Cybersecurity across Europe in the last quarter: Post-Quantum Cryptography, 6G Network and Cloud Security

European Firms Advance Cybersecurity Landscape with Strategic Moves and Innovations

(IN BRIEF) In the last quarter (1 Dec 2023 – 1 Mar 2024), Europe’s cybersecurity scene was marked by significant strides, with Thales and Ericsson leading initiatives to enhance digital security. Thales’ TrustNest R-Cloud received European Restricted certification, bolstering secure cloud collaboration for sensitive projects. Ericsson’s ROBUST-6G project aimed to fortify future 6G networks with AI/ML-based security solutions, indicating a proactive approach to next-gen telecommunication security. Strategic mergers, like DNV’s consolidation with Nixu and Applied Risk, showcased the trend towards strengthening cybersecurity services. Partnerships, such as Telefónica Tech’s alliances with HORSE and CrowdStrike, reflected a commitment to enhancing defenses against cyber threats. The sector also saw key recognitions, like Vodafone’s Stuart Perkins receiving the Cisco Cyber Security Defender Award, and strategic expansions, with Thales establishing a Centre of Excellence in Singapore. These developments, alongside Ericsson’s designation as a CVE Numbering Authority and Thales’ acquisition of Imperva, underscored a dynamic period of advancement and collaboration within Europe’s cybersecurity ecosystem, aimed at securing digital infrastructures against evolving threats.

(PRESS RELEASE) STOCKHOLM, MADRID, BIRMINGHAM, PARIS, 6-Mar-2024 — /EuropaWire/ — As 2024 unfolds, the cybersecurity landscape in Europe is witnessing a transformative phase marked by strategic collaborations, technological advancements, and significant acquisitions. These developments reflect the region’s robust response to the evolving digital threats and the commitment to safeguarding sensitive data and critical infrastructure across various sectors.

In a notable development, Thales announced the European Restricted certification of its TrustNest R-Cloud by ANSSI, a significant stride in cloud security enabling secure collaboration on sensitive European projects. This approval underscores the growing need for robust cloud solutions amidst the digital transformation wave sweeping across companies.

Adding to the cybersecurity momentum, Ericsson Research Türkiye spearheaded the ROBUST-6G project, aiming to fortify future 6G networks against cyber threats. The initiative focuses on harnessing AI/ML techniques and zero-touch management to establish a smart network security framework, emphasizing distributed intelligence and privacy enhancements.

Thales further showcased its cybersecurity prowess at the Mobile World Congress, unveiling cutting-edge solutions in mobile and IoT connectivity security. The highlights included advancements in eSIM management, IoT deployments, 5G security, and pioneering efforts in post-quantum cryptography, reaffirming Thales’ role in securing the connected world.

Expanding its global footprint, Thales also announced its growth plans in Singapore, establishing a Centre of Excellence for avionics and Digital Identity & Security engineering. This expansion aims to reinforce Thales’ technological leadership in Asia, with a focus on cybersecurity and sustainable innovation.

Furthermore, the global technology and security provider has also unveiled the PQC Starter Kit in partnership with Quantinuum, offering enterprises a groundbreaking solution to prepare for the era of Post-Quantum Cryptography (PQC). Earlier, Thales has also named Christoph Ruffner as its new CEO & Country Director for Thales Germany, effective January 1st, 2024. In late December 2023, SK Telecom (SKT) and Thales have partnered over the implementation of Post Quantum Cryptography (PQC) on 5G networks, thus enhancing user identity and privacy protection.

In a strategic move to consolidate its cybersecurity capabilities, DNV merged its cyber security division with Nixu and Applied Risk, creating one of Europe’s fastest-growing cyber security services businesses. This merger aims to offer comprehensive cyber security services across various industries, enhancing the protection of IT and industrial control systems.

Telefónica Tech forged partnerships to strengthen cybersecurity measures, including a collaboration with HORSE to deploy the Aristeo solution at its Valladolid plant, and another strategic alliance with CrowdStrike to bolster its Managed Detection and Response service. In addition, the company has also launched an advanced cyber intelligence service to enhance the cybersecurity defenses of large enterprises.

Vodafone’s Stuart Perkins was recognized with the Cisco Cyber Security Defender Award 2024 for his contributions to cybersecurity, reflecting Vodafone’s dedication to safeguarding digital assets and data.

Amid the changing work patterns and increased cyber threats, local government organizations are turning to shared services models and Zero Trust security approaches to enhance cybersecurity. SCC’s partnership with iboss to deliver a Zero Trust security service exemplifies this trend, offering comprehensive protection for businesses in cloud-first environments. Earlier, the European technology solutions and services firm (SCC) has also joined the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA) to enhance its commitment to cybersecurity excellence.

