Setting new benchmarks for cyber-security in the financial sector

We are living in the era of digitalization where digital applications across all business sectors are increasing. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are alarmingly on the rise as well, which sets new challenges for the management of secure internal and external data flows.

These are but some of the challenges that SOTER, the newly launched EU funded project, will address over the next two years.

2017 saw a massive ransomware cyber-attack that affected nearly 100 countries and important companies from different sectors like health services, finance, transport, and energy. According to the Directive on Security of Network Information Systems (NIS), these sectors are critical in terms of cybersecurity and should, therefore, have in place robust measures against cyber-attacks.

SOTER will take a holistic research approach, combining technological development with human factor-based cybersecurity training.

The human factor plays a key role in cyber attacks. A survey conducted by the Spanish National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE) showed that at least 10% of survey respondents said they have the same user/password for different applications and most survey respondents prefer to have “weak” passwords so they won’t forget them.

SOTER will develop a biometric-based authentication and identification digital onboarding platform in conjunction with a suite of training materials, designed to enhance information security, data privacy, and cybersecurity practice within the critical financial services sector.

“New tools, awareness and training for employees are needed due to the increased dependence on digital applications and the rise in cyber attacks”, said the SOTER project coordinator Paul Tailor Carbajal Silva, “SOTER will complement the technological development with a specific methodology for training and raising awareness of finance sector employees about the importance of their daily work against cyber-attacks.”


The SOTER kick-off meeting took place in Madrid, Spain, on 9-10 July 2019. During the two-day event, the partners met, shared information about their organisations, and discussed the SOTER work plan over the next two years.

SOTER is coordinated by everis in Spain and brings together technologists and researchers from eight organisations across Europe. It merges business and academic competencies from a range of research partners, including large companies, SMEs, universities, potential users, and public institutions.

The project partners involved in SOTER are:

  • everis (Spain)
  • Liberbank (Spain)
  • Everis Aerospace and Defence (Spain)
  • InAuth (United Kingdom)
  • Trunomi (United Kingdom)
  • Trilateral Research (Ireland)
  • University of Graz (Austria)
  • Research and Industrial Engineering Systems (Austria)
  • Real Casa de la Moneda y Timbre (Spain)

This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 833923



Author: Corinna Pannofino, Trilateral Research

For more information about SOTER visit the project website and follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn.