nSHIELD is a project co-funded by the ARTEMIS JOINT UNDERTAKING (Sub-programme SP6) focused on the research of SPD (Security, Privacy, Dependability) in the context of Embedded Systems.

The nSHIELD project is, at the same time, a complement and significant technology breakthrough of pSHIELD, a pilot project funded in ARTEMIS Call 2009 as the first investigation towards the realization of the SHIELD Architectural Framework for Security, Privacy and Dependability (SPD). The roadmap, already started in the pilot project, will bring to address SPD in the context of Embedded Systems (ESs) as “built in” rather than as “add-on” functionalities, proposing and perceiving with this strategy the first step toward SPD certification for future ES.

pSHIELD has covered the definition phase of this roadmap: nSHIELD will be in charge of the development and implementation phases. The SHIELD General Framework consists of four layered system architecture and Application Layer in which four scenarios are considered:

  1. Railway
  2. Voice/Facial Recognition
  3. Dependable Avionic Systems and
  4. Social Mobility and Networking.

The leading concept is to demonstrate composability of SPD technologies. Starting from current SPD solutions in ESs, the project will develop new technologies and consolidate the ones already explored in pSHIELD in a solid basement that will become the reference milestone for a new generation of  “SPD-ready” ESs. nSHIELD will approach SPD at 4 different levels: node, network, middleware and overlay. For each level, the state of the art in SPD of individual technologies and solutions will be improved and integrated (hardware and communication technologies, cryptography, middleware, smart SPD applications, etc.). The SPD technologies will be then enhanced with the “composability” functionality that is being studied and designed in pSHIELD, in order to fit in the SHIELD architectural framework.

The composability of this architectural framework will have great impact on the system design costs and time to market of new SPD solutions in ESs. At the same time, the integrated use of SPD metrics in the framework will have impact on the development cycles of SPD in ESs because the qualification, (re-)certification and (re-)validation process of a SHIELD framework instance will be faster, easier and widely accepted.

Artemis_EU photo by http://images.cdn.fotopedia.com/flickr-5008980929-hd.jpg

The use of an overlay approach to SPD and the introduction of semantic technologies address the complexity associated with the design, development and deployment of built-in SPD in ESs. Using semantics, the available technologies can be automatically composed to match the needed, application specific SPD levels, resulting also in an effort reduction during all the design, operational and maintaining phases. The nSHIELD approach, as explored in the pilot project, is based on modularity and expandability, and can be adopted to bring built-in SPD solutions in all the strategic sector of ARTEMIS, such as transportation, communication, urban environment,…

To achieve these challenging goals the project aims at creating an innovative, modular, composable, expandable and high-dependable architectural framework, concrete tools and common SPD metrics capable of improving the overall SPD level in any specific application domain, with minimum engineering effort. The whole ESs lifecycle will be supported to provide the highest cross-layer and cross-domain levels of SPD and guaranteeing their maintenance and evolution in time.

In order to verify these important achievements, the project will validate the nSHIELD integrated system by means of relevant scenarios: (i) Railways Security, (ii) Voice/facial recognition , (iii) Dependable avionic systems, and (iv) Social Mobility and Networking.

The project will have a great impact on the SPD market of the ESs. By addressing the reusability of previous designed solutions, the interoperability of advanced SPD technologies and the standardized SDP certificability, it is possible to estimate an overall 30% cost reduction for a full nSHIELD oriented design methodology. Additionally, for social mobility and networking scenario the expected market in few years will be 15% of 5 billion mobile users. Finally, this project by taking in consideration the current Directive 2009/125/EC and the future one motivate by conclusions of the Competitiveness Council of 28 May 2009 that pointed out ―it is of particular interest to maintain strong R&D investments in high-tech industries in Europe, especially in manufacturing sectors with indispensable technologies,‖ great social and economic impacts for European economy will be achieved.


nSHIELD is an Artemis project in the security area, expected to demonstrate applications using some of the functionality needed for security, privacy and dependability (SPD) in embedded systems. The demonstrations will focus on

  • matrices for SPD functionality
  • new hardware for secure embedded systems
  • SPD measures in embedded platforms
  • integration of sensor networks across heterogeneous provider

Work package distribution

The following work packages are identified

WP1 – Project Management

Task 1.1 – Project management
Task 1.2 – Liaisons

WP2 – SPD Metric, requirements and system design

Task 2.1 – Multi-technology requirements & specification
Task 2.2 – Multi-technology SPD metrics
Task 2.3 – Multi-technology architectural design

WP3 – SPD Node

Task 3.1 – SDR/Cognitive Enabled node
Task 3.2 – Micro/Personal node
Task 3.3 – Power node
Task 3.4 – Dependable self-x and cryptographic technologies
Task 3.5 – Cryptographic technologies

WP4 – SPD Network

Task 4.1 – Smart SPD driven transmission
Task 4.2 – Distributed self-x models
Task 4.3 – Reputation-based resource management technologies
Task 4.2 – Trusted and dependable Connectivity

WP5 – SPD Middleware & Overlay

Task 5.1 – SPD driven Semantics
Task 5.2 – Core SPD services
Task 5.3 – Policy-based management
Task 5.4 – Adaptation of legacy systems
Task 5.4 – Overlay monitoring and reacting system by security agents

WP6 – Platform integration, validation & demonstration

Task 6.1 – Multi-Technology System Integration
Task 6.2 – Multi-Technology Validation & Verification
Task 6.3 – Lifecycle SPD Support

WP7 – SPD Applications

Task 7.1 – Railways Security
Task 7.2 – Voice/Facial recognition
Task 7.3 – Dependable Avionic System
Task 7.4 – Social Mobility Networking

WP8 – Knowledge exchange and industrial validation

Task 8.1 – Dissemination
Task 8.2 – Standardization
Task 8.3 – Exploitation