Child sexual abuse: new guidelines for first responders

The exponential growth in online child sexual exploitation and abuse material (CSEM) is a significant challenge for European law enforcement agencies. For officers responding to potential victims of CSEM, this means they need to be equipped with the necessary skills and training to swiftly act in the best interests of the child.

To assist these first responding officers, a new set of training guidelines have been published today on the occasion of the European Day on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse. This toolkit is the result of a collaboration between Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) and the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group (ECTEG) in the framework of the GRACE project.

The guidelines will equip first responding officers with the necessary knowledge to effectively handle delicate situations that take place at a victim’s close whereabouts, such as their home or school, often hidden from the eyes of the public.

The guidelines are prepared in a way that encompasses the unified standards that these officers can use in their daily work, equipping them with relevant information on how best to respond if they came across a child they believe is being subjected to sexual abuse.

The restricted version of these guidelines will be embedded into the ECTEG’s eFirst project, as part of the knowledge base that every law enforcement officer should be aware of, regardless of their field of work.

A public version is available for download here.

About the authors:

GRACE (Global Response Against Child Exploitation) is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project that aims to equip European law enforcement agencies with advanced analytical and investigative capabilities to respond to the spread of online CSEM that will help safeguard victims and prosecute offenders. GRACE will be running until November 2023 to apply proven technologies to referral and analysis process while embracing the technical, ethical and legal challenges unique to fighting child sexual exploitation. GRACE is leveraging resources already in place at Europol and participating EU Member States aiming to provide results early, frequently and flexibly – watch the GRACE video.

Europol is one of the 22 organisations across 14 countries in Europe that have come together to deliver GRACE. Its Innovation Lab is coordinating Europol’s participation in this project, while supporting numerous EU-funded projects with an advisory role. The European Cybercrime Centre (EC3) was set up to strengthen the law enforcement response to cybercrime in the EU and thus to help protect European citizens, businesses and governments from online crime. As a form of cybercrime, child sexual exploitation is one of the EU’s priorities in the fight against serious and organised crime as part of the European Multidisciplinary Platform Against Criminal Threats (EMPACT).

ECTEG is the European Cybercrime Training and Education Group, an International non-for-profit organisation funded by the EU Commission. ECTEG comprises of participants from European Union Member States and candidate countries’ law enforcement agencies, international bodies, academia and private industry.

ECTEG’S eFIRST is a first responders e-learning tool that focuses on essential IT forensics and cybercrime, available in English and translated with adapted content in several EU languages.

For more information about these guidelines:

• For law enforcement: Reach out to Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre

• For the general public: Reach out to Europol’s Press Office

For more information about GRACE, visit project website at or follow the project’s progress on Twitter @grace_fct_eu and LinkedIn gracefcteu.

GRACE has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Number 883341.

STARLIGHT Newsletter: First Edition, November 2022

Welcome to the first edition of the STARLIGHT newsletter! Follow the link below to read more about the STARLIGHT project’s aims, key milestones, and technical aspirations. In addition, we’ll provide updates on events and publications, and introduce our consortium partners.

STARLIGHT is one of the largest security-focused projects funded under the H2020 framework. It is a flagship project that brings together 52 partners from 18 European countries with 15 law enforcement agencies (LEAs) to enhance the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the security domain. 

The goal of this newsletter is to extend the reach of STARLIGHT, developing further cooperation between researchers and security practitioners. This interaction will continue to provide a driving force for the project and facilitate the ambition for fast and effective uptake and adoption of solutions.

Furthermore, we provide a special focus on aligning legal and ethical provisions, legislative frameworks and the protection of fundamental rights for the uptake and adoption of AI technologies in the security domain.

Download: STARLIGHT-Newsletter-M12- Issue-1-Nov22.pdf

To find out more about STARLIGHT, please get in touch by email, follow us on social media or visit the project’s website.


Linkedin: starlight_h2020

Twitter: @starlight_h2020

© 2021 STARLIGHT Project

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement No. 101021797

SecurIT Newsletter #1: 2022 October

SecurIT supports the development and the integration of innovative security solutions in a new global competitive industrial (& services) value chain. Learn more >>>

Discover how SecurIT deployed its first open call dedicated to SMEs aiming to develop new prototypes or demonstrators in the security and cybersecurity domains!

