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NEC Laboratories Europe

Research Groups

The Security Group of NEC Laboratories Europe is a pioneer in the field of security and data privacy. We carry out core and applied research in security, developing formal methods and advancing security technology. Our team serves as the European competence center for NEC Blockchain.

We are home to some of Europe’s leading researchers in the fields of decentralized trust, blockchain security system security and applied cryptography. In addition to progressing scientific knowledge, we generate commercial opportunities for the applied use of our research, which is used to improve the digital security of NEC customers.

The Security Group regularly contributes to top-tier conference and journal publications, such as ACM CCS, Usenix Security, NDSS, CAV, Journal of the ACM, and various IEEE/ACM transactions.

Decentralized Trust

The Security Group research and develop distributed applications where trust and transparency are critical factors. Our researchers have developed a best-in-class permissioned blockchain platform, which is a key part of NEC Blockchain. The platform includes self-sovereign identity (SSI), is interoperable with other blockchain platforms, and can provide extended security for Internet of Things (IoT) devices to create restricted IoT ecosystems.  

Blockchain’s ability to facilitate trust and transparency will continue to transform the way we do business. To accelerate the adoption of blockchain our team focuses on solving two critical issues:

Privacy: Existing blockchain deployments rely on the availability of transactions and their order of execution to all nodes in the system.
Challenge: Information leakage. The availability of transactions to all nodes conflicts with current industry practices, which calls for the restricted sharing and distribution of data to intended stakeholders.

Security versus scalability:  Permission-based and permissionless blockchains have advantages and disadvantages. Permissionless blockchains, such as Bitcoin, are able to scale to a large number of nodes. To accomplish this while achieving an acceptable level of security they compromise on data throughput. This is in contrast to permission-based blockchains that achieve higher throughput but can only scale to a few hundred nodes.

Challenge: Compromised functionality. Existing blockchain technology cannot deliver performance at scale while ensuring the security in the presence of untrusted parties. 

Advances in NEC blockchain technology are addressing these challenges while conforming to industry standards. NEC blockchain uses a high-performance Byzantine fault tolerant (BFT) consensus layer that processes up to 100,000 transactions per second in networks containing 200 blockchain nodes.

At our lab, we are working on ensuring the interoperability of NEC blockchain technology with any other blockchain deployment. This will address a key requirement for using blockchain in a decentralized Web 3.0 environment.

System Security

Our security research aims at ensuring a chain of trust – from resource-constrained IoT devices to cloud servers, where sensor data is stored and processed. We apply our expertise to advancing state-of-the-art cryptographic techniques and highly scalable policy compliance checking, as well as hardware security modules such as Intel SGX and RISC-V. The technologies we develop are recognized for their high level of security without compromising the scalability and performance of real-time services.


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