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SPARTA Monthly Workshop - The Greek Cybersecurity Landscape

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Cybersecurity Challenges for SMEs - Webinar

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SPARTA Workshop: How to get privileged access to groundbreaking...

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SAFAIR AI Contest is launched!

4th Mar 2021
The evaluation of machine learning models robustness in adversarial settings is not a trivial task. If the model is robust to a particular kind of attack, it is not a sufficient measure of its robustness. In order to have confidence in the predictions made by the model, one needs to check its robustness against a variety of attack techniques.

The SAFAIR AI Contest aims to evaluate the robustness of a defence technique by means of a two-player game. The participants can either register in the Attack or Defence tracks. These attack and defence teams are then continuously pitted against each other. This encourages the creation of more robust deep learning models as well as to find adversarial attack methods which can effectively fool the target system across a variety of defence techniques.

The contest has been started from 01.03.21 and will end on 15.05.21. To learn more and to register in the contest, please visit the contest website.

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A Best-Practices Guide to Attract and Retain Women in Cybersecurity Teams

3rd Mar 2021
Cybersecurity needs to build a diverse workforce, able to respond to the challenges of a globalised and ever-changing world. Different ways of approaching problems, when coordinated, bring a competitive advantage to cybersecurity teams as they can strategically and satisfactorily meet such challenges. Today, women only account for 20% of the poorly diverse cybersecurity workforce worldwide. On top of that, Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that there will be 3.5 million unfilled jobs globally by 2021 , leading to a huge increase in cybercrime, which is predicted to cost the world $6 trillion annually by the same year. The female underrepresentation in cybersecurity is accounting for this reality.

The European Commission has been actively working on this issue and has set three main strategic actions to increase women’s participation in the digital sector:
1.  Challenging digital gender stereotypes;
2.  Promoting digital skills and education;
3.  Advocating for more women entrepreneur...
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Data Breach: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

22nd Feb 2021
Data Breach: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

On November 26, 2020, the 41st edition of the monthly Cybersecurity Breakfast organized by SECURITYMADEIN.LU welcomed renowned Security Researcher at CIRCL, Alexandre Dulaunoy, to talk about the more and more common “Data Breaches: The dirty business behind the scenes. When your leak becomes the product.”

He started the keynote by explaining the mission of CIRCL in analysing, collecting and handling the data and how data acquired during a breach is becoming a product used and sold by cybercriminals. He also introduced the MISP software, an open-source threat intelligence platform.

What is AIL?

Alexandre underlined the growing need to monitor what cybercriminals are doing, especially on Tor. Hence the creation of AIL, a framework for Analysis of Information Leaks. It is a modular framework to analyse potential information leaks from unstructured data sources like pastes or social networks or unstructured data streams. The primary aim of...
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SPARTA and CONCORDIA joined forces to build modern cybersecurity training infrastructures

16th Feb 2021
SPARTA Cybersecurity Training and Awareness (WP9) team has proceeded to the final stage of its endeavor to improve the state of cybersecurity training and education in EU. After producing the fundamental framework for identification of skills necessary for cybersecurity work roles (SPARTA CSF [1]) and its implementation in good-practice curricula [2], WP9 aims to have practical impact by the deployment of training pilots. 

SPARTA activities focus on stronger inclusion of so-called hands-on trainings in labs, a component that is often neglected by cybersecurity study programs. In particular, the team focuses on the exploitation of cyber ranges that allow safe and easy deployment of virtualized infrastructures for the training of cybersecurity abilities. 

The SPARTA WP9 embraced the idea of open-source cyber ranges that, compared to commercial products, allow universities to provide students with modern training methods without the need to accept unbearable costs. More importantly, ...
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SPARTA PROJECT or how to get privileged access to groundbreaking Cybersecurity innovations and research?

15th Feb 2021
On December 10, 2020, SECURITYMADEIN.LU hold a virtual workshop session presenting the European based project, SPARTA and its consortium.