Find out more on the 21 projects that have been selected for funding and entered the 12 month support program after they successfully passed all the selection steps of the 1st Open Call of SecurIT.

Read SecurIT Newsletter #1 here >>>

More about SecurIT:
SecurIT website

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 101005292

Final Conference with over 70 participants marks the successful completion of the ENSURESEC project

The H2020 project ENSURESEC – End-to-end Security of the Digital Single Market’s e-commerce and Delivery Service Ecosystem celebrated the successful conclusion of its activities with a public final conference. Renowned experts from European organisations emphasized the importance of e-commerce ecosystem security and the merits of ENSURESEC through exciting keynote speeches and an insightful panel discussion Stakeholders, representing the e-commerce and cyber security domains, learned from the consortium how this ecosystem can be better protected against cyber-physical attacks and how the socio-technical solution developed in the project aims to do that.

After 24 months of research and development the consortium of 22 partners from 14 European countries finalized the work on the development of a comprehensive security toolkit for e-commerce infrastructures as well as the other activities, such as an awareness and training campaign. They presented their results in an online closing conference on May 20th, 2022.

Keynote speeches included talks about the e-commerce ecosystem security from different perspectives, as well as the role of EC-funded R&D activities to improve the security of the Union while ensuring strategic autonomy.

In a comprehensive overview, Luís Júdice Sousa from project coordinator INOV explained to the audience how ENSURESEC combines the toolkit, including cyber-physical threat monitoring and impact assessment, with a large-scale training and awareness campaign to educate e-commerce customers on cyber-security and the main threats that can arise in online shopping, in order to improve the resilience of the ecosystem.

The consortium members presented more detailed overview of the ENSURESEC platform protection, both by design, as well as through continuous monitoring, response, recovery and mitigation measures at run-time. Three ENSURESEC Pilots were also presented, with scenarios ranging from cyber-attacks on an e-commerce platform, over physical attacks on a pharmacy e-commerce operator, to cascading cyber-physical attacks on e-commerce infrastructure. Besides technical solutions, improving awareness was an important part of the project, and a new website, which contains comprehensive training materials, was also presented. This site aims to raise awareness for potential threats exploiting human vulnerabilities and to show measurements for identifying and avoiding those threats. The site is accompanied by an extensive social media campaign, which uses over 100 illustrations and training videos to reach different target groups. The ENSURESEC project and the future of the e-commerce ecosystem security landscape was the focus of the events panel discussion that closed the event, that also counted with presentation of external initiatives and projects, such as Led by Emiliano Anzelotti (ABI Lab), Jan Billiet ( and Rigo Van den Broeck (Mastercard) from the ENSURESEC advisory board discussed together with consortium members from IOTA, ATOS and SONAE about challenges the project faced during its run time, the opportunities for the future and valuable lessons learned.

A final conference was not only a great chance to talk in great detail about the project, but also to showcase the work of other related projects. Therefore, ENSURESEC invited Habtamu Abie (Norwegian Computing Center) to talk as a representative about the European Cluster for Securing Critical Infrastructures (ECSCI), the PRAETORIAN (Protection of Critical Infrastructures from advanced combined cyber and physical threats) project, REWIRE – Cybersecurity Skills Alliance and the PALANTIR (Practical Autonomous Cyberhealth for resilient SMEs & Microenterprises) projects.

To wrap up the conference and also the ENSURESEC project itself, Luís Júdice Sousa presented a final set of lessons learned, accompanying the technologies and ideas developed in the last two years as valuable input

for other present and future projects, that aim to improve the security of e-commerce and other critical infrastructures. Together with stakeholders from the Advisory Board and other external partners, the ENSURESEC consortium will continue discussing and seeking opportunities to further mature the developed solutions and bring them to the market. Moreover, the website will remain online to continue raising awareness for e-commerce customers and improving their ability to avoid threats.

