GUARD: A cybersecurity framework to GUArantee Reliability and trust for Digital service chains


GUARD aims to develop an open and extensible platform for advanced assurance and protection of trustworthy and reliable business chains spanning multiple administrative domains and heterogeneous infrastructures. It aspires to fill the technological and procedural gap between legacy cybersecurity models and novel computing and networking paradigms, by developing an innovative platform for the protection of digital business chains that encompasses two main dimensions: service integrity and data sovereignty. The project fosters the integration of security capabilities into each digital component and orchestrates them to improve visibility over vulnerabilities, attacks, and private data. Validation and stakeholder engagement is assessed in industrial and medical use cases.

The purpose of GUARD is manifold:

  • to increase the information base for analysis and detection, while preserving privacy,
  • to improve the detection capability by data correlation between domains and sources,
  • to verify reliability and dependability by formal methods that take into account configuration and trust properties of the whole chain, and
  • to increase awareness by better propagation of knowledge to the humans in the loop.

The distinctive approach of GUARD is the architectural separation between analysis and data sources, mediated by proper abstraction; this paradigm results in an open, modular, pluggable, extendable, and scalable security framework. This holistic solution blends security-by-design with enhanced inspection and detection techniques, raising situational awareness at different levels of the companies’ structure by tailored informative contents, so to enable a quick and effective reaction to cyber-threats.

The GUARD Platform is validated and evaluated in significant industrial environments. To initiate realistic and concrete business opportunities, the GUARD technologies are deployed into two challenging Use Cases, which represent short-term exploitation opportunities for involved partners. The two use cases have been selected from Smart Mobility and eHealth domains to demonstrate all the security and privacy features developed in the GUARD platform.

Demonstration happens in realistic testbed environments that replicate relevant industrial environments, including a mix of network/cloud/CPS infrastructure of end users. Evaluation considers base load and normal system behaviour based on end user/technology provider experience, plus injection of recent anomalies and attack patterns collected by national response teams.


8BELLS assists in the technical development activities of the project. More specifically, 8BELLS implements deep packet inspection as part of the GUARD embedded monitoring, inspection, and enforcement tools. Furthermore, 8BELLS implements APIs to retrieve monitored information and to configure/program the inspection engine.




1 May 2019


30 April 2022


€ 5,443,250


€ 4,684,700

Cloud and Edge Computing, Cybersecurity, Health, Status Finished