This event presented some key advancements, including the SPARTA Roadmap and Partnerships scheme, as well as demonstrated the breakthrough capabilities developed by its different Programs. The speakers also explained how companies could become associates in this program and get direct access to the latest research and innovation in Cybersecurity.

Bertrand Lathoud, Head of the Cybersecurity Competence Center Luxembourg, opened the discussion introducing the SPARTA project in general.


The EU has now openly acknowledged the need to reinforce its cybersecurity ecosystem, as most of the global suppliers’ champions are not European companies and Cybersecurity is a critical piece of strategic autonomy. They took into account the fact that the Union also has strong assets in the matter, and in particular research and academia fields are al...
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2020 is over, what comes now? Interview with Pascal Steichen, CEO of SCEURITYMADEIN.LU.

8th Feb 2021
Pascal Steichen is CEO of SECURITYMADEIN.LU, the Cybersecurity Agency for the Luxembourg Economy and Municipalities and the structure behind the main information security initiatives of the Luxembourg government: CASES, CIRCL, C3 and the CYBERSECURITY LUXEMBOURG ecosystem. He is a member of the Luxembourg Cybersecurity Board, lecturer in information security at the University of Luxembourg, president of the CLUSIL and member of the FIC advisory board.

In the video below, Charles-Louis Machuron, Co-Founder of silicon Luxembourg asked Pascal to provide a review and annual evaluation of 2020.

Of course, the Cybersecurity Luxembourg brand, the Cybersecurity Mapping and the Luxembourg Ecosystem, or the four pillars of the agency SECURITYMADEIN.LU were all discussed just like the topic of emerging cybersecurity threats, trends and possible protective measures against them.

Pascal highlighted that the new European Cybersecurity Competence Center and its network will have a pivotal role ...
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Federated infrastructure: Hands-on-Labs and Cyberranges

7th Feb 2021
On its way to Europe’s Digital Strategic Autonomy, the EU highlights the need to establish a Cybersecurity Competence Network (CCN) that covers public and private sectors, all member states, their critical infrastructures, and their value chains. SPARTA is one of the European Pilots designed to explore, test, and validate the most suitable approaches to establish and maintain such a network.

One of the main pillars of the CCN is to be able to have a high-performance infrastructure with which to interact. One main challenge is to maintain sufficient technical resources to solve complex problems, allowing access to unique assets for experimentation, learning and training with the breadth and depth required by the technological development of cybersecurity solutions.

All the infrastructure proposed by SPARTA is based on the establishment of a distributed assets network (Joint Competence Centre Infrastructure) that, being managed, operated and updated by the members of the network, ca...
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The mission of a Joint Competence Centre Infrastructure

31st Jan 2021
The mission of a Joint Competence Centre Infrastructure (JCCI) is to promote and make available information about tools, infrastructure, data and learning content to all (and not only) partners and associates of SPARTA. Its objective is to be used to optimize research and innovation in cyber security, creating new services or extending those that are currently provided by third parties, offering learning, training and experimentation resources. Those singular assets can be accessed and used in similar ways to those of a Digital Innovation Hub.

The JCCI is thought like a Marketplace where the SPARTA partners and associate can promote their assets. In this sense, the deployed platform is not designed as a monolithic and static marketplace where the information is stored in a central unit, but the infrastructure is designed as a dynamic solution, in which each partner is in charge to make available its own information about its goals and its assets. 

The information in the SPARTA JCC...
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Security mechanisms and tools in SPARTA SAFAIR Program

24th Jan 2021
The advances in artificial intelligence (AI), concretely in machine learning (ML), have opened the implementation of it in many domains and applications. Among these domains, several critical fields can be found, such as healthcare. Malicious users, called adversaries, could modify the behaviour of these AI systems, obtaining undesired results and even having impact on the society. Thus, the cybersecurity has put attention to the security threats in AI. The SPARTA SAFAIR program seeks to develop defences against attacks to protect AI systems. 

