THE PROFILE 2017/18

IT/Security/Encryption technologies

The reliable protection of critical infrastructures is critical to a country‘s position in global competition.

SECURITY

FOR OUR

DIGITAL SOCIETY

In the future, the security of ICT systems will no longer be guaranteed with conventional methods and procedures. For this reason, the AIT is researching new concepts and technologies for authorities, IT and financial companies in order to efficiently integrate safety mechanisms into future ICT systems.

In our modern, globally interconnected and digitized society, the rules for mastering digital technology have fundamentally changed for the benefit of posi- tive social and economic development.


On the one hand, due to comprehensive interconnec- tion in all our spheres of life, we are building complex systems which no longer simply behave in a deter- ministic manner. System of Systems, Internet of Things (IoT), and Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) de- note the increasing complexity of our technical plat- forms which makes it increasingly difficult to fully un- derstand the systems in detail and to agree on rigid rules for the description of correct system behaviour.


Against this background, state-of-the-art information and communication technologies (ICT) and systems are being developed in the AIT Center for Digital Safety and Security in order to design critical infrastructures in a secure and reliable manner in the context of compre- hensive and global networking and digitization.


OUR APPROACH

Digitization floods all areas of life and determines industry, commerce and finance. On the one hand, this leads to improved development op- portunities, but on the other hand security risks also increase. As part of the research focus Cyber Attack Information System, international experts are researching new techniques for anomaly detection of IT systems for a better defence against cyber attacks and for the efficient analysis of current threat scenarios for computer systems. AIT is an in- ternationally renowned coordinator of research projects in this field and a reliable partner of public authorities, business and industry as well as science. Other AIT topics closely intertwined with this research focus include the development of state-of-the-art encryption methods for vir- tual IT systems, or Data Science for the research and development of new approaches to modern data management (big data, blockchain technologies).

HIGHLY SECURE ENCRYPTION TECHNOLOGIES

Many new challenges are emerging for the design of secure and intelli- gent communication systems of the next generation, with these in par- ticular also calling for new approaches in cryptography. For this reason, new cryptographic methods are being researched and examinations are conducted at the AIT to see how these can be used to make ICT sys- tems of the future safer. Methods, concepts and prototypes are devel- oped, which are not only intended to help better protect user data, but also their privacy in the interaction with ICT in the context of cloud com- puting and the IoT.

Cloud computing is one of the most important IT trends in recent years. For this reason, major companies are investing heavily in cloud infra- structures. A representative example of the growth rate is Italy where 20% of all IT companies already use cloud-based services and a further 58% intend to introduce such services in the near future. However, since the cloud computing paradigm encompasses many aspects of current IT enterprise infrastructures such as security management in organizations, facility management and the consideration of regulatory frameworks, it gives rise to increasing concerns in terms of security, reliability and information protection. AIT develops state-of-the-art con- cepts, methods and technologies for the implementation of protected, reliable and highly secure cloud computing environments for critical IT infrastructures.


ON THE TRAIL OF VIRTUAL MONEY

The Digital Insight Lab at the Center for Digital Safety & Security at AIT conducts research in the area of virtual currencies and develops tools and methods to make these measurable and thereby limit abuse. Inter- net currencies like Bitcoin act like digitized cash. Vendors and customers can trade and make payments without the need for other organizations such as banks or credit card companies as intermediaries. The payers can remain anonymous. All of this also makes Bitcoin interesting for criminals or for trading in illegal goods or money laundering. In Austria, the AIT coordinated the German-Austrian research project Bitcrime, which was funded by the KIRAS security research program of the Austri- an Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology („bmvit“). At the Eu- ropean level, the AIT has also become a recognized center of excellence in the field of virtual currencies and is working together with various pub- lic institutions and authorities to examine the various technical, but also social and legal aspects that virtual currencies entail.

Foto: AIT/Johannes Zinner

Ross King, Digital Insight Lab: „Virtual currencies such as Bitcoin represent entirely new challenges for the Federal authorities.