An increasing number of key stakeholders in the cybersecurity and privacy community are participating in EU-US collaborative research and innovation projects. Of those, 65,1% individuals who had not been involved in these projects said they were interested in participating in the future.
The findings are part of the key conclusions of a survey carried out by AEGIS, an EU-US cybersecurity and privacy project funded by the EU Horizon 2020 program for R&I. The survey aimed to measure the interest in EU-US cybersecurity and privacy R&I projects and initiatives, determine priority areas of interest for cybersecurity and privacy R&I cooperation and identify barriers for EU-US collaboration in the field.
Participants included ICT and cybersecurity researchers from academia and the industry, decision makers, individuals at government institutions and members of relevant associations in the EU and the US. The survey received 130 responses from these stakeholders.
The survey results are broken down in detail below. You can read the full survey report here.
There is increasing interest in EU-US collaborative research and innovation projects in the cybersecurity and privacy domains.
The AEGIS survey wanted to analyze the current state of EU-US collaborative R&I projects as well as to gauge possible interest in future collaboration. Almost one third of respondents (31,8%) said they had already been involved in such projects. Of those who had already participated, 23,3% said they were planning to participate in new projects or initiatives. Meanwhile, 65,1% of respondents who had not been involved in EU-US projects indicated they had interest in participating in the future.
The Top 4 cybersecurity research priorities for EU-US collaboration are: Data Security and Privacy; Trust and Privacy; the Fight Against Cybercrime; and Cybersecurity Education.
Survey results also provided important insights on what research priorities key stakeholders in the cybersecurity and privacy communities consider relevant for EU-US cooperation. Participants identified Data Security and Privacy, Trust and Privacy, the Fight Against Cybercrime and Cybersecurity Education as the top four research priorities.
In terms of application areas, the Internet of Things is considered a top priority.
The survey also aimed to gauge what applications and technologies the community considered to be the most important. Respondents largely (71,31%) declared that the Internet of Things was a priority in this regard. It was followed by Mobile Devices, which 61,9% of participants considered to be very important, and Big Data, which was chosen by 57,9% of respondents.
The Health and Financial Services sectors are overwhelmingly considered the most important sectors that need to be protected.
In addition to analyzing important research domains and applications, the survey also asked respondents to identify the primary sectors that need to be protected by cybersecurity applications, technologies and research. Survey participants overwhelmingly indicated that the Health and Financial Services sectors deserved attention and cybersecurity protection.
Different policies and legislation in the EU and the US are seen as the principal barrier for collaboration. Another barrier is the lack of coordination between funding programs.
Although the EU and the US share cybersecurity objectives in certain policy areas, such as public-private information sharing, the political landscape in both jurisdictions is considerably different. Survey respondents reaffirmed this and indicated that the differences in policies and legislation was the principal barrier for collaboration.
Participants identified the lack of coordination between funding programs in the EU and the US as another barrier for cooperation. This finding is not new and has been corroborated by other EU funded projects, such as DISCOVERY. Today it is widely accepted that EU-US collaboration in R&I, including the cybersecurity and privacy domains, will require more effective coordination among funding agencies and the involvement of public and private funding with long-term commitment.
The findings of the AEGIS survey provide valuable information about potential areas of EU-US collaboration in cybersecurity and privacy R&I and identify the principal barriers for cooperation. It is important that public and private actors take steps to focus their collaboration efforts on areas where there is already shared interest and to eliminate barriers when possible. The AEGIS project is part of this effort and is working to increase cooperation and dialogue between key EU and US cybersecurity and privacy stakeholders.