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  • Editorial: The Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA): Ten Years in the Service of Cybersecurity


    Author(s): BACIVAROV, Ioan
    Issue: Volume 11, Issue 2, Year 2022

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    1. Cybersecurity or information technology security (IT security) is the protection of computer systems and networks from attack by malicious actors that may result in unauthorised information disclosure, theft of, or damage to hardware, software, or data, as well as from the disruption or misdirection of the services they provide [1].

    The field has become significant due to the expanded reliance on computer systems, the Internet, and wireless network standards such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi and to the growth of smart devices and the various devices that constitute the Internet of Things (IoT).

    Cybersecurity is one of the most significant challenges of the contemporary world due to the complexity of information systems and the societies they support. Security is essential for systems that govern large-scale systems with far-reaching physical effects, such as power distribution, elections, and finance [2].

    Today we are all aware of the importance of the IT security field and its role in the smooth development of all human activity.

     

    2. A decade ago – in November 2012 – when the concepts related to this field were not yet sufficiently well implemented (at least, at the level of Romania), at the initiative of a group of enthusiastic and dedicated professionals to the IT security field from the EUROQUALROM Laboratory of the Faculty of Electronics, Telecommunications and Information Technology of the University “Politehnica” of Bucharest (including two university professors with experience, pioneers of the dependability field in Romania) and from the Police Academy “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” Bucharest has founded the Romanian Association for Information Security AssuranceRAISA [1], a professional, non-governmental, non-partisan political, non-profit and public benefit association [3].

    During the years since then, other experts from academia, research, the corporate environment, and public administration – mainly PhD graduates in the field – have joined RAISA’s efforts to promote cybersecurity at the national level.

    All those involved in the development of RAISA understood the importance of the domain, the unique perspectives of the development of the field and the fact that only the implementation of a vast culture of cybersecurity can contribute to its success.

    The aim of the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance was to promote and support information security activities in compliance with applicable laws and to create a community for the exchange of knowledge between specialists, academic and corporate environment in Romania, based on values such as (a) continuous investment in education; (b) openness to new methods to secure information; (c) involvement in combating the cybercrime phenomenon; (d) focus on facts; (e) concern for excellence.

    The vision of RAISA was to promote research and education in the information security field, to contribute to creating and disseminating knowledge and technology in this domain and to create a strong “cybersecurity culture” at the national level.

     

    3. Cybersecurity involves several technical and informational solutions that must be adopted and implemented to position an organisation for the most excellent resiliency in a complex threat landscape. Technology is necessary for addressing cyber threats, but it cannot work independently of complementary factors such as policy guidelines, information sharing on threats, and user awareness [4].

    In the context of the recent global cyber-attacks, it is essential to underline that while organisations continue to purchase and deploy technical controls, more needs to be done to focus on the human side of cybersecurity – so-named layer 8.

    IT professionals often use layer 8 to refer to employees’ lack of awareness and a weak cybersecurity culture. Today, it is just as essential to secure human assets – layer 8 – as it is to secure layers 1 through 7 [5].

    Consequently, all countries, professional organisations, and companies must consolidate a robust “cybersecurity culture” [6]. That’s why one of the most critical objectives of RAISA during these five years beginning period was to build a “cybersecurity culture” in Romania.

    Among the RAISA achievements aimed at implementing a culture of cybersecurity in our country, we can mention the following ones:

     

    4. Undoubtedly, one of the main achievements of the RAISA – the “crown pearl” of the association – is IJISC – the scientific journal that RAISA has decided to publish since 2012 [7].

    IJISC – the International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime is an international scientific peer-reviewed journal aiming to bring together the latest high-level research and development in information security and the latest methods to prevent and combat the cybercrime phenomenon.

    The Editorial Board of IJISC includes specialists in information security and cybercrime from academic police structures and university departments, their activity taking place under the close guidance of an International Scientific Board composed of internationally recognised personalities from the academic field.

    In ten years of existence, academics and researchers from 30 countries have chosen IJISC for the submission of their scientific papers, and well-known professors and researchers from 13 countries have joined the IJISC International Scientific Board. IJISC has grown tremendously over the last ten years in terms of its academic quality and international visibility.

    At this moment, IJISC is indexed in several international databases for scientific journals, including the following ones: EBSCOhost; CEEOL (Central and Eastern European Online Library); Google Scholar; CrossRef; Global Impact Factor; Cite Factor – Academic Scientific Journals; OCLC WorldCat; MIAR – Information Matrix for the Analysis of Journals; HeinOnline; ACADEMIA.edu; Mendeley – Academic Social Network; SCIPIO – Scientific Publishing & Information Online a.o. Permanent links to published papers are maintained using the Digital Object Identifier system by CrossRef.

