Polish Platform for Homeland Security joins EACTDA!

We proudly announce that PPHS is now a member of the European Anti-Cybercrime Technology Development Association (EACTDA), an institution with significant promise in the European security landscape.

A significant obstacle for law enforcement agencies (LEAs) is accessing the appropriate tools for specific purposes. Typical commercially-available solutions cover many of LEAs’ needs, but at a cost! The reality is that not all LEAs in Europe (and globally) can afford the licenses for the selection of tools required to fight modern crimes. Most software is licensed ‘as a service’ (SaaS). The SaaS model is great for accessing tooling and often without acquiring expensive hardware. Still, the licenses are not typically cheap, and because of the disparate structures of law enforcement, not all forces, departments and teams can acquire all tools on their ‘wish lists’. Thus, providing affordable tools for officers can provide significant help, and eases the challenges they face.

The recently formed EACTDA is a non-profit organisation that helps deliver innovative and end-user-focused solutions for cyber-related crime. The Association aims to develop technological solutions available for European LEAs with no license cost and with access to the source code.

Moreover, EACTDA is actively engaged in establishing and maintaining connections with relevant European agencies in the domain. EACTDA addresses the gaps and needs provided by the advisory board, which is made up of various members across the EU-security landscape, including the Europol and +20 members from EU anti-cybercrime units agencies. Once the primary needs are established, EACTDA collects ideas for tools and solutions that can match the known challenges, setting a roadmap for the improvement of those tools. Crucially, the Association creates and maintains a repository of such tools, and provides the completed solutions to EU public entities fighting cybercrime, using the Europol Tool Repository (ETF) for EU-based LEAs and its own repository for all the other non-LEA agencies.

In this way, EACTDA is offering huge support to European projects, that develop innovative solutions but struggle to maintain or develop them after the project’s closure. The Association is constantly monitoring the research, development and innovation projects and reaching agreements and collaboration frameworks to further leverage the knowledge and developments made by those projects. As a result, more tools can be developed and distributed to the end-users via the ETF and EACTDA’s repository of tools.

For years, the Polish Platform has participated in the creation of innovative tools for LEAs. As of June 2023, PPHS is contributing to more than a dozen projects, which results will help improve security in Europe. We appreciate and understand the obstacles project consortia face in creating market-ready solutions, especially the work for bridging the so-called ‘valley of death’ between solutions at technology readiness levels 7, and making them operationally-ready tools.

Providing tools that deliver functionality for specific purposes to LEAs, to complement the commercial tools available in their arsenals, is one way to support the fight against crime. EACTA is still in its infancy, but the Association’s concept can help alleviate the stresses and strains caused by an ever-changing security landscape, and the challenges LEAs face in accessing the necessary tools for their daily work.

We are happy to join forces with EACTDA in the mission of making Europe’s citizens safer. We are confident that our experience will be beneficial for the whole Association, and look forward to contributing.