Towards secure and trustworthy IT-based services

Modern business and our everyday lives heavily depend on IT solutions and services. These have become much more diverse as well as mobile and ubiquitous. Although this has paved new paths and possible areas of application, it has also brought with it new challenges in the field of information security.

The Institute of Informatics has been involved in the research and development of several innovative methods, protocols and solutions to tackle the key challenges of secure IT. We have developed new methods for secure communication through innovative authenticated key agreement protocols, which form the basis for secure electronic communications. In addition to this, the institute has also developed several advanced protocols for securing communications in IoT sensor networks. All these security protocols address a majority of the existing security challenges, i.e. authentication, confidentiality and integrity and at the same time demand less computational and communication resources than existing solutions.

As most authentication in the modern interconnected world is based on passwords, we have also addressed the shortcomings of their use and developed an advanced method for generating easy-to-remember secure passwords, thus significantly improving the well-known PsychoPass method. However, as a consequence of all these modern security issues, there are serious obstacles to establishing trust among users. After extensive research, it was determined that secure electronic mail must be based on a trusted third party. We have developed and patented an advanced email protocol for interoperable, cross-border certified electronic mail based on existing e-mail infrastructure.

This patented certified electronic mail protocol has been implemented as a replacement for existing, closed and secure electronic mailboxes at the Slovenian Post. The new system, known as PostAR, will allow any e-mail user to send or receive certified e-mail without first applying for a secure mailbox and changing their e-mail address. Because of its ability to work within existing infrastructure, this is the most cost-efficient replacement for physical parcel services without any up-front costs. It is expected to become one of the more important services for the Slovenian Post in the e-services line of business.

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