28.03.2024

Pizza, pentest, project launch: a look into the world of cyber security

Thomas Steinmetz Kick-Off CEP HS Mannheim

The cyber security development project was launched in collaboration with Mannheim University of Applied Sciences (hs-mannheim.de)yesterday. In collaboration with 25 students from the bachelor’s degree program of the same name, we delved deep into the world of IT security over pizza and drinks to drive forward the implementation of hardware security modules in various operating systems. Over the next 12 weeks, the students will develop a functional prototype to ensure the secure storage and reading of keys. This prototype is then subjected to a comprehensive safety test, the so-called pentest.

But what exactly is it all about? Let’s take a look at two key terms that play a central role in our project: “Hardware Security Module” and “Pentest”.

A hardware security module is a physical device unit used in computer systems to securely perform cryptographic operations. These modules provide secure storage space for sensitive data such as security keys and certificates. Due to their hardware-based implementation, they offer greater protection than software solutions, as they are more difficult to compromise. As part of our project, we are working on integrating these HSMs into various operating systems to create a security infrastructure that ensures the confidentiality and integrity of enmeshed wallet data and the keys behind it.

The term pentest stands for penetration test and refers to a systematic analysis of a system or application’s security mechanisms. The aim of a pentest is to uncover potential vulnerabilities and assess how well a system is protected against external attacks. At the end of the project, various attack scenarios will be simulated in order to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the students’ developments and make any necessary improvements. All results are published on our open source Enmeshed – GitHub.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank Prof. Smits and Prof. F├Âller-Nord for their initiation and ongoing support throughout the CEP. We are looking forward to the collaboration and are excited to see what results the project will produce!

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