    The International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime – IJISC will carry its mission into the future with the aims of enhancing the journal’s scientific level and global impact, continuing to provide readers with access to high-quality research, strengthening its digital publication capabilities, and ultimately becoming a top international journal in the field of cybersecurity.

     

    5. Another achievement of which RAISA is proud is the organisation of the CyberCon Romania Conference, which aims to raise cyber awareness, embody the cybersecurity culture, and share best practices in fighting cybercrime.

    CyberCon Romania unites top professionals in cybersecurity and related domains with the following objectives:

    The last edition of the conference, CyberCon Romania 2022, was organised in May 2022 by the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA) with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Romania. Conference partners were the Romanian National Cyber Security Directorate, National Cyberint Center, Romanian Police, Romanian National Institute of Magistracy, Romanian Banking Institute, European Institute of Romania, National Association for Information Systems Security (ANSSI), the ISACA – Romania Chapter, CIO Council Romania, and the Cyber Security Research Center from Romania.

     

    6. The coming years will bring new challenges for RAISA. The main one refers to the increasingly intensive use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques in cybersecurity.

    One of the reasons for the rapid acceleration of cybercrime is the lower barrier to entry for malicious actors. Cybercriminals have evolved their business models: the use of large language models (LLMs) like ChatGPT to write malicious code also highlights the potential cybersecurity challenges.

    Because of these threats, business leaders in today’s digital world must know about AI’s developments. According to Forbes, 76% of enterprises have prioritised AI and machine learning in their IT budgets [8]. As a result, AI is becoming an essential tool in the fight against cybercrime.

     

    7. Analysing in retrospect the first decade of activity of RAISA, we can proudly state that all the objectives considered for establishing this organisation have been fulfilled.

    In the current international conditions, a period full of challenges follows for all those who work in cybersecurity. This period can be successfully overcome only through the close cooperation of specialists in this sensitive and challenging field.

    And RAISA, through its specialists, is ready to respond to these critical challenges and contribute to fulfilling its primary goal, promoting cybersecurity culture in Romania.

     

    Acknowledgements
    At this anniversary moment, we sincerely thank all those involved in these ten years of RAISA‘s activities and have contributed decisively to their success: IT professionals, engineers, and PhD students in the IT field and academics.

    Special thanks to all those who have supported the development and growth of the IJISC magazine, which has been transformed in 10 years into a recognised international scientific journal in major international databases: readers, authors, reviewers, Editors, and members of the International Scientific Board.

     

    Note
    To mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of RAISA, the founding members of RAISA and several other specialists who have contributed decisively to the association’s activities in these ten years of activity had an informal meeting held in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere in November 2022. It was an opportunity to recall RAISA‘s activities in this first decade of activity and draw future plans.

     

    Footnote
    [1] https://www.raisa.org

     

    References
    [1] Computer security – Definition & Facts, Britannicabritannica.com (accessed 12 November 2022).
    [2] Stevens, Global Cybersecurity: New Directions in Theory and Methods, Politics and Governance, vol. 6 (2018), no. 2, pp. 1-4.
    [3] I.C. Bacivarov, Editorial, International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime – IJISC, vol. 1 (2012), no. 1, pp. 6-7.
    [4] https://www.enisa.europa.eu/publications/info-notes/wannacry-ransom​ware-outburst (accessed 15 November 2022).
    [5] https://securityintelligence.com/building-a-cybersecurity-culture-around-layer-8 (accessed 20 November 2022).
    [6] http://www.csoonline.com/article/2977014/security-awareness/cyber-secu​rity-culture-is-a-collective-effort.html (accessed 16 November 2022).
    [7] I.C. Bacivarov, Editorial: RAISA and IJISC – 5 Years in the Service of Cybersecurity Culture Dissemination, International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime – IJISC, vol. 6 (2017), no. 1, pp. 9-12.
    [8] https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2023/03/15/how-ai-is-dis​rupting-and-transforming-the-cybersecurity-landscape/ (accessed 20 November 2022).

     

    APPENDIX

     

    Research / Development Projects

     

    2022 – 2023
    Title: Fighting Crime and Corruption
    Description: Project developed by the Prosecutor’s Office attached to the High Court of Cassation and Justice with the help of the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance, funded by the Justice Programme of the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014-2021.
    Website: www.cyberlearning.ro

     

    2022 – 2023
    Title: Building a Network and a Learning Platform for Raising the Level of Cybersecurity
    Description: The project aims to build a network of students, cybersecurity experts, and organizations to analyze cybersecurity challenges and opportunities. Project developed by the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA) with the help of the International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP).
    Website: www.cyberclub.ro

     

    2021 – 2022
    Title: Strengthen Cybersecurity Education and Research for Preventing Cybercrime
    Description: The project goal is to strengthen cybersecurity education and to promote and disseminate cybersecurity research in Romania for preventing cybercrime. The project was developed by the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Romania.
    Website: www.cyberlearning.ro and proceedings.cybercon.ro

