mobile devices from viruses and other threats

We need anti-virus software, personal firewalls and other software to protect our mobile phones and other devices from threats. However, these products can take up valuable memory, and different devices may need different levels of protection. The SECURED (‘SECURity at the network EDge’) project devised a system that shifts protection from individual phones and tablets to a programmable and secure device, such as a router, at the edge of a home or office network.

This allows citizens, corporate ICT managers and network providers to install multiple security applications onto these ‘gateway’ devices that protect the devices of specific users within the network. These users do not need to load the security tools onto their individual mobile devices.

The SECURED system makes it possible to provide uniform protection against viruses and other threats across different devices and various kinds of network, including WiFi, xDSL, and corporate LAN, but also 3G and 4G. Companies will be able to extend this protection to their employees when they are outside a corporate network, for example at home, or using airport WiFi. The security environment designed by the project can also provide protection to Internet of Things environments, which contain smart devices (such as home sensors, household appliances, and vehicles) that are connected to the internet but do not always have extensive capacity to communicate and run software.

In addition, researchers worked on mechanisms to ease the transition to this new technology and to support legacy network devices. They also created a security marketplace to trade applications and exchange best-practice policies, aimed at both ICT security experts and nonspecialist users.

SECURED in brief

  • Total Budget: EUR 4 131 724 (EU contribution: EUR 2 700 000)
  • Duration: 10/2013-09/2016
  • Countries involved: Italy (coordinator), Cyprus, Spain, Finland, United Kingdom

Key figures in the European Union

  • 4 out of 10 EU internet users provide payment details online.
  • In May 2017, WannaCry ransomware is believed to have infected up to 300 000 users in over 150 countries.
  • The average company experiences 130 security breaches each year.

Cybersecurity and trust

While opening up new opportunities for citizens to connect and disseminate information, digital technologies have also brought about new risks. These include increasing cyber-attacks and fraud, stealing data, and attempts to destabilise our democracies. It is crucial to invest in cybersecurity, as trust and awareness are the foundation for a functioning Digital Single Market.

The EU has responded to these challenges, for example by adopting the Directive on Network and Information Security and proposing a new mandate for the European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA) along with a new framework for certifying cybersecurity in digital products and solutions. The Commission’s proposed new Digital Europe Programme also includes EUR 2 billion of funding for cybersecurity.

Download the full project success story.

Project website