Page 6-7 - TSSG Quarterly - Issue 02

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he recent upsurge in data
breaches internationally raises
questions about who can
be trusted with information
online. A team of researchers at the
Telecommunications Software & Systems
Group (TSSG) is working on a technology
to enable enterprises make trust-based
business decisions faster and more
efficiently by providing advanced security
and peace of mind.
Aniketos (meaning “unconquered”), is a three
and a half year €13.9 million EU-funded
project that aims to establish and maintain
trustworthiness and secure behaviour
in today’s constantly changing service
environment. It will be able to assess any two
entities existing in the cloud and determine
what level of trust should exist between
them. This offers users a fast and accurate
way to decide if they can depend on an
on-line service, data source or company.
This automatic assessment of businesses
will also provide ways to analyse and share
information on preventing new threats and
To analyse trust, Aniketos applies a
mathematical formula that has been
developed through psychological
investigations of trust. It takes into account
the trustor, the trustee, the task in question,
the goal that the trustor wishes to accomplish,
and the context of their relationship. Each
relationship is analysed individually according
to this formula, so that a mistake-prone
broad-stroke approach is avoided.
Hisain Elshaafi, Security Researcher, TSSG
said, “Currently, nothing like Aniketos exists
on-line; it is the first system that analyses
trust in this way. The project will build on
existing technology and develop new tools
and services to enable users determine how
much trust to invest in another company or
digital service without needing to go through
a lengthy offline vetting process. This will
speed up decision making, increase business
efficiency and productivity and reduce risk,”
he said.
The aim is to create a fast and accurate
system that can assess and manage trust.
This enables users to immediately determine
how reliable other entities are and provides
them with clear courses of action based on
that information.
TSSG a research partner in a 13.9 Million “Trust” Project
“Aniketos will be flexible and robust and can
be used to define the trustworthiness of a
wide range of things. We anticipate that it
could be used across a vast array of industries
including air traffic management, telecoms,
eGovernment, emergency services and the
financial services industry.
“For example, in financial services, Aniketos can
apply trust certification to information from
a data provider, allowing a trader to assess its
reliability at incredible speed.
“If a company decides it wants to deal in
coffee stocks, it will need reliable, up-to-date
information on the value of coffee from various
global sources. To collate this information, it
would need to individually vet, evaluate and
assess a selection of information sources and
then request data from the most appropriate
one. Aniketos can significantly simplify this
lengthy process. Using it, when the same trader
makes a request for information all responses
will be automatically assessed by Aniketos,
which will provide the trader with only the
most trustworthy data in order to make an
immediate decision.
“Another example is eGovernment. If a
goverment decided to implement nationwide
parking system with electronic payments,
Aniketos could help assess the most
trustworthy accounts and billing vendor.
Even after the decision is made, Aniketos can
continue to monitor all the companies in this
space and suggest a new vendor if there is
a change in the trust relationship. It can also
provide detailed information on the individual
characteristics and factors used to calculate the
level of trustworthiness rather than providing
only a single computed trust value.
“A core element of Aniketos is security, which
is a form of trust management. Again, in the
case of financial trading, it is critical that the
communication channels between two entities
are secure – hackers, disgruntled employees
or external agencies are plausible sources of
interference. However, Aniketos will analyse
every participating element in the value chain
and proactively advise of potential security
threats from an internal or external source. It
can detect and avoid security breaches and
highlight vulnerabilities that could be exploited
through well-known attack mechanisms,” he
In line with European Commission strategy,
the Aniketos solution is predominantly open
source software, which increases its potential
for widespread industry use. TSSG is using this
opportunity to engage with the international
software developer community to ensure that
a rich ecosystem is created to build Aniketos
into new and existing services.
The project involves a consortium of large
industrial and research facilities from Spain,
UK, Italy, Hungary, Greece, France, Austria and
Germany. TSSG is the sole Irish participant and
the team has delivered three research papers as
part of the project to date.