New arenas for collaboration - SPARTA EU HYBNET

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SPARTA T-Shark research programme

The SPARTA Project (Grant agreement ID: 830892)  is responsible for executing four research programmes that tackle ambitious challenges in cybersecurity, representing major opportunities for enhancing Europe’s strategic autonomy and the Digital Single Market. These programmes account for more than half of the efforts deployed in SPARTA. Although programme leaders have different profiles, all are nevertheless experienced senior experts.

One of the four research programmes, T-Shark (Full Spectrum Situational Awareness), is coordinated by the Lithuanian Cyber Crime Center of Excellence for Training, Research and Education (L3CE). 

The cyber threat landscape in today’s world is changing dramatically. Most organisations face rising demands to employ new approaches, operational models and innovative technologies to ensure national and international stability and security. 

The key objective of the T-Shark programme is to develop and validate methodological, organisational, and technological solutions that would enhance cybersecurity through the comprehensive organisation of cybersecurity functions, focusing more on threat prediction and full-spectrum cybersecurity awareness. Given the need to validate the  T-Shark platform under real-world conditions, all technology solutions were tested using a realistic „Election Interference“ scenario and evaluated by an independent group of experts, which we have called the “Arbitrage Group”. 

Despite the great achievements of T-Shark to address complex, sophisticated, full-spectrum threats, a lack of innovative solutions and essential capacities preparing EU for future cybersecurity challenges continue to persist. T-Shark’s experts exerted significant effort into examining the latest developments in EU and national research projects, especially those that could be used as valuable inputs and incorporated into its research results. At the same time, T-Shark facilitated the collaboration among the huge variety of experts and researchers who despite the different fields of interest and research objectives, are able and willing to work together to address the most serious issues. 

Today SPARTA succeed to unite the community on the issues surrounding cybersecurity, however, the question how to establish long term, sustainable collaboration links between the ecosystems that contain a huge portfolio of knowledge, practical experience and niche competencies required for the new creations is still open. 

As a first step, L3CE initiated discussions with EU-HYBNET network aimed to find new collaboration models that are based on similar goals and objectives.

New arenas for collaboration: EU-HYBNET 

SPARTA T-Shark and EU-HYBNET have strong synergies in terms of activities that are related through the technological aspects of hybrid threats and complexity of the relevant phenomena. By combining these two initiatives, especially in areas that are in line with that which was already achieved in the cybersecurity context, we hope to expand the scope of adoption and usability of suitable innovations. 

The fields that could be considered for further clustering of EU-HYBNET – SPARTA activities are: 

  • Methodological and technological synchronisation between cybersecurity, prevention, defence operations.
    • Introduction, testing and validation of the T-Shark Threats Intelligence platform by EU-HYBNET stakeholders
  • Cyber Professionals competence structure, changes and new demands, new learning methods, new career paths
    • Extension of SPARTA Cybersecurity Skills Framework adding new professional profiles linked to the new Hybrid Threats phenomena
  • Innovations exploitation strategies while delivering continuous improvement for end-user’s organisations 
    • Introduction of T-SHARK innovations governance framework and evaluation methodology; involvement of EU-HYBNET stakeholders in Arbitrage Group activities
  • Alignment of roadmaps and consolidation of prioritised development resources
    • Introduction of SPARTA Research and Innovation roadmap to the unique EU-HYBNET ecosystem 
  • Integration of new trends and patterns of information to build stronger and aligned awareness
    • Engagement of SPARTA community in EU-HYBNET activities seeking a deeper understanding of Hybrid Threats phenomena, new trends and integration links with SPARTA research programmes. 

As a step towards collaboration, an L3CE initiated workshop between EU-HYBNET and T-SHARK teams aimed to kick-off discussions on how to strengthen synergies between the networks, reduce unnecessary overlapping activities, and maximise achieved results.  

In this context, EU-HYBNET has preliminary interest to contribute to the evaluation of innovative solutions based on the “Election Interference” hybrid threats model referred to above.

Moreover, it was agreed that the collaboration model will be tested and piloted, as well as being validated by the T-Shark Arbitrage Group.  In this way, T-Shark will benefit from enhanced competence of external experts, and EU-HYBNET is interested in learning from T-SHARK Arbitrage Group validation in order to gain a deeper understanding of innovations that might be considered as a relevant solution to meet the needs of EU-HYBNET stakeholders. 

Assuming favourable outcomes over the longer term, the cross-network collaboration tested and piloted by the Arbitrage Group might be transformed into a permanent EU body with independent professional assistance for end-users and make innovations uptake more effective. 

In summary, we anticipate that the SPARTA/ T-Shark and EU-HYBNET collaboration will embrace these new approaches, operational models and innovative technologies in ways that will significantly enhance national and international stability and security.

SPARTA and T-SHARK actors are welcomed to get familiar with EU-HYBNET activities and to apply to become a member in the EU-HYBNET Network/ Pan-European Network to Counter Hybrid Threats. The EU-HYBNET has four core themes: I) Future Trends of Hybrid Threats; II) Cyber and Future Technologies; III) Resilient Civilians, Local Level and National Administration; IV) Information and Strategic Communication). Especially the core the “Cyber and Future Technologies” is strongly linked to SPARTA and hence highlights the possibilities for future synergies between SPARTA and EU-HYBNET. More information how to join the network, please see EU-HYBNET webpage.

For more about the SPARTA project follow the link: