About the Laboratory

In 2015, the Research and Development and Innovation Consortium and ESI CEE united their efforts to carry out joint activities and cooperate with the common goal to establish the Cybersecurity Laboratory, managed by the Research and Development and Innovation Consortium, as a leading research center in the field of cybersecurity.

The laboratory works for the creation, development, and coordination of common national capacity in the following areas:

  • Cyber-resilience and flexibility of information and management systems
  • Situational awareness of the levels and impact of the digital dependence of society and economy, and the consequent risks and cyber-vulnerabilities, their prevention, and the overall preparedness for cyber-attacks and incidents
  • Vulnerability research, threat modeling, and replication of cyber-physical systems with a potential cyber-hybrid impact
  • Development of standards and methodologies for the design, development, and protection of cyber-dependent critical systems and resources, digital ecosystems, and the overall improvement of the cybersecurity posture of IT-intensive systems

The vision for the development of the Laboratory is related to its establishment as a regional center of competence for cybersecurity, with the main goal being to catalyze and participate in the cyber-specialization of Bulgaria within the EU and NATO.


Current Activities
  • Development of up-to-date training programs through simulations, hands-on exercises and exercises, and cyber resilience services for the public and private sectors.
  • Long-term research activities, related to cybersecurity and resilience of Systems of Systems (SoS) and cyber-physical systems: models, vulnerabilities, risks, and more specifically:
    • Systems of Systems – research and analysis of the cyber dependencies of different types of architectures, levels of interaction (interoperability), and vulnerability models of “aggregated” systems and processes
    • Application of the research results for the development of architectures for simulation platforms of complex systems, with the core goal to study interconnected vulnerabilities and weaknesses and simulate interoperable critical infrastructures, with a strong focus on supply chains
    • Application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods for cybersecurity and cyber-defense, as well as methods and research in the field of the defense of AI-based systems themselves Methods and requirements for cyber protection of AI systems themselves.
  • Research in the field of contemporary cyber threats – analysis and classification of web threats, mobile application related threats, and IoT-related threats and attack vectors
  • Development of means and methods for the provision of simulation installations (otherwise called Cyber Ranges) and polygons for cyber-hybrid exercising
  • Development of a technological platform for the monitoring of availability and accessibility of web-based or internet-based services
  • Work on projects related to applied information security.
  • Develop methods and tools for assessing (auditing) cyber threats to various third party (web, mobile) systems.

Services and Equipment

The Cybersecurity Lab offers a range of cybersecurity trainings and services, and in particular:
  • Specialized courses and simulations in major areas such as web security, mobile security, practical cryptography, and others
  • Platforms and modern interactive tools (environment) for cybersecurity trainings and exercises (academic Cyber Range)
  • Courses in general topics related to the management of ICT processes and projects, quality of software and services, introduction to information security, and others
  • Consultations in the field of risk management and cyber-resilience – maintaining the core functions of organizations in crises
  • Intrusion detection and incident recovery from various cyber-related incidents and security breaches
  • Advising the creation of secure systems and product architectures
  • Secure coding
  • Methods for ensuring the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information
  • Integration of security models and business processes improvement
  • Penetration testing, testing, and cybersecurity audits of components, systems, and organizations
  • Simulation of cyber attacks and methods for the prevention and protection in complex infrastructures and systems
  • Training and educational programs, awareness, and simulation models, technical platforms

If you are interested in a specific service or service area, please contact the team of the laboratory at

  • The cybersecurity laboratory is specifically designed and equipped to perform activities in two core areas – cybersecurity research and development of innovative methods and models.
  • In addition to the standard necessary equipment needed to perform activities related to scientific and applied activities in the field of information security, the laboratory has a secret section with a Faraday cage to work with specific equipment and information.

Scientific Publications

Related Scientific Publications
No related scientific publications found.


George Sharkov, PhD

Head of the laboratory

Scientific Areas:

Computer Science, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence


George Sharkov is the head of the Cybersecurity Laboratory at Sofia Tech Park and the Director of the European Software Institute – Center Eastern Europe – the regional excellence center of the European Software Institute.

He graduated in Mathematics and Computer Science from Sofia University and earned a doctoral degree in Artificial Intelligence, specializing in applied informatics and conducting research in biophysics and genetics (Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the University of Gent – Belgium). Since 1994, he has led international teams and projects for software and information systems in various sectors, including banking and finance, online trading, e-business, e-commerce solutions, internet exchanges, and B2B markets, as well as interactive and cross-media systems. He delivers lectures on software process and design quality, cybersecurity and resilience, and active information security at three leading Bulgarian universities.

Dr. Sharkov served as the National Cybersecurity Coordinator of Bulgaria from 2014 to 2017 and currently serves as a cybersecurity and cyber-defense advisor to the Minister of Defense. He led the development of the national cybersecurity strategy “Cyber Resilient Bulgaria 2020”.

He is one of the main initiators of BASSCOM (Bulgarian Association of Software Companies) and has served as its Chairman since 2001. George is also a qualified instructor in SPI (Software Process Improvement) and CMMI, as well as an accredited ITMark instructor and appraiser He is an initiator and promoter of international initiatives for ICT regional branding and competitiveness, as well as one of the initiators of the ICT Cluster Bulgaria.