16 February 2006, Budapest; in a joint project KÜRT ZRt. and the University of Veszprém have opened an Information Security Research and Development Centre for the development of integrated information security methodologies and technologies. The centre’s mission is to create world-class, professionally sound and scientifically researched techniques and products that will satisfy the needs emerging in the domestic and EU markets, thereby improving Hungary’s competitiveness. The three-year project has a total budget of HUF 378 million, a portion of which has been received in the form of research grants awarded under the Jedlik Ányos program. Even by international standards, the integrated security concept pioneered by KÜRT and the University of Veszprém is a unique initiative.
Building on the successes of their previous projects together, the Technical and IT Department of Veszprém University and KÜRT formed a consortium in 2004 – involving research centres both in Hungary and abroad – and, as a result, in 2005 created the Information Security Research and Development Centre (ISRDC), which operates under the auspices of the Technical and IT Department. In order to achieve a new and state-of-the-art approach to the management of information security, the centre aims to integrate the fields of physical, logical and human security, and to develop process and tool-centred methodologies and technologies for use in these areas. The results of the development work will be marketed both in Hungary and abroad by spin-off* companies established by the consortium.
The joint project was launched in mid-September of 2005. The results of the centre’s first assignment are expected in March 2006. KÜRT is currently performing the necessary market research into products and needs, while the university’s Technical and IT Department is reviewing and systemising the core scientific technologies. The research is being conducted in the university’s research laboratories and at a project office that has been set up at the department, as well as at KÜRT’s own headquarters. A total of 24 specialists (researchers and developers, chief consultants, PhD students, project and product managers) are participating in the development work.
The Jedlik Ányos Program was announced by the National Research and Technology Bureau on 20 April 2005. The consortium’s funding application was approved on 31 August 2005. The project has a total budget of HUF 378 million, of which the research grants awarded under the program totalled HUF 300 million – HUF 189 million to the University of Veszprém and HUF 111 million to KÜRT – with the remainder contributed by KÜRT, from its own resources. The project is scheduled to last three years, and accordingly the funds will be utilised in three instalments.
The only other integrated concept of this kind was commenced in the United States, and therefore this joint initiative by KÜRT and the University of Veszprém is ground-breaking not only in Hungary, but also in European terms.
Security applications, whether they comprise software or hardware solutions, protocols or training programs, cannot exist without each other.
The aim of the ISRDC is to create integrated security methodologies and software, to formulate procedures that are indispensable for the integrated management of information security, and to develop and implement comprehensive risk-management systems. The strength of the planned system is that it builds upon companies’ existing security systems, supplementing it with the missing system elements and a common management platform.
Dr. Zoltán Gaál, rector of Vészprém University, explained that the centre will focus on carrying out research to underpin future information security developments, on promoting the results in international scientific circles, and later on incorporating them into the training of specialists both in Hungary and abroad.
“At the ISRDC, intelligent tools will be developed for use as elements of integrated security solutions, and will be capable of recording, evaluating and analysing complex information received from the outside environment, and of making decisions an initiating courses of action based on this data, as well as communicating all of these,” added József Kmetty, CEO of KÜRT ZRt.
It is especially important for the sensors that actuate the system to have built-in artificial intelligence and learning capability, so that by incorporating and learning from the experiences of previous incidents, they are able to maintain the integrity of the entire security system at a consistently high level. For example, a motion-detecting sensor device working together with another sensor that is capable of image recognition will be able to provide increasingly accurate information about the nature of an object causing movement (hazardous device, person, etc), and the possible harmful effects it could have on the system.
The importance of integrated security today
The basic rationale for developing integrated security solutions is that in most cases the solutions offered for urgent problems affecting the individual sub-areas do not offer the advantages that are yielded by complex, risk-proportionate solutions that focus on wider areas. This is because, separately, they are each only capable of responding to a small group of the problems identified. This is why we are working to integrate the various protection and security solutions, and to manage them on a common platform.
KÜRT and the Technical and IT Department of Veszprém University have a long history of cooperation. Their working relationship goes back five years, and extends to university education, research and development projects, and the implementation of related tenders. Between 1 August 2001 and 31 January 2004, within the framework of the “Széchenyi” economic development plan, a large-scale and successful project was realised, with the purpose of developing scientific procedures that could be used for creating modern information security procedures, and the methodological foundations for IT systems security. As a result of the project, a complex data security methodology was brought into being, for the assessment of security and related risks, the management of restoration work and maintenance of business continuity in the event of a disaster. KÜRT has already applied this methodology in more than 200 projects in Hungary and across Europe.