ECHO (European network of Cybersecurity centres and competence Hub for innovation and Operations) is a cyber defence research project, promoted by Zanasi & Partners and under the coordination of the Royal Military Academy of Belgium. The project, funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 programme, started in 2019 and will last until 2023.

The main objective of ECHO is to strengthen the proactive cyber defence of the European Union, enhancing Europe’s technological sovereignty through effective and efficient multi-sector and multi-domain collaboration. The project will develop a European Cybersecurity ecosystem, to support secure cooperation and development of the European market, as well as to protect the citizens of the European Union against cyber threats and incidents.

 

Six main concepts underpinned ECHO approach:

  • ECHO Governance Model – Management of direction and engagement of partners (current and future);
  • ECHO Multi-sector assessment framework – Transverse and inter-sector needs assessment and technology R&D roadmaps;
  • ECHO Cyber skills Framework and training curriculum – Cyber skills reference model and associated curriculum;
  • ECHO Security Certification Scheme – Development of sector specific security certification needs within EU Cybersecurity Certification Framework from ENISA;
  • ECHO Federated Cyber Range – Advanced cyber simulation environment supporting training, R&D and certification;
  • ECHO Early Warning System – Secured collaborative information sharing of cyber-relevant information.

The ECHO consortium consists of 30 partners from different fields and sectors including health, transport, manufacturing, ICT, education, research, telecom, energy, space, healthcare, defence & civil protection. They will cooperate to develop, model and demonstrate a network of cyber research and competence centres, with a centre of research and competence as the hub. The Central Competence Hub serves as the focal point for the ECHO Multi-sector Assessment Framework enabling multi-sector dependencies management with:

  • the provision of an ECHO Early Warning System;
  • an ECHO Federation of Cyber Ranges;
  • management of an expanding collection of Partner Engagements.

Exploiting its expertise in cyber security, Z&P is chiefly involved in the design and development of the ECHO Early Warning System, and the ECHO Federated Cyber Range, which provides realistic environments for conducting experimentation, exercises, research and prototype testing, enables the combination of multiple scenarios from different content providers, and a focus point for training and expertise.

Documentation

Some of the ECHO project partners