Industry & Business

AIT Spearheads 2nd Phase of Major EU Cybersecurity Research Effort

 Breaking News
  • Finch Capital to Step Up Investment Activity in Irish Fintech Market Finch Capital, a leading early stage venture capital firm with offices in Amsterdam, London and Singapore, has announced that it now has an active presence in the Irish market and is dedicating up to €20 million to Irish start-ups in the fintech sector, following a €10 million investment from Enterprise Ireland. In 2018, Finch Capital closed [...]...
  • ESB and Coillte in Discussions to Deliver Renewable Energy Projects ESB is engaged in bilateral discussions with Coillte which, if successful, would lead to the establishment of a new joint venture development company to deliver 1,000 MW of renewable energy by 2030. It is proposed that a new joint venture will build on a successful track record of the two companies working together at Raheenleagh [...]...
  • Grocery Market Fends Off January Blues The Irish grocery market followed up a record-breaking festive period by posting year-on-year sales growth of 3.4% during the 12 weeks to 27 January. Despite shoppers tightening the purse strings, the latest figures from Kantar Worldpanel show a strong start to 2019 as New Year’s resolutions shaped shopping baskets. Douglas Faughnan, consumer insight director at Kantar [...]...
  • McAleer & Rushe Commences Construction on London Development Northern Ireland-based developer and contractor McAleer & Rushe has announced that construction is to commence on a new 620 room hotel and hybrid aparthotel development in Paddington, London with a contract value worth c.£82 million. Led by developer Concierge 3, a consortium of BSW Land & Property, Staycity and The Pickstock Group, the scheme is the final stage of the [...]...
  • Launch of 182,500 sq ft Seamark Building Marks Completion of Dublin 4 Redevelopment Project Chartered Land has announced that the major €45 million transformation of the eight storey 182,500 sq ft Seamark Building at the Elmpark Green campus in Dublin 4 is now complete. The completion of the Seamark Building, prominently located at the front of the campus with panoramic views over Dublin Bay, brings an end to the [...]...

AIT Spearheads 2nd Phase of Major EU Cybersecurity Research Effort

AIT Spearheads 2nd Phase of Major EU Cybersecurity Research Effort
August 07
10:00 2018

Researchers from Athlone Institute of Technology have launched the second phase of a multi-million-euro cybersecurity research project called PROTECTIVE aimed at combatting the growth of cybercrime through special detection and monitoring systems. PROTECTIVE, an EU-funded H2020 project, is a €4.16 million cybersecurity safety net designed in partnership with several commercial and academic partners, including the University of Oxford and Technische Universitat Darmstadt, to help organisations pinpoint and alleviate threats to their computer networks.

Now in its ‘operation testing’ phase, PROTECTIVE uses a smart awareness tool for cybersecurity management and an enhanced threat awareness system to improve security monitoring and shared threat intelligence. It shields networks from threats like viruses and worms and gives security teams greater visibility and awareness of attacks. This innovative software solution empowers organisations to recognise and neutralise network threats as they arise making it easier to protect the most vulnerable computers on a network.

Mary Pidgeon, a project PROTECTIVE research engineer at Athlone Institute of Technology’s Software Research Institute (SRI).

According to Mary Pidgeon, a project PROTECTIVE research engineer at Athlone Institute of Technology’s Software Research Institute (SRI), cybercrime is a world-scale problem of prodigious proportions. “The significant growth in malicious activity online helped considerably by the proliferation of new technologies, means that cybercrime is now costing the world economy €600 billion annually. This escalation has led to a massive technology arms race between attacker and defender with the two engaging in a cybersecurity game of cat and mouse,” she said.

Defenders, such as Mary, name cybersecurity attacks as one of the biggest threats to society today. “Everyday someone somewhere receives unsolicited, SMS or email messages asking them to click a link. Many people make the mistake of opening attachments that install a virus on their device and steal sensitive financial information.

“These cyberthreats can look official and many people fall for them. The next thing they know, their bank accounts have been emptied. Ransomware is another common cyberthreat unleashed by cybercriminals. Upon gaining access to a PC, attackers lock the owner’s computer files and refuse to grant access unless a ransom has been paid,” she added.

To combat this, Mary and her project PROTECTIVE colleagues are creating tools to improve the awareness of the risk posed by these cyber security attacks. “Our hope is that our PROTECTIVE software will ultimately form part of a network monitoring kit with two main innovations: the sharing of information on attacks known as threat intelligence with other network monitoring organisations and providing a model of the network that shows which are the critical assets i.e. the most important computers on a network. By creating a system through which data and security information can be collected, processed and shared, organisations can enjoy enhanced decision-making capabilities,” she said.

The PROTECTIVE software is designed to service Security Incident Response Teams (CSIRT) and National Research Education Networks (NRENs), like HEAnet in Ireland, but will also be made available to managed security service providers (MSSPs) who in turn provide assistance to SMEs vulnerable to cybercrime. “Small to medium-sized companies often have limited resources and can struggle to protect themselves online. This coupled with what often is a limited understanding of cybersecurity and what needs to be done to safeguard their networks, means that they are particularly at risk,” she finished.

The PROTECTIVE project commenced in September 2016 and is being led by Dr Brian Lee, Director Software Research Institute at Athlone Institute of Technology, and includes key research partners from the Czech Republic, Romania, Poland, England and Germany. Its commercial partners include email Laundry (Ireland), SYNYO (Austria), ITTI (Poland) and GMV (Spain).

The three-year project is funded by the EU Horizon 2020, Europe’s research and innovation programme aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness through world-class science and technology research. PROTECTIVE’s next software deployment is scheduled for January 2019.

For more information about project PROTECTIVE, see

About Author



Related Articles

New Subscriber

Subscribe Here


National Manufacturing Conference & Exhibition 2018

NIBRT Springboard Success Stories

Upcoming Events

  • No upcoming events
AEC v1.0.4