     

    2020 – 2021
    Title: Enhance Cyber Capacity Building in Romania for Preventing and Combating the Cybercrime Phenomenon
    Description: The project goal is to strengthen the cyber capacity in Romania by raising cybersecurity awareness and improving the skills of criminal justice authorities and the private sector in fighting cybercrime. The project was developed by the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Romania.
    Website: www.cyberlearning.ro

     

    2017 – 2019
    Title: Strategies for Monitoring the Online Platforms Security
    Description: Goal: Analyzing the strategies for monitoring the online platforms security and mitigating the cyber-attacks effects.
    Website: www.web-scan.eu

     

    2016 – 2017
    Title: Analysis of the Computer Networks Security. Architectures, Protocols, and Solutions
    Description: Goal: Analyzing the computer networks security and disseminating the main solutions to a web platform, for improving the cybersecurity culture.
    Website: www.securitatea-retelelor.ro

     

    2014 – 2016
    Title: Studies on Modern Methods of Publishing Information in Online Environment
    Description: Goal: Studying the modern methods of publishing and promoting the information (web sites, wiki sites, blogs, social networks, cloud computing).

     

    2013 – 2014
    Studies on Implementing Safety Measures to Ensure Information Security
    Goal: Studying the best policies and security methods for computer systems and communications and disseminating them into an online platform to promote safety measures for information security.
    Website: www.securitatea-informatiilor.ro

     

    2013 – 2014
    Title: Protection of Computer Systems Against Cybercrime Phenomenon
    Description: Goal: Developing a platform for communicating important information regarding latest cyber-attacks and methods of protection against them to provide to the public effective methods to prevent and to combat the phenomenon of cybercrime.
    Website: www.criminalitatea-informatica.ro

     

    2013 – 2015
    Title: Implementation of IT&C Technologies in Online Education System
    Description: Goal: Developing an e-learning platform for the purpose to develop special training programs and perfecting the personnel involved in the management of electronic information (processing, management, security).
    Website: www.arasec.ro/elearning

     

    2012 – 2013
    Title: Scientific Research Promotion in Information Security Field
    Description: Goal: Publishing a scientific journal for academic professorial staff, PhD students, researchers, graduate students and other professional categories in the field of information security and cybercrime.
    Website: www.ijisc.com

     

    Conferences, Special Sessions, and Events

     

    Yearly, since 2022
    Title: CyberCon Romania International Conference
    Description: An annual event that aims to raise awareness, embody the cybersecurity culture, and share best practices in fighting cybercrime.
    Website: www.cybercon.ro

     

    May 27, 2021
    Title: Lessons learned from cybersecurity experts. Perspectives from Romania and the United States of America
    Description: This online event was organized by RAISA in partnership with the U.S. Embassy in Romania and the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-RO). The aim of this event was to emphasize the importance of sharing best practices and relevant case studies for raising the level of awareness and embodies the cybersecurity culture.
    Website: www.cyberlearning.ro/cybersecurity-online-event/

     

    Yearly, since 2014
    Title: International Conference on Cybersecurity and Cybercrime (IC3)
    Description: An annual scientific conference that aims to encourage the exchange of ideas about evolution of cyberspace, information security challenges and new facets of the phenomenon of cybercrime.
    Website: proceedings.cybercon.ro

     

    2012 – 2018
    Title: International IEEE Conference in Quality and Dependability – CCF
    Description: Organization and coordination of special sections / sessions Dependability, Risk, Security
    Website: ccf-quality-conference.com

     

    Publications (Books, Journals, Studies, and Guides)

     

    2021
    Title: Cybersecurity Guide
    Description: Guide developed with the help of the U.S. Embassy in Romania, the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-RO), and the National Association for Information Systems Security (ANSSI).
    Authors: Iulian ALECU, Costel CIUCHI, Toma CÎMPEANU, Iulian COMAN, Larisa GĂBUDEANU, Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Cosmina MOGHIOR, Nelu MUNTEANU, Gabriel PETRICĂ, Ionuț STOICA, Cătălin ZETU
    Website: www.raisa.org/documents/Cybersecurity-Guide.pdf

     

    2020
    Title: Cybersecurity: Challenges and Perspectives in Education
    Description: Book developed with the support of the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-RO) and the Romanian Ministry of Education and Research.
    Coordinators: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Costel CIUCHI, Gabriel PETRICĂ
    Website: www.raisa.org/documents/CybersecurityEDU2020-EN.pdf

     

    2019
    Title: Considerations on Challenges and Future Directions in Cybersecurity
    Description: Study developed on the occasion of the Romanian Presidency at the Council of the European Union, with the support of the Romanian National Computer Security Incident Response Team (CERT-RO) and the National Cyberint Center within the Romanian Intelligence Service.
    Coordinators: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Costel CIUCHI, Gabriel PETRICĂ
    Website: www.raisa.org/documents/CybersecurityRO2019.pdf

