The main objective set forth by GHOST is to develop a user-friendly application to improve security and privacy in a Digital Home connected to Internet of Things (IoT), using the most advanced technologies available for this purpose.
In this way, Ghost will contribute to boost European IoT home market, bringing next-generation security systems for domestic applications (based on technologies like blockchain or deep packet inspection) to all users, independently of their previous knowledge. GHOST has a budget of 4.9 million euros and a development period of 36 months. It is supported by the EU Framework Programme for Research and Innovation Horizon 2020 (specifically in the topic DS-02-2016, under Grant Agreement number GA-740923). Ten companies, organizations and universities from six countries are part of the project, led by Televes.
GHOST envisions a transparent cybersecurity environment for all Europeans living in a connected world: with minimal effort consumers will become aware and understand the cybersecurity risks (threats and vulnerabilities), and will take informative decisions affecting their cyber-physical security and privacy.
Cybersecurity technology will transform consumers’ decisions into reliable automated security services and solutions, will promote security-friendly end-user habits through behavioural engineering, and deliver usable transparency. To this end the project mission is to deliver the first generation of disruptive software-enabled usable security network solution for Smart-Home occupants. GHOST cutting-edge technology will increase the level and the effectiveness of automation of existing cybersecurity services, enhance system self-defence and will open up the cybersecurity blackbox to consumers and build trust through advanced usable transparency tools derived from end-users’ mental models.
GHOST software will be embedded in home network gateways to perform network analysis and deep packet inspection for suspicious pattern recognition, will apply machine learning and data analytics for malicious behaviour detection, will carry out context-aware real-time risk assessment, widely apply data analytics and visualization for effortless user comprehension and decision support, strengthen security defence through blockchain technology and smart contracts, while ensuring interoperability with various gateways and a wealth of IoT devices through a dedicated middleware layer.
CONCEPT & APPROACH
GHOST aims to deploy a highly usable and effective security framework for smart home residents. The project will apply behavioural design principles for the elaboration of a novel reference architecture for user-centric cyber security in smart home environments. This architecture will stimulate security-friendly user behaviour enforced by an unobtrusive and user-comprehensible solution. At the core of the GHOST solution lies a smart home network gateway, supporting a wide range of wired and wireless technologies. A set of software-enabled security services will be embedded to the gateway with the ambition to offer corporate level security down to regular citizens for personal use in their homes. GHOST will equip consumers with their own cyber security inspection, discovery and decision toolset, and shift security focus paradigm from incoming data flows to the awareness and control of data going out. GHOST embraces the notion of usable security to address users’ tendency to choose convenience over security, as well as security fatigue and desensitisation, which are pointed out as the root cause for the great majority of security and privacy breaches. To this end, the project applies human-centred design along with a threefold strategy: (1) implementation of extensively automated security (to relieve users from the burden of unnecessary decisions); (2) exploitation of security-friendly behavioural patterns of the users (to turn the human factor to the advantage of security); and (3) facilitation of the recovery process after a security and/or privacy breach (to help minimize the impact and rebuild trust). Thanks to the GHOST solution, home residents will be able to understand, monitor and control relevant cyber risks, threats and incidents at multiple layers. In parallel they will easily define and implement personalised data privacy policies, as well as easily distinguish between work and home-related IT equipment/ devices, software and/or content.
Advanced data flow analysis will be applied on a packet basis to build the context of communication. From this context, data will be classified into user and device profiles, in line with appropriate categorisation methodologies. User and device profiles will in turn be used in the automated real-time risk assessment. The assessment will be based on evaluation, comparison and matching with safe data flow patterns, utilising a self-learning approach and will be performed at application layer. Data analytics and visualisation techniques will be deployed to ensure enhanced user awareness and understanding of the security status, potential threats, risks and associated impacts.
To deliver a usable cyber security solution for smart homes
To develop a highly automated security inspection framework and a resilient, decentralised self-defence mechanism for the connected home.
To enhance cyber security awareness and to provide control to individual citizens over their smart home security status and potential threats - malicious behaviour
To identify and exploit security-friendly behavioural patterns so as to substantially reduce vulnerabilities induced by the human factor
To provide effective response to multiple cybersecurity threats with a wide range of security performance indicators tailored to the end-user needs
To establish an automated mechanism for sustaining or swiftly restoring end-users trust to the GHOST solution after a security and/or privacy breach
To demonstrate & validate the GHOST cyber-security solution in real-life conditions in smart home environments against security, usability and cost-effectiveness metrics
GHOST ambition is to provide to EU citizens professional level cybersecurity for smart-living.
To do so the project delivers a disruptive software-enabled usable security solution for smart-home occupants. GHOST technology will increase the level and the effectiveness of automation of existing cybersecurity services, enhance system self-defence and will open up the cybersecurity ‘blackbox’ to consumers through advanced usable transparency tools. The project will employ behavioural engineering techniques to stimulate cybersecurity-friendly end-user behaviour facilitated by (i) wider & deeper end-user understanding of cybersecurity issues associated with smart living, (ii) extended end-user control over cybersecurity at smart home and (iii) appropriate behavioural triggers incorporated into the system design. GHOST solution will be vendor neutral (supporting various smart home hubs / gateways and widespread and emerging IoT devices from different manufacturers) and protocol agnostic, and will be installed in smart home gateways directly by end-user or will be already embedded into smart home installations.