Turning the Internet into a meaningful (data) space!

By Adamantios Koumpis November 5, 2022

Turning the Internet into a meaningful (data) space!

Last week I attended the works of the 1st International Conference on FAIR Digital Objects. One may wonder what FAIR Digital Objects are – and then visit the Web page of the Fair Digital Objects Forum to learn more.

Before entering the details of what FDOs are, it may be worth to spend some little time and explain what FAIR is about. More and more projects and research ‘endeavours’ and ‘ventures’ take it as a prerequisite, that all data to be collected – processed – managed – stored should be FAIR. So here it is:

  • F stands for Findable, so that data are googlable, sql-able, sparq-able, and as one would also like to have: AI- and ML-able
  • A stands for Accessible: data should be ‘as open as possible, as closed as necessary’
  • I stands for Interoperable: data should be as machine actionable as possible, and – even if difficult for some of us to conceive, always machine-readable
  • R stands for Reusable: this means that data should be endowed with rich meta-data, and with as few reuse restrictions as possible.

Same as in the CS-AWARE project, we employ in CS-AWARE-NEXT AI for the self-healing tools used for technical assistance and automated implementation of business continuity in case of an incident. This gives the opportunity to understand FAIR also as denoting: Fully AI-Ready: all FAIR data should be ready for Machine Learning and capable to be used for algorithm training purposes.

Some may wonder, of course, how much are our current cyber security data infrastructures FAIR – and other may also wonder: is there something like a cyber security data infrastructure?

The European strategy for data adopted in November 2020 promotes the establishment of domain-specific common European data spaces. In this context, the European Health Data Space (‘EHDS’) was the first proposal for such a domain-specific common European data space. The strategy focuses on ‘putting people first in developing technology, and defending and promoting European values and rights in the digital world’. The applications are to be found in several areas and apart from healthcare data spaces are relevant to transport systems, public services and to energy grids as well. Cyber security can be seen as a horizontal aspect: all data spaces – independently on the application area they concern, should be secured. Ignorance of cyber security threats should not be tolerated at all. No one builds public spaces with no fire escapes – no one cares to extinguish fires that would have been easily prevented.

CS-AWARE-NEXT takes a proactive approach and sets the bar high with respect to other actions and projects in the field. Our distinguishing element, namely that we take as our starting point that the organisational perspective should be included, implies that all solutions, technologies, methods, tools, procedures and practices we promote within the project must satisfy the needs of the end-users. So it is out of question to build data spaces for public services, or for the domain of health that will fail to support the secure execution of daily tasks. It is also out of question to ignore cyber security aspects when designing any type of operations within such a data space. What all should nowadays be aware of is that cyber incidents require the collaboration from a heterogeneous network of organisations, and in all phase related to prevention, detection or response.

Adamantios Koumpis