VTT and the University of Oulu develop a more reliable security platform for end user devices

More secure use of mobile terminals and services

VTT and the University of Oulu are participating in €-Confidential, an international research project concerned with developing a new, more reliable data security platform for mobile phones, handheld computers and laptops. The new platform will enhance the security of critical operations such as encryption and processing of personal data.

The data security platform being developed is designed as hardware-independent and thus can be deployed to different types of mobile terminals. The platform facilitates secure execution of critical operations – authentication, encryption, processing of personal data, secure connections with peripheral devices, secure online banking connections, etc. – at the end-user’s terminal.

Data security functions in a separate module

To date, safety-critical functions are mainly carried out in the operating system, which may nevertheless contain vulnerabilities due to flaws and bugs. These expose the system to information leaks and attacks by viruses or other malware. Unlike traditional operation system-based solutions, the new application carries out critical functions on a simple platform, which integrates a separate module for data security functions. The module may be physically located either in the terminal or a separate device (such as a USB memory stick). The advantage of this approach is that the new data security functions need not be integrated in the terminal itself.

VTT, the University of Oulu (Oulu University Secure Programming Group OUSPG), Ubisecure, Valimo Wireless and Ixonos are involved in €-Confidential, an extensive European ITEA -Eureka research project concerned with the ITEA-Eureka cluster concerned with developing a new data security platform and security assurance method.

VTT coordinates the development of new data security assurance method

VTT is in charge of the development of a new innovative data security confirmation method and related data security indicators. The new method is capable of better perceiving multidisciplinary interdependencies associated with data security threats, and the indicators will help verify the degree of data security of the solutions.

OUSPG investigates the interdependencies between protocols, equipment and operators, and the data security threats these pose. During the research the parties are also developing methods for future investigation of various interdependencies.

The €-Confidential project is scheduled for completion in December 2008. Overall responsibility for project management lies with European Aeronautic Defence and Space Company (EADS), the largest security company in Europe. In addition to the companies involved, the Finnish parties to the project have also received funding from the Finnish Funding Agency for Technology and Innovation (Tekes).

VTT's data security research is particularly concerned with developing security assurance methods and technical security solutions by combining top expertise from various fields. Data security research focuses on areas such as information networks, equipment and systems for the data communication and software sectors, authentication systems and critical infrastructure.

OUSPG is a research group of the Department of Electrical and Information Engineering at the Faculty of Technology at Oulu University, the aim of which is to study the data security threats associated with ICT technologies and promote general awareness of data security. The group also aims to translate its results into practical applications in order to better demonstrate the various threats.


Additional information

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