Dan Bogdanov, Cybernetica

Name: Dan Bogdanov
Name of the Company: Cybernetica
Business Area: Security and Privacy Technologies and Solutions
Position in the Company: Head of the Department of Information Security Systems and a Member of the Management Board
INESC TEC Centre with which collaborated: High-Assurance Software Laboratory (HASLab) and Centre for Innovation, Technology and Entrepreneurship (CITE)
Project manager (INESC TEC): Rui Carlos Oliveira
Title of the project: SafeCloud

What is your professional background with INESC TEC? 

Cybernetica has strong academic roots, and has been participating in the international research community for over 20 years. We had some run-ins with INESC TEC in the domain of formal methods and programming languages, until we had the chance to start a joint project in secure computing. Given that it was precisely in our area of expertise, we gladly joined the project and completed it.

Briefly describe the main projects you have carried out in collaboration with INESC TEC.

SafeCloud is a European Horizon 2020 project that focused on various technologies that reduce the attack surface in cloud applications. Cybernetica also acts as a systems integrator, so we were obviously interested in understanding innovations. We ended up as the integration partner, forming requirements on how the novel techniques should be packaged and documented for replicability. We also tested out several tools to understand their inner workings.

What are the significant outcomes of these projects that you can highlight?

Our focus in the project was to develop one of the project’s innovations – a secure SQL query engine based on secure multiparty computation (MPC). Cybernetica is the maker of Sharemind – an MPC-based data analysis system. Within the project, we expanded the SQL processing capabilities of Sharemind and integrated it with the Knowage business intelligence toolkit. See our video overview of that work here.

What is your opinion on your experience working with INESC TEC?

INESC TEC combines entrepreneurial spirit with the desire to do the right thing. We thoroughly enjoyed the collaboration with all partners of the project, especially INESC TEC’s coordination. We also appreciate the fact that the technologies developed within the scope of this project led to the creation of an actual start-up, with INESC TEC playing a key role in its inception, together with the University of Neuchâtel in Switzerland.

What is the possibility of future collaborations with INESC TEC?

We’ve managed to stay in touch recently, as we both are working on our countries’ respective SARS-CoV-2 contact tracing mobile apps. We are certainly looking forward to future collaboration opportunities!

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