According to a survey by Payit™ by NatWest, two-thirds of larger UK businesses are familiar with open banking, with users reporting an annual time saving of 150 hours compared to non-users. Despite concerns about cybersecurity risks, open banking adoption is seen as an opportunity to improve payment efficiency, reduce costs, and enhance customer experience.

Ericsson’s designation as a CVE Numbering Authority marked its enhanced role in global cybersecurity efforts, enabling the company to contribute to the identification and documentation of software vulnerabilities.

Two days later, on 17 January 2024, in a major move across the European Union, The European Commission has awarded a consortium led by Deutsche Telekom (DT), named “Nostradamus,” the task of constructing testing infrastructure for quantum key distribution (QKD).

In a significant acquisition, Thales completed the purchase of Imperva, bolstering its position as a global cybersecurity leader and enhancing its capabilities in application security, data protection, and identity management.

In its groundbreaking report, “Location Tracking on the Battlefield: Phones Under Fire,Enea provides a comprehensive overview of various methods employed to gain military intelligence through tracking mobile devices on the battlefield, with particular focus on Ukraine.

In a strategic acquisition, Accenture has successfully taken over of 6point6, a prominent U.K. technology consultancy known for its expertise in cloud, data, and cybersecurity.

And most recently, during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Deutsche Telekom (DT) introduced “Magenta Security on Net,” a new line of network-based security products designed to protect customers from the growing threats of cybercrime while on the go.

These announcements, ranging from certifications and project launches to strategic partnerships and acquisitions, paint a picture of a very dynamic and proactive European cybersecurity ecosystem. As digital threats become more sophisticated, these concerted efforts by leading European companies signify a strong commitment to advancing cybersecurity measures, ensuring secure and resilient digital environments for businesses and individuals alike.

Critical aspects of the cybersecurity landscape in the last quarter (1 Dec 2023 – 1 Mar 2024):

To analyze and visualize the critical aspects of the cybersecurity landscape in the last quarter based on the announcements, we’ll focus on several key areas:

  1. Certifications and Approvals: Highlighting advancements in securing cloud solutions and project collaborations, such as Thales’ TrustNest R-Cloud achieving European Restricted certification.
  2. Technological Innovations: Showcasing efforts in developing next-gen security solutions for emerging technologies like 6G, as seen in Ericsson’s ROBUST-6G project, and advancements in post-quantum cryptography by Thales.
  3. Strategic Partnerships and Collaborations: Reflecting on alliances aimed at enhancing cybersecurity defenses, like Telefónica Tech’s partnerships with HORSE and CrowdStrike, and SCC’s partnership with iboss for Zero Trust security services.
  4. Expansion and Acquisitions: Indicating growth and expansion plans, such as Thales’ establishment of a Centre of Excellence in Singapore and its acquisition of Imperva, and Accenture’s acquisition of 6point6.
  5. Awards and Recognitions: Acknowledging individual and team contributions to cybersecurity, exemplified by Stuart Perkins of Vodafone receiving the Cisco Cyber Security Defender Award.
  6. Innovative Solutions and Services: Highlighting new cybersecurity services and solutions introduced to the market, like Telefónica Tech’s advanced cyber intelligence service and DNV’s merger to create a leading cybersecurity services business in Europe.

Let’s visualize these key areas to provide a clearer understanding of the critical developments in the cybersecurity field in the last quarter.

Cybersecurity across Europe in the last quarter (1 Dec 2023 – 1 Mar 2024)

The bar chart provides a visual overview of the critical developments in the cybersecurity landscape as highlighted in the last quarter’s announcements. The key areas include Certifications and Approvals, Technological Innovations, Strategic Partnerships, Expansion and Acquisitions, Awards and Recognitions, and Innovative Solutions.

Strategic Partnerships and Expansion and Acquisitions emerged as the most active areas, indicating a strong trend towards collaboration and growth in the cybersecurity sector. Technological Innovations and Innovative Solutions also saw notable activity, reflecting ongoing efforts to advance cybersecurity technologies and services. Certifications and Approvals, along with Awards and Recognitions, though fewer in number, underscore the importance of meeting high security standards and acknowledging individual and organizational contributions to the field.

These developments collectively signify a dynamic period of advancement, collaboration, and recognition within the European cybersecurity community, aimed at enhancing digital security in an increasingly complex threat landscape.

