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< Contents ERCIM News No. 61, April 2005

ERCIM Working Group on Security and Trust Management

by Fabio Martinelli

ERCIM's board of Directors approved a new Working Group on Security and Trust Management in January 2005.

The new ERCIM WG on security and trust management (STM) aims at fostering European research and development in the field of security, trust and privacy in information and communication technologies (ICT). The pervasive nature of emerging ICT has added new areas of concern to the information security area. Additional problems are posed in terms of new potential attack scenarios, threats, menaces and damage. The increased virtual and physical mobility of users enhances their possibilities for interaction but leads to an increasing demand for the reliable establishment of trust relationships. Privacy is also a main concern in the current ambient intelligence paradigm: wherever there are devices interacting with users it is possible that such devices are also gathering information about the users. These problems and many others are being perceived at different levels of concern by users, technology producers, scientists and governments.

The STM WG has been established considering that:

  • Most ERCIM partners have acknowledged the importance of 'security and trust' by establishing research groups on this theme. These groups often study similar topics. Co-operation between these groups would strengthen their research capabilities.
  • Security and trust management does not play an essential role in the current ERCIM working groups in force. A new working group should achieve maximum synergy among the partners in this area and create a critical mass for research and scientific visibility.
  • Current international funding opportunities often require large consortia. A working group could play a pivotal role in establishing consortia in which ERCIM partners play a role.
  • Mobility of researchers is essential to bring both individual researchers and research groups to a higher level. A working group would be beneficial in facilitating this.

The STM WG is committed to a series of activities including joint research work, project proposals, event organization, mobility of researchers and others. In particular, the joint research and dissemination activities will have the following objectives:

Research and Technology

  • to investigate the foundations and applications of security and trust in ICT
  • to study the deep interplay between trust management and common security issues such as confidentiality, integrity and availability
  • to identify and promote new areas of research connected with security management, such as dynamic and mobile coalition management (e.g., P2P, MANETs, Web/GRID services)
  • to identify and promote new areas of research connected with trust management, e.g. reputation, recommendation, collaboration etc
  • to provide a platform for presenting and discussing emerging ideas and trends.

Education and Dissemination

  • to promote the growth of young researchers interested in the field of security
  • to support and stimulate the organization of meetings and events related to research issues in security and trust management
  • to provide a forum for the exchange of expertise and information also with industry
  • to increase public awareness on issues related to information security.

The research activities of the WG will be mainly focussed on:

  • rigorous semantics and computational models for security and trust
  • security and trust management architectures, mechanisms and policies
  • networked systems security
  • privacy and anonymity
  • identity management
  • ICT for securing digital as well as physical assets
  • cryptography.

Other Activities
One of the main objectives of the STM WG is to provide a means to participate in joint research projects that span national borders. One main source of possible funding will be EU research programmes. In particular, the scope of the WG exactly matches several objectives in FP6 (calls 4/5) and FP7. The great attention paid by EU to 'security' in a broad sense is shown by the specific research funding programmes on security (eg, see and the recent Preparatory Action on 'The enhancement of the European industrial potential in the field of Security Research' (PASR 2004)). The STM WG is also strongly committed to stimulate mobility, enabling work on collaborative research projects at other institutes for short periods. Moreover, the STM WG has identified new topics of interest to be included in the ERCIM Fellowship Programme. The STM WG will organize a thematic workshop each year.

We encourage the active participation of researchers from both ERCIM and non-ERCIM research institutions and from industry.

STM WG Web page:

Please contact:
Fabio Martinelli, IIT-CNR, Italy
Tel: +39 050 315 3425