Research and development

SEGRES PROJECT

Developing an Industry 4.0 resilient to complex attacks through research into Artificial Immune Systems – SECurity and RESilinece

Summary

The objective of SEGRES is to generate disruptive innovations in the field of industrial cybersecurity, through research into a new generation of cybersecurity technologies inspired by the functionalities of the Human Immune System to protect industries against complex cyberattacks they must face, and in this way improve their resilience to them, and consequently its sustainability, competitiveness and efficiency.

Industrial companies face different types of cyber-threats, which if they materialize can impact the business in different ways and that can range from theft or hijacking of data for different purposes, IPR theft, malfunction / stops / damage to machines, the modification of parameters that impact quality or even that there may be environmental spills, or the manipulation of data forcing wrong decision making. These are just a few of the incidents that have been detected so far in the industrial environment, and that can be classified as APTs (Advanced Persistent Threats). The consequences can be economic, image, environmental, and can even lead to serious industrial accidents with loss of human life.

Industrial companies are not only threatened by the same types of cyberattacks as other companies that have Information Technology (IT) networks, but also by threats to their own process/production network, so-called Operation Technologies (OT).   Behind these cyberattacks may be specialized groups (cybercriminals, cyber-activists, cyber-terrorists), and even, nation states. Cyberattacks that occur in the industry are increasingly sophisticated, with a greater knowledge of industrial processes, a holistic view of the company and making use of the latest technological advances such as Artificial Intelligence and possibly in the not so distant future  Quantum Computing, in a race for innovation between cyber-attackers and cyber-defenders.

To face this situation, SEGRES aims to advance in the conceptualization of a new cybersecurity model, with a resilient, holistic and comprehensive approach, inspired by the complex Human Immune System and its different types of barriers and responses available to prevent the entry of pathogens into the body, and if they occur, try to reduce them as soon as possible, learning to recognize them to be able to identify them if they reappear in the future and face them appropriately, trying at all times to maintain the homeostatic balance of the organism that in the case of SEGRES corresponds to the resilience and sustainability of the industry before the occurrence of possible anomalies and cyberattacks.

The conceptualization and modeling of the Artificial Immune System that simulates the functions of the different parts of its equivalent in the human being needs research in technologies related to hybrid models based on  Digital Twins  that simulate the  Artificial Organism,object of study of the industrial process, as well as research in Artificial Intelligence technologies in its different aspects (Machine Learning  and Deep Learning),research in Distributed Ledger Technologies (DLTs),  IoT/IIoT  (Industrial Internet of Things),  Cyber-Physical Systems   (CPSs) and  Edge Computing.

To achieve the stated objective, SEGRES has been structured in five differentiated activities, led by the entities with a greater interest in promoting research in the specific field, formed by different tasks in which the complementarity and synergies of the consortium will guarantee the success of the proposed research. The activities identified are:

  • Research on the Artificial Immune System
  • Situational Awareness
  • Innate Immunity
  • Adaptive Immunity
  • Industrial Experimentation

A breakthrough innovation of these characteristics can only be carried out with a highly technological consortium, specialist in cybersecurity and in the different technological fields under study. The SEGRES consortium is led by a company of national and international recognition in the field of cybersecurity such as S2 GRUPO and that constantly faces the need for increasingly avant-garde innovations to make an early detection of a cyberattack and try to put the target company in a state as safe and resilient as possible, and therefore, good knowledgeable of Artificial Intelligence technologies. The rest of the consortium is made up of two other large companies: WELLNESS, which is a specialist company in the different fields related to  IoT, CPS and  Edge  Computing, and  IZERTIS, specialist in DLTs and Artificial Intelligence. The consortium is complemented by three SMEs:  CRYPTONICS, blockchain specialist,   ALIAS  ROBOTICS, cybersecurity specialist in the field of robotics and  CODESYNTAX  specialist in advanced visualization issues. Finally, the consortium involves as subcontractors three research institutions: TECNALIA with its extensive experience in Artificial Intelligence and Big Data applied to cybersecurity, and in DLTs, the University of Malaga, expert in the field of cybersecurity applied in the IIoT, CPS and the Digital Twin, and the University of León, specialist in Digital Twins. 

Project in collaboration with:

This project is financed by the Center for the Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities within the Science and Innovation Missions program: (EXP00131359 / MIG-20201041). Project duration: October 2020 – December 2023 (3 years).

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