After three years of work, the project YAKSHA (CybersecuritY Awareness and Knowledge Systemic High-level Application”) published the list of results and achievements of its work to improve cybersecurity in the EU and ASEAN. The results include the development of new, dedicated cybersecurity software toolkits, validated in real-world pilot projects. As part of the project, more than 100 prominent individuals in the field of information security were recruited across ASEAN as “project Ambassadors” to spread information about the developed solutions. The YAKSHA project was co-funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme.
The YAKHSA project is aimed to enhance cybersecurity readiness of its users in EU and ASEAN, to prevent cyber-attacks, reduce cyber risks and improve the governance of the cybersecurity process. YAKSHA, whose results were published in March 2021, ran from January 2018 to December 2020 and was co-funded by the European Commission under Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme. YAKSHA is part of a joint commitment by EU and ASEAN to improve cybersecurity as set out in the Ministerial ASEAN-EU Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation adopted in August 2019.
Concretely, YAKSHA developed cybersecurity software solutions validated in real-world pilot projects in the EU and ASEAN. The pilots were tested by end-users with articulated cybersecurity risks, allowing the project consortium to gather feedback to further improve existing software solutions for subsequent market launch. Despite the challenges brought by the global COVID-19 pandemic, the team managed to overcome the difficulties and successfully deployed the software solutions in various countries such as Greece, Vietnam and Malaysia.
“Cyber security is a global challenge and it requires global commitment. Projects like YAKSHA can help the EU and ASEAN to develop common solutions thanks to the involvement of end users from early stages. I am looking forward to seeing the YAKSHA Ambassadors continuing to promote this work,” said H.E. Mr Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN.
“ASEAN and EU have worked together in many ways to foster a trusted and secure cyberspace. In this regard, I welcome YAKSHA’s role in strengthening the cybersecurity readiness of our region, as a practical application of the ASEAN-EU Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation adopted on 1 August 2019,” H.E. Kok Li Peng, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Singapore to ASEAN.
The YAKSHA’s solutions will be commercialised after the project conclusion. Some of its main results are listed below.
The Yaksha software platform
YAKSHA is an innovative cybersecurity intelligence-gathering tool that allows organisations to easily deploy and monitor large numbers of honeypot virtual machines acting both as threat samples generators and deception decoys for the actual services the organisation runs exposed on the internet. The software’s main features and exploitable assets include, among others: YAKSHA Honeypot management platform, Honeypots, Automated binary decompiler, Honey analyser, Honey maker, and a Correlation engine that implements malware behaviour analysis.
Other innovative results
In total, 103 Ambassadors were recruited throughout the project as voluntary representatives of the YAKSHA project in the ASEAN countries. They had access to an extensive network of European and ASEAN stakeholders active in the field of cyber technology. The Ambassadors were spread across all ASEAN countries (with a stronger presence coming from Thailand and Malaysia).
YAKSHA “Label of Excellence”/ The YAKSHA Certification scheme
The creation of a YAKSHA Certification programme is part of the strategy of the YAKSHA vehicle for the creation of a healthy ecosystem of partners. It has been created during the project as the “Label of Excellence” scheme and it was implemented in its structure during the exploitation stage.