Project Overview – GAINS

The main objective of the project is to enhance the prevention of, and the preparedness to, cyber-attacks against the European Critical Internet infrastructure, promoting and supporting the definition of cyber-strategies to reduce security-related risks. We believe that a necessary condition to achieve such a general objective is to have an in-depth understanding of the relationships between different Countries, from both the (geo-)political and the network infrastructure point of views. The GAINS (Geopolitics-Aware INternet Strategies) project fulfills the latter necessary condition through three sub-objectives, which are outlined below.

  • Improve the situation awareness of the connections between geopolitics and the critical Internet infrastructure, taking into account both the way how the information flows between different ASs in the Internet (e.g., via an analysis of the BGP routes to infer inter-domain routing policies) and the power relationships between Member States (e.g., how they influence the geopolitics and how they impact on the network infrastructure).
  • Develop a better understanding of the main vulnerabilities underlying the BGP protocol, which is the core mechanism for the choice of the routing paths among different ASs. In this context, we also aim to produce effective refinements of the BGP routing protocol to curb the effects of voluntary or involuntary propagation of erroneous routes.
  • Devise tools and techniques to allow any Country to make more conscious choices in regard to cyber strategy.  Decision makers will employ these tools to be aware of geopolitical data, the influence that they have on the critical Internet infrastructure, the most critical routing points, the most devious cyber threats, and the best actions to accomplish in order to enhance security.

Taken together, the three sub-objectives above allow to enhance the resiliency of the Internet infrastructure, and to protect against cyber-related threats.

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