The multidimensional landscape of Cybersecurity and the ENISA-FORTH summer school

The multidimensional landscape of Cybersecurity and the ENISA-FORTH summer school

The annual ENISA-FORTH summer school is delivering sessions on cybersecurity trends and topics as well as focused and specialized training sessions on various aspects. This year the summer school included inspired keynote speeches and presentations of experts in the fields of cryptography, malware detection, cyber defense, quantum computing, blockchain and many more. From a more technical perspective, technical sessions delivered interesting and hands-on training in the areas of “Cyber Threat Intelligence”, “Incident Management”, “Cyber Defense” and “Cryptography”. Trying to really briefly describe these 4 areas and what was presented we could mention the following.

FORTH on behalf of CONCORDIA participated in the plenary sessions and in the training sessions as well, so we are able via the current article to provide a high-level view of what was presented for the interested audience not being able to attend.

  • The purpose of CTI (Cyber Threat Intelligence) is to understand the adversary, help and anticipate future actions and plan a response. CTI is actually Threat Intelligence in the digital domain. CTI has to answer three questions:
    • What is the context?
    • What is the impact?
    • What actions to take?

    There are three types of intelligence: Strategical, Operational and Tactical. The respective sessions provided analysis including of best practices and demonstration of tools for visual link analysis (Maltego) offering a real-time data mining and information gathering as well as the representation of the information on a node based graph. Moreover, the Open CTI platform was demonstrated on how it which can be used to store, organize, visualize and share knowledge regarding cyber threats.

  • Incident Management sessions on the other side included demonstration of real cases. It was really exciting to realize how important the human factor is in many cases in the incident management process and understand the how and the why of failures, in the real-case scenarios presented, through lively presentations with real paradigms.
  • In the cryptography session, the theory and the insights of the symmetric and asymmetric encryption methods were delivered through interesting presentations. Current encryption algorithms that are in use were presented, as well as insights and directions of the future work that should be performed due to the computer technology progress and evolvement. Among other topics, the theory around the quantum cryptography as well as the advantages and disadvantages of this theory were presented.
  • In the Cyber Defense training session, the participants were split into teams and had to find working security solutions to hypothetical scenarios, that were provided. The participants really enjoyed the fact that they had to brainstorm for working solutions within their working groups and come up with methods and mitigation techniques aimed to cover all of the identified threats. New knowledge was gained, not only from the presenters/instructors that were responsible for the respective training sessions, but from the competitors working groups as well.

It was really a pleasure for FORTH to co-organize the event with ENISA and for FORTH members to attend and actively participate in the summer school. Especially for FORTH (as a CONCORDIA project member) it was really nice to see that some of the CONCORDIA tasks/activities are quite related with most of the training sessions held.

(by Christos Papachristos, FORTH)