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Scientific reviews and challenges in cybersecurity

The digital transformation opens up a wealth of new opportunities, but iit increasingly exposes our IT systems and personal data to attacks. The risks are also substantial for governments or operators of vital importance from both a human and an economic point of view. In this context, Inria has unveiled a new white book on the subject of cybersecurity, the goal being to review the major scientific issues and raise awareness of the importance of this subject.

Scientific challenges

The white book raises a number of questions, both technological and scientific, including:

  • Designing post-quantum cryptography. Building a quantum computer is widely believed feasible in the next decades and most cryptography used today could be efficiently broken by such a computer. Therefore, it is important to think now about quantum-resistant cryptography, that can still protect information encrypted today when quantum computers appear.
  • Computing on encrypted data. The advent of cloud computing and the external storage and processing of data created the need to perform computations directly on encrypted data to ensure confidentiality. While this problem can be solved by homomorphic and functional encryption, these techniques are not yet efficient enough to scale. Hence, this remains an important area of research with considerable economic potential.
  • End-to-end proofs for cryptographic protocols. Proving cryptographic protocols secure is an extremely complex undertaking, both at the level of specifications and implementations. Formal methods and computer-assisted proofs are essential to ensure a sufficient level of trust and their use must be generalized. It is also important to extend the scope of these methods to more complex properties such as privacy.
  • Developing security for the Internet of Things. Securing connected objects within the Internet of Things is a major challenge, due to their invasive nature into the physical world, the scale of the attacks, and the fact that protections are almost nonexistent in many of these objects.
  • Enhanced protection for citizens' privacy. The massive increase in the volume and intrusive nature of personal data and their collection raise a number of questions. Multidisciplinary research is needed in order to add transparency and highlight good or bad practises in these complex environments, which are subject to constant technological changes.

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