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Addressing Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things

Professor Miguel Rio's PETRAS funding to deploy a London low-power IoT network
Addressing Cybersecurity of the Internet of Things

Prof Miguel Rio

Congratulations to Professor Miguel Rio who has just been awarded £100k funding throught PETRAS, the UK's Internet of Things (IoT) Research Hub. On 13th July it announced 15 new projects that will explore how society can benefit from the power of interconnected devices (the IoT) while remaining safe, secure and resilient. With an increase in high-profile cybersecurity attacks, cyber risk and the public's perception of these issues have been highlighted. The new projects will analyse the potential social, economic, and security implications of a future where a large proportion of the world's physical devices are interconnected, and shared data influences the operation and actions of devices in our environment. The projects will explore social and technical aspects of the IoT relating to cybersecurity across an extensive range of applications, including medical devices, home automation and public infrastructure.

Professor Rio's project titled 'Resilience and security in Low Power IoT' aims to improve security in low power sensors with long range communications' will create, implement and deploy in London a low-power IoT network that will increase network resilience and security, protecting against denial of service attacks. This network will make use of a high density of novel connection points (gateways) to gain sensor positioning while preserving privacy, without GPS and with the ability to work indoors.

"Very soon there will be four times more smart and connected devices on the earth as there are people."

Launching the PETRAS awards, the Minister for Digital, Matt Hancock said: "We want to make the UK the best place in the world to start and run a digital business and the safest place to be online. Our continued investment in Internet of Things research and innovation is supporting these aims by helping academics, industry and the public sector to explore how we can benefit from connected devices while making sure they remain safe, secure and resilient. These new research projects will keep the UK at the forefront of this technology and investigate some of the most pressing issues we face."

All the funded projects will be led by universities from across the UK and each will be undertaken with strong industry collaboration. The projects are funded by the PETRAS Research Hub, as part of the Government-funded IoT UK research and innovation programme, as well as Lloyds Register Foundation, industry and public sector organisations. Collectively, the projects' funding totals over £2m. The PETRAS hub is a three-year funded programme announced in January 2016. The 15 projects announced today are in response to an open call run by the hub between December 2016 and March 2017.

Discussing the work of the hub and the impact it will have on the future of IoT, Prof. Jeremy Watson CBE, President of the IET and Director of the PETRAS research hub led by UCL, said: "Very soon there will be four times more smart and connected devices on the earth as there are people. We must therefore bring the social, economic and security implications of such a world to the forefront of research, innovation and development. These projects do just that, paving the way for a resilient, connected UK at the forefront of Internet of Things development."