For more information please visit:

Twitter: ensuresec_eu


ENSURESEC is an project in the EU Horizon 2020 programme under the topic SU-INFRA01-2018-2019-2020 – Prevention, detection, response and mitigation of combined physical and cyber threats to critical infrastructure in Europe, and part of the programmes H2020-EU.3.7.4. – Improve cyber security and H2020-EU.3.7.2. – Protect and improve the resilience of critical infrastructures, supply chains and tranport modes. The project, with 22 partners from all over Europe, has an overall budget of 9.2 Million Euro and has received a funding contribution from the EU of 7.7 Million Euro. ENSURESEC started on June 1st 2020 and ended on May 31st 2022, and it is coordinated by INOV from Portugal.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 883242


‘Together for a Safer World’ – Stockholm 30th May – 3rd June 2022

The European Academy for Forensic Science (EAFS) 2022 is the biggest Forensic Science Event in Europe. The Global Response Against Child Exploitation (GRACE) project is extremely pleased to announce that project partners will be attending the conference from 30th May to the 3rd June 2022 in Stockholm.

EAFS is a public event of the European Network of Forensic Science Institutes (ENFSI). This year’s conference is organised by the Swedish National Forensic Centre (NFC) with the motto “Together for a Safer World”, chosen by the organisers to emphasize the importance of cooperation in order to meet future expectations on the forensic community, a concept at the very heart of the GRACE project.

GRACE will be present at EAFS on Thursday, June 2nd, the European Day of the Conference, a day promoted by the organisers to facilitate the possibility to learn about developments and results from forensic projects across Europe, many financed by the European Commission through the Internal Security Fund (ISF) and Horizon 2020 programmes.

To that end, the GRACE team will be showcasing the project to the many expected participants, at booth AL8, where you will be able to find out all about the project’s aims, objectives, and its remarkable achievements so far. GRACE Coordinator, Vicomtech Research and Technology Organization (Spain) will attend the stand with the support of partners Policia Judiciaria (Portugal) and the National Institute of Criminalistics and Criminology (NICC, Belgium), both ENFSI members.

GRACE is an EU-funded Horizon 2020 project that aims to equip LEAs with advanced digital and analytical tools that improve their operational capacity to address child sexual exploitation material. 22 organizations across 14 countries in Europe have come together to deliver GRACE which will run until 2023 and has received €6.8m in funding from the European Commission.

For more information about GRACE, visit the project the website at or follow the project’s progress on Twitter @grace_fct_eu and LinkedIn gracefcteu.

GRACE project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme under Grant Agreement Number 883341.

ENSURESEC Final Conference

L3CE as part of ENSURESEC consortium is proud to announce that project Final #event is going to be hosted on May 20th, 2022!

This conference marks the successful completion of the Horizon 2020 project ENSURESEC, and will take place in the form of an online open event. Partner projects, e-commerce and cybersecurity stakeholders, as well as the interested public are cordially invited to attend.
ENSURESEC project’s goals and main results will be presented, including the ENSURESEC toolkit and the training campaign, as well as some important lessons learnt from the pilot demonstrations.
Captivating keynote speeches from some of the most relevant ecommerce and cybersecurity organisations in Europe, and an exciting panel discussion between members of the project’s external Advisory Board and some of our partners will also feature in the agenda! Furthermore PRAETORIAN H2020, REWIRE Project and the PALANTIR Project will present their projects and share information about their current work.

Follow the link to register for the event and access the agenda of the day.

EU-HYBNET 2nd Innovation and Knowledge Exchange Workshop #IKEW

EU-HYBNET consortium invites to the second hybrid Innovation Knowledge Exchange Workshop (#IKEW), which will take place on 14 June 2022 in the Hague and online!

The deadline for registration has been extended to 30 May 2022!

The objective of this second workshop is to provide security practitioners, industry, SMEs, and academia with an opportunity to exchange information on challenges in countering hybrid threats and possible innovations to answer them.

IKEW 2022 will start with a plenary session with a keynote speech by Gwenda Nielen (TILT) on ‘Disinformation; The BadNews and resilience’. Presentations from EU-HYBNET on its latest results and future views and from the Dutch Ministry of Defence on hybrid threats in the Netherlands will follow. The plenary will be live-streamed to participants attending digitally.

Two tracks of break-out sessions will be organised in two rounds: live in the Hague or online for participants attending remotely. In each round, participants can express their preference between two live or online sessions.

In the four live break-out sessions, SMEs and innovation solution providers are encouraged to participate and discuss how several innovations to counter hybrid threats could be further improved and what new innovations may be needed. The sessions are grouped thematically: online dilemma gaming, cyber threats, societal resilience and strategic communication.

