The Horizon 2020 Programme


“ICT-driven transformations bring opportunities across many important sectors but also vulnerabilities to critical infrastructures and digital services, which can have significant consequences on the functioning of society, economic growth and the technological innovation potential of Europe. These challenges are being addressed through innovative approaches that cross the boundaries of individual H2020 pillars, calls and challenges. Therefore the main research & Innovation activities in Digital Security are grouped in a dedicated focus area cutting across LEIT–ICT and Societal Challenges parts of the work programme, including evidently the Societal Challenge 7 on “Secure Societies”, but also the Societal Challenge 1 on “Health, demographic change and wellbeing”.

In July 2016, the European Commission, in partnership with Industry, established the Cybersecurity contractual Public-Private Partnership (Cybersecurity PPP)[]. The Cybersecurity PPP gathers industrial and public resources to deliver innovation against a jointly-agreed roadmap for strategic research and innovation.

The Cybersecurity PPP will help to align the demand and supply sectors for cybersecurity products while also seeking synergies to develop common, sector-neutral technological building blocks with maximum replication potential e.g. encrypted storage and processing, secured communication, etc.

The use of modern telecommunications and on-line services involve users’ personal information. For example, using search engines exposes the query terms used, which can be both sensitive and identifying, as illustrated by the exposure of search terms; social networking services expect users to reveal their social connections, messages and preferences, that could lead to direct privacy violation if exposed. Browsing the web also leaves traces of where users have gone, their interests, and their actions – meta-data that can be used to profile individuals.

The implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) presents both technological as well as organisational challenges for organisations which have to implement novelties such as the right to data portability, the right to be forgotten, data protection impact assessments and the various implementations of the principle of accountability.

Many services on the Internet depend on the availability of secure digital identities which play a crucial role in safeguarding the data and privacy of citizens as well as protecting them and other actors such as private companies or public services form various online threats. At the same time, many European countries already have or are in the process of developing an electronic identity (eID) scheme. Most of these projects are built to be at a very high security level, which makes them very suitable for diverse eGovernment processes. But in turn they may lack usability for commercial applications.