ESFORS: ESFORS Coordination Action -- European Security Forum for Web Services, Software and Systems

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  • Sponsor: European Commission - IST Programme
  • Project Number: 027599
  • Coordinator: Atos Origin
  • Partners: Atos Origin, Engineering Ingegneria Informatica, FCUL, HP, SAP, Waterford Institute of Technology
  • Start Date: Nov. 2005
  • Duration: 36 months
  • Team at FCUL: 3 researchers, including


ESFORS is a Coordination Action that aims at bringing together the European stakeholders for security and dependability Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to address the security and dependability requirements of emerging software service platforms. This emergence of open service platforms such as web services provides major opportunities to position the European software industry at the heart of the emerging information society. However, the uptake of solutions based on software by industry is dependent on industry confidence in their security and dependability.

The project is positioned to support the emergence of a software and services platform architecture ensuring the incorporation of security and dependability best practice. The project will complement already existing coordination actions, e.g. SecurIST, to help shape the Security and dependability content within the European Strategic Research Agenda. It will co-operate with SecurIST to ensure that open service requirements are incorporated into the SecurIST security and dependability technology roadmap and that the roadmap is incorporated into the research agenda of the software and service research community. ESFORS will act as a bridge between these two communities: the software and services application community and the security and dependability community.


ESFORS main objective is to bring together security stakeholders to develop a security framework for web services, software and systems that will be key elements for the European technology platforms of FP7. This involves the coordination of groups of experts collaborating to develop a roadmap on security issues to strengthen the European industry and make it the most competitive knowledge based society for 2010.

The objective is to define the security and dependability chapter of the ESRA. Web services are an increasingly important layer of the European software platform architecture. The development of a strong security and dependability framework is essential to the introduction of web service into the key areas of the information society such as corporate wireless networks and Internet banking.

Technically, any security frameworks will address the security needs of highly vulnerable, complex and interconnected ICT infrastructures and develop solutions that can assure dependability and resilience of these infrastructures against internal and external attacks. The framework will provide capabilities to manage and control large scale dependable systems and secure access for networks and services.

Approach and Methods

This will be achieved through:

  1. Expert working group: established to created consensus on the industry needs and a web services security framework for the European Software Platform.
  2. Consensus building: The project will create new partnerships and alliances between players in the security and dependability research area and the web services area to address the security and dependability requirements of next generation Open Software platforms.
  3. Conferences: ESFORS team will organise 2 conferences covering topics related to security and dependability. If possible these will be organised in Brussels, if not in UK and Italy. It will include discussions for the basis of a framework on security and how it can be implemented. The interested parties operating in different fields from both the European Community and other countries will identify ways of overcoming barriers to widespread adoption of secure web services.
  4. Seminars will be organised by the partners of ESFORS consortium to invite main stakeholders in their countries.
  5. Identification of current state of the art in security and dependability. This activity will be based on studies to be developed alongside the project for analysing EU ongoing activities on security and dependability and future trends collecting the needs for FP7. The result of this will be the base material for the conferences and seminars. It is mainly, a roadmap for recommendations and identification of joint initiatives under global dependability and security framework.


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