The four online sessions will discuss issues that have arisen from the gaps and needs analysis conducted during the current working cycle of the project: critical infrastructure disruption, emerging technologies and political cleavages. The fourth one will be an open brainstorm session in the format of an online game with a focus on hybrid threats.

At the end of the day, all participants (live and online) will return to the plenary session to receive presentations on the outcomes of all break-out sessions and follow a concluding keynote speech (TBD).

Please find below the full agenda:

EU-HYBNET IKEW 2022 Agenda Download

The workshop is open to project partners and external participants upon registration. Please register before 30 May 2022.

Register here

EU-HYBNET project newsletter: April 2022

The 4th Newsletter for the EU-HYBNET Project is here: pdf

SecurIT 1st Open Call Closed on April 26, 2022

111 submitted applications:

  • 38 for PROTOTYPING instruments
  • 73 for DEMONSTRATION instruments

Applications in 3 domains:

  • 67 applications in Sensitive infrastructure protection domain
  • 22 applications in Disaster resilience domain
  • 22 applications in Public spaces protection – major events domain

Applicats from 33 countries particpate in the call.

Evaluation process is ongoing. Results and invitations to sign grant agreements are espected in the end of summer 2022.

Open Call #2 will run from February 2023 to May 2023.

More information about the SecurIT Open Calls here.

EU-HYBNET held its 2nd Annual Workshop, #AW

On the 6th of April 2022, the EU-HYBNET consortium held its 2nd Annual Workshop #AW in hybrid format (Rome in person and on-line). The EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop presented the project findings and progress to the project consortium members and pan-European stakeholders; made up of practitioners, industry, academia and NGOs.

The Annual Workshop, hosted by UCSC and co-organized with LAUREA, included three high-level keynote speeches, the project’s results and network activities from the second project year. Additionally, the workshop hosted a handful of presenters and European projects introducing their unique innovation ideas to counter hybrid threats.

Mr. Giannis Skiadaresis, Policy office at DG HOME, gave the first keynote speech and highlighted the “Role of Research and Innovation in responding to hybrid threats”, while the second keynote speaker, Mr. Gregory Mounier from the Innovation Lab of EUROPOL presented the “the Innovations to foster pan-European Security Practitioners’ response to hybrid threats”. Finally an emphasis was made on “Hybrid threats and critical infrastructure protection” by Mr. Rasmus Hindren Head of International Relations at Hybrid CoE in the last Keynote presentation.

During the Annual Workshop, EU-HYBNET’s results from the first project year were underlined by our partners:
– Hybrid CoE took the floor to present the pan-European gaps and needs to counter Hybrid threats,
– SATWAYS and TNO explained to the audience the several innovations to counter hybrid threats and
– KEMEA highlighted the innovation uptake and standardisation activities.

The workshop also included the presentation of Pitches about innovation ideas to counter hybrid threats:
1- Resilience Methodological Framework for Cascading Cyber-physical Threats on Multiple Critical Infrastructure Modes, Mr. Lorcan Connolly/ Research Driven Solutions Limited
2- HENSOLDT Analytics OSINT System, Ms. Victoria Toriser/ Hensoldt
3- Resilience Tool incl. Risk Radar, Dr Somik Chakravarty/ European Risk & Resilience Institute
4- Smart Navigator, Mr. Hasan Suzen/ HybridCore
5- NORDLAB Concept, Prof. Odd-Jarl Borch/ NORD University
6- Defalsif-AI Forensics Platform, Mr. Martin Boyer/ Austrian Institute of Technology GMBH
7- Disinformation Data Space, Mr. Daniel Fritz/ European External Action Service, Strategic Communication division

The day ended with presentations of EU-HYBNET network activities and innovations from other projects: ALIGNER, 7SHIELDS, PRECINCT and MEDEA.

The 2nd EU-HYBNET Annual Workshop was a successful event and provided fruitful exchange between the audience, the consortium and the keynote speakers. A specific highlight of the event was the possibility to engage in-person hence valuable interaction during brakes and joint dinners.

If you are interested in joining EU-HYBNET’s network, you can read the associated information and apply on the project’s website.

For further information on the EU-HYBNET, you can follow the project through Twitter and LinkedIn.

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 883054.