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Scientific reviews and challenges in cybersecurity

Digital transformation opens up a wealth of opportunities, but it also leaves our IT systems and personal data increasingly exposed to attacks. Whether it’s governments or major operators, the risks are substantial from both a human and an economic point of view. With this in mind, Inria has unveiled a new white paper on the subject of cybersecurity, the goal being to take stock of the major scientific challenges and raise awareness of the importance of the issue.

The scientific challenges

The white paper raises a number of issues, both technological and scientific, including:

  • Designing post-quantum cryptography . With the development of quantum computers capable of breaking down the majority of current cryptographic systems seeming increasingly likely, the challenge is now to design cryptographic primitives resistant to quantum computers in order to ensure that sensitive information contained in encrypted messages today remains indecipherable in the future.
  • Calculations using encrypted data . The advent of cloud-based storage and the external storage and processing of data means it is now necessary for calculations to be made using encrypted data in order to ensure that they remain confidential. Neither homomorphic nor functional encryption, which are capable of meeting these requirements, are sufficiently effective when it comes to scaling up and this remains a vital area of research with considerable economic potential.
  • End-to-end solutions for cryptographic protocols . Protecting cryptographic protocols is an extremely complex undertaking, whether this is in terms of specifications or implementation. Formal methods and computer-assisted proofs are essential when it comes to guaranteeing a sufficient level of trust. As such, their use must be made widespread. This also has to be extended in order to enable the certification of complex properties such as anonymity.
  • Developing security for the Internet of Things . Securing connected objects within the Internet of Things is a major challenge, owing to the near absence of protection among many of them, the way in which they intrude into the physical world and the scale of the attacks permitted.
  • Enhanced protection for citizens’ privacy . The massive increase in the volume and intrusive nature of personal data collection raises a number of questions. Multidisciplinary research is needed in order to add a sense of transparency and to highlight the practises, whether or good or bad, carried out in these complex environments, subject as they are to a process of constant technological evolution.

Keywords: White paper Internet of Things Cryptography Privacy & Data Protection Cybersecurity