To defend the system, it is necessary to know to what kind it is vulnerable. Therefore, the first step is to study the different attacks against AI systems. Among others, there is a widely known attack named adversarial attack, which is one of the most problematic attacks that can suffer a ML model [1].

Let us imagine that a ML model helps in a hospital to diagnose breast cancer. This model could help the doctor to detect from images if the ...
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Threat analysis and model developed in SPARTA SAFAIR Program

19th Jan 2021
The current adoption of AI in computer-based systems and indications of its future ubiquitous presence increase the need for identification of threats against AI systems, such as attacks to availability of those systems or to data integrity.  The SPARTA SAFAIR program aims to ensure trustworthiness of artificial intelligence (AI) systems, including security, privacy, and reliability. For a better comprehension and knowledge of the threats, the first task of the program is to design and develop threat analysis tools to provide support to the risk assessment and management in AI.

First, there was the need to identify potential security and privacy incidents that may occur to AI systems and attacks against AI components in systems that need to be defended. Thus, in SPARTA SAFAIR program, the first task was to collect all available attacks in the state of the art and to generate an adequate taxonomy to uniquely identify them and general enough to introduce future ones in the system. 

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Re-imagining the way cybersecurity research, innovation, and training are performed in Europe across domains and expertise, from foundations to applications, in academia and industry


SPARTA will create a long-lasting community capable of collaboration to define, develop, share, and evolve solutions that will help practitioners prevent cybercrime and enhance cybersecurity.


Become a unique innovation force in cybersecurity with transformative impacts on European Union economy, infrastructures, society and democracy.

It's a tough road ahead

With one of the most advanced and multi-cultural research ecosystem in the world, the European Union has the means to take on the cybersecurity challenge. Its scientists have the opportunity to become a unique innovation force in cybersecurity with transformative impacts on our economy, infrastructures, society, and democracy.

Yet many challenges need to be addressed before such a vision can be successful.

How can we design and effectively maintain a European roadmap in cybersecurity research?

How might we cultivate out-of-the-box thinking in research endeavours?

What is the most effective way to maintain excellence in multi-disciplinary pursuits?

These first three items are instrumental to foster a culture of risk-taking – a critical asset for creativity in the face of innovative threats.

These last three items are absolutely key to ensure that the SPARTA network will produce concrete and transformative results. More importantly, they are instrumental in making these results suitable for a wide variety of applications in vertical sectors, creating technological vantage points and economic leverage.

How do we sustain strategic analysis and guidance for research and innovation?

What is the best way to implement flexibility in research actions?

How can we leverage the accumulated strengths of the European industry?

Organizing tomorrow's research activities

Governance activities form the backbone of the network, supporting community activities that range from roadmap design to Request for Challenges, from monthly SPARTA Workshops to bi-yearly SPARTA Days. Research programs are continuously spun from strands of the roadmap, led by experts of their fields, and aim at generating concrete and transformative results.

Develop an ambitious Cybersecurity Research and Innovation Roadmap leveraging Europe’s strengths and opportunities, across multiple disciplines, maturity levels, and geographical locations.

Set up space, time, and means to enable research collaborations, leveraging the strengths of existing structures and organisations around a Joint Competence Center Infrastructure.

Explore innovative work in full- spectrum situational awareness, with the goal of enabling the supervision of complex systems over heterogeneous time scales.

Develop a foundation for secure- by-design intelligent infrastructure built on strong formal approaches, addressing multiple cybersecurity facets.

Investigate new avenues for continuous assessment and new evaluation tools and techniques for handling tomorrow's dynamic and elastic digital systems.

Devise approaches to make systems using AI more reliable and resilient through enhanced explainability and better threat understanding.

Foster the emergence of a thriving and responsible research and innovation model, allowing the development of unique innovation paths, contributing to European strategic autonomy.

Establish unparalleled traction with European, national, and regional ecosystems, relaying concrete requirements, disruptive ideas, and novel results through multi-level and cross-network actions and events.