The new EU-funded PUZZLE project is here for SMEs and citizens when their cyber prevention efforts fail

Submitted by Milan Šolaja on 27 April 2021

Selected as one of the most innovative new approaches in cybersecurity by the European Commission, PUZZLE aims to strengthen cyber safety by focusing on post-threat mitigation, filling an important security gap for many SMEs and citizens.
Cybersecurity is the base-layer of Europe’s shift towards a digital economy of the future. Accelerated by the current pandemic which caused millions of offices across the continent to switch to teleworking, this development highlights the need for businesses, citizens, and public administrations to increase their cybersecurity.

What is the core of the PUZZLE?
It is an EU-funded project, a part of the Horizon 2020 programme, set to design and implement state-of-the-art cybersecurity, privacy and data protection management framework. Cybersecurity is blockchain-based and targeted at SMEs&MEs. How can PUZZLE help? By providing SMEs&MEs with targeted cybersecurity management services to monitor, assess and manage security, privacy and personal data protection risks.
While malicious attacks on the digital infrastructures and data of businesses and public administrations become more and more sophisticated, SMEs cannot keep up. Having to spend their limited resources on product development, marketing, and similar expenses, cybersecurity and prevention are often an afterthought. Basic “cyber hygiene” and the prevention of cyberattacks are crucial first measures to increase resilience. For this reason, most cybersecurity efforts and projects are geared towards pre-incident cybersecurity.
PUZZLE, however, will take a different approach and focus on post-incident mitigation.
The idea of this new project, funded through the Horizon 2020 framework, is to minimise (or even eliminate, where possible) the impact of cyber-attacks. It will do so by combining novel situation awareness techniques, advanced risk analysis, and valuable incident sharing among clusters of digital companies.
We will support SME-onboarding and ensure that the final solution benefits SME users, for instance by contributing to an Innovation Contest where SMEs will be granted a €10,000 Innovation Coupon to adopt and test the PUZZLE solution.
PUZZLE will provide a dynamic, collaborative warning and response system helping security officers and operators (e.g. incident response professionals) to recognise, identify, dynamically analyse, forecast, and respond to threats. Utilising both structured data (e.g. logs and network traffic) and unstructured data (e.g. data coming from social networks or the dark web) SMEs will be better able to handle daily cyber incidents.

What kind of innovations does PUZZLE bring to SMEs&MEs?
Through blockchain-oriented technologies, SMEs&MEs will efficiently process information flows and establish online collaboration and knowledge sharing with other SMEs&MEs. Processed data analysis will lead to security insights and threat intelligence reports and, ultimately, increase their cybersecurity awareness.

The partners behind PUZZLE
PUZZLE brings together multidisciplinary competences and resources from the academia, industry and research community focusing on digital community, multi-dependency cyber-physical risk assessment, edge trust assurance services and remote attestation, distributed processing, programmable networking mechanisms, cybersecurity analytics, deep analysis and distributed machine learning, threat intelligence and blockchain technologies. It consists of thirteen (13) partners representing research institutes, universities, technology providers, infrastructure providers (and users) and industrial partners (including eight SMEs&MEs) from nine EC member states and associated countries.

Cluster organisation
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