Several key technologies and concepts stand out:

  1. Cloud Security: Thales’ TrustNest R-Cloud certification emphasizes the importance of secure cloud solutions for handling sensitive data, highlighting the need for robust security in cloud infrastructures.
  2. 6G Network Security: Ericsson’s involvement in the ROBUST-6G project underlines the anticipation of next-generation network technologies and the importance of integrating advanced security measures, particularly using AI/ML for threat detection and response.
  3. Post-Quantum Cryptography: Thales’ pioneering efforts in post-quantum cryptography indicate a forward-looking approach to cybersecurity, preparing for a future where quantum computing could potentially break current encryption standards.
  4. eSIM Management and IoT Security: The focus on eSIM management and securing IoT deployments points to the growing complexity and expansion of connected devices, necessitating innovative security solutions to protect against threats in these areas.
  5. Zero Trust Security Model: The adoption of Zero Trust security approaches by organizations like SCC, in partnership with iboss, reflects a shift towards more rigorous access controls and continuous verification within digital environments to combat sophisticated cyber threats.
  6. Vulnerability Identification and Management: Ericsson’s authorization as a CVE Numbering Authority highlights the importance of systematically identifying and documenting vulnerabilities to enhance collaboration and response efforts across the cybersecurity community.
  7. Cybersecurity Services Consolidation: The merger of DNV’s cybersecurity division with Nixu and Applied Risk showcases a trend towards creating more comprehensive cybersecurity service providers capable of addressing a wide range of threats and industries.

Among these technologies, Post-Quantum Cryptography and 6G Network Security stand out as particularly forward-thinking. They address potential future challenges that could fundamentally alter the cybersecurity landscape: quantum computing’s impact on encryption and the security implications of emerging 6G networks. These areas signify proactive measures being taken by companies to stay ahead of rapidly advancing technologies and the evolving threat landscape.

Technologies discussed in the cybersecurity announcements from December 2023 to March 2024

The bar chart visualizes the technologies discussed in the cybersecurity announcements from December 2023 to March 2024, along with their emphasis level based on the analysis. “6G Network Security” and “Post-Quantum Cryptography” are highlighted as the most emphasized technologies, indicating a forward-looking approach to addressing future cybersecurity challenges. “Cloud Security” and “Zero Trust Security Model” also receive significant attention, reflecting the ongoing efforts to secure cloud environments and adopt more stringent access controls. “eSIM & IoT Security” shows considerable importance as well, acknowledging the growing security needs for the expanding IoT landscape. “Vulnerability Management” and “Cybersecurity Services Consolidation” are also key areas, albeit with slightly less emphasis, pointing to the importance of managing vulnerabilities and the trend towards consolidating cybersecurity services for enhanced efficiency and coverage.

Which companies were most active during the period observed (1 Dec 2023 – 1 Mar 2024):

The activity level is determined by the number of announcements and the diversity of topics covered in those announcements.

  1. Thales: Thales appears most frequently with multiple announcements covering a range of topics, including cloud security certifications, post-quantum cryptography, expansion into Singapore, and the acquisition of Imperva, indicating a high level of activity and diverse engagement in the cybersecurity landscape.
  2. Ericsson: Ericsson is also highly active, with significant contributions to the ROBUST-6G project for future network security and achieving the status of a CVE Numbering Authority, reflecting its commitment to advancing cybersecurity in telecommunications.
  3. Telefónica Tech: This company shows notable activity through strategic partnerships to enhance cybersecurity defenses, including collaborations with HORSE and CrowdStrike, and the launch of an advanced cyber intelligence service.
  4. SCC: SCC made important announcements regarding its Zero Trust security service in partnership with iboss and joining the Microsoft Intelligent Security Association (MISA), demonstrating its active role in promoting cybersecurity solutions.
  5. DNV: The merger of DNV’s cybersecurity division with Nixu and Applied Risk to create a leading cybersecurity service in Europe highlights DNV’s significant move to consolidate its position in the cybersecurity services market.
  6. Accenture: Accenture’s acquisition of 6point6 underscores its active expansion in the cybersecurity consulting domain, particularly in the U.K.
  7. Vodafone: Vodafone’s activity is highlighted by the recognition of Stuart Perkins with the Cisco Cyber Security Defender Award, indicating individual excellence within the company’s cybersecurity efforts.
  8. Enea: Mentioned for its report on mobile device tracking on the battlefield, Enea’s activity focuses on a specific aspect of cybersecurity, contributing valuable insights into the security implications in conflict zones.

Ranking these companies based on the volume and diversity of their activities during the period observed, Thales and Ericsson emerge as the most active, followed by Telefónica Tech, SCC, and DNV. Accenture, Vodafone, and Enea also contribute to the cybersecurity landscape, albeit with fewer announcements.

Activity levels of companies involved in cybersecurity announcements from December 2023 to March 2024

The bar chart illustrates the activity levels of companies involved in cybersecurity announcements from December 2023 to March 2024. Thales leads the chart with the highest activity level, followed closely by Ericsson. Telefónica Tech, SCC, and DNV exhibit significant activity as well, while Accenture, Vodafone, and Enea show lower levels of activity in comparison. This visualization highlights the companies that were most active in advancing cybersecurity initiatives during the observed period, demonstrating their contributions to enhancing digital security landscapes.

Please also note that the announcements mentioned in this release include only the press releases that have been published on and sent out via EuropaWire during the following period: 1 Dec 2023 – 5 Mar 2024 and the information is certainly not exhaustive.

SOURCE: EuropaWire

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