It confirms that NASK plays key role in digitalization processes in Poland. With the development of digital society and economy the number of research and development areas increases. There are also new challenges facing the state that is obliged to ensure security for citizens and efficient public services in the digital age – says Wojciech Kamieniecki, NASK Director.
Among the activities that are the basis for granting NASK the status of the National Research Institute is the National Cybersecurity Center, set up in July 2016. It is responsible for the security of Polish cyberspace and tasked with developing the national protection plans. NC Cyber cooperates in this field with administration, commercial enterprises and research environment. As an early warning center NC Cyber operating on a 24/7 basis, 365 days a year monitors network-related threats and manages the exchange of related information. CERT Polska that has been operating at NASK since 1996 became the part of the NC Cyber. CERT Polska is a team of specialists investigating security breaches in the Polish Internet. CERT Polska also works on neutralizing threats, among others develops data decryption tools. The team also issues warnings against new threats and helps law enforcement and victims of cyberattacks.
However, NASK key task is to conduct research work, develop and implement innovative solutions. The best example is international SISSDEN project that aims at developing methods and building a network of measuring stations to monitor the activity of botnets sending spams and viruses within the European Union. The international project, funded under the EU Framework Programme Horizon 2020, is managed by NASK and is attended by scientific institutions and telecommunications companies across Europe. The status of the National Research Institute opens up the possibilities for applying for research grants.
NASK also conducts educational and social studies related to the impact of modern technology on society. One of the major projects of this kind is a nationwide study on ways of using Internet by children and youth. The teams of scientists and engineers at NASK develop new programs that improve network security, among others filtering harmful content such as encouraging violence. In turn, the scientists at the Biometrics Laboratory develops systems of facial recognition that will be used by the police.
There is also the Dyżurnet.pl team that has been functioning within the framework of NASK since 2005. It responds to anonymous reports received from Internet users about potentially illegal material, such as pornographic content involving a minor. It is a member of the international INHOPE association dealing with illegal content online and committed to stamping out child sexual abuse from the Internet. These activities are conducted jointly with Polish and international law enforcement agencies. The project, combining infrastructure, social and educational activities that has been conducted by NASK for a year on the request of the Ministry of Digital Affairs, is a pilot program called Poland-wide Education Network. Within the pilot program NASK has launched high-speed internet access in 36 schools, implemented better network functionalities, introduced modern mechanisms for ICT security and protection against unwanted content and malicious software, as well as has been conducting many initiatives and services promoting safe use of Internet and increasing digital skills among students and teaching staff.