     

    2019
    Title: Dependability of Information Systems
    Description: The monograph “Dependability of Information Systems” is a complex and valuable approach on the concept of dependability (addressed in the synergy of its components – reliability, security, safety, availability, confidentiality, resilience, etc.), current and relevant keywords in the field of scientific research, both at national and international level.
    Authors: Gabriel PETRICĂ, Sabina-Daniela AXINTE, Ioan C. BACIVAROV

     

    2018
    Title: Current Challenges in the Field of Cybersecurity – Impact and Romania’s Contribution to the Field
    Description: This book aims to analyze the current challenges in cyberspace, identifying threats, vulnerabilities, and risks to cybersecurity. It is presented the evolution and structure of cyber-attacks, the best practices for cybersecurity measures, public-private cooperation and Romania’s capacity to respond to virtual threats at national, European and regional levels.
    Authors: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Costel CIUCHI, Gabriel PETRICĂ
    Website: ier.gov.ro/wp-content/uploads/2018/10/SPOS_2017_Study_4_FINAL.pdf

     

    2016
    Title: Web Programming. Applications in HTML, CSS, JavaScript
    Description: This book is useful to all those who wish to acquire basic knowledge on Internet programming. The book provides numerous practical examples of medium-advanced level of programming, tested on updated operating systems and modern browsers.
    Authors: Angelica BACIVAROV, Costel CIUCHI, Gabriel PETRICĂ

     

    2015
    Title: Challenges and Strategies for Cybersecurity
    Description: This book aims to present the concept of cybersecurity and to propose strategies and solutions to ensure it. Cyberspace, characterized by the absence of borders and anonymity, presents, besides the obvious benefits, a number of threats difficult to identify and counteract that can target the critical infrastructure of a state.
    Authors: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Gabriel PETRICĂ, Costel CIUCHI, Laurențiu GIUREA

     

    2014
    Title: Information Security. Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
    Description: This book has the purpose to study security systems and to propose solutions to improve it, being a scientific portfolio, theoretical and practical, which is addressing equally to those with Master’s degrees, doctoral or post-doctoral and to specialists in this field.
    Authors: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Gabriel PETRICĂ

     

    2014
    Title: Cybercrime. Second Edition, Revised and Expanded
    Description: This book presents a complex study on cybercrime phenomenon, analyzing the current cyber-attacks.
    Authors: Ioan-Cosmin MIHAI, Laurențiu GIUREA

     

    2012
    Title: Internet Services
    Description: The aim of this book is to provide the readers with a bird’s eye view on the Internet concept (aim, technical means, applications, and risks), addressing the various types of hardware technologies and specialized software protocols and tools.
    Authors: Angelica BACIVAROV, Costel CIUCHI, Gabriel PETRICĂ

     

    2012
    Title: International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime (IJISC)
    Description: IJISC is a scientific peer-reviewed journal with a frequency of 2 issues/year, edited by professorial staff and experts from the University Politehnica of Bucharest and other universities from Romania and abroad. The principal aim of IJISC is to bring together the latest research and development in information security and the latest methods to prevent and to combat the cybercrime phenomenon.
    Website: www.ijisc.com

     

    Awards

     

    2022
    Cyber Outstanding Security Performance Award (Cyber OSPA) 2022
    Description: The partnership between the U.S. Embassy in Romania and RAISA won the Outstanding Cyber Security Partnership category within the 2022 edition of Cyber Outstanding Security Performance Awards (Cyber OSPAs).

     

    2021
    Finalist at the Cyber Outstanding Security Performance Award (Cyber OSPA) 2021
    Description: The project Building a Network and a Learning Platform for Raising the Level of Cybersecurity was included in the Outstanding Cyber Security Training/Awareness Initiative category

     

    2020
    Outstanding Security Performance Award (OSPA)
    Description: The study “Considerations on Challenges and Future Directions in Cybersecurity” (2019) won the Outstanding Security Performance Award (OSPA) for the best Romanian cybersecurity initiative for 2020.


    Additional Information

    Title: Editorial: The Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA): Ten Years in the Service of Cybersecurity
    Author(s): BACIVAROV, Ioan
    Publication: International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime
    ISSN: 2285-9225, e-ISSN: 2286-0096
    Issue: Volume 11, Issue 2, Year 2022
    Page Range: 7-18



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    The International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime (IJISC)

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    The International Journal of Information Security and Cybercrime is a trademark of the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance (RAISA).
    No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, photocopied, recorded or archived, without the written permission from RAISA. When authors submit their papers for publication, they agree that the copyright for their article be transferred to the Romanian Association for Information Security Assurance, if the articles are accepted for publication. The copyright covers the exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the article, including reprints and translations.