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Safe and Secure IoT-enabled Smart Systems

   Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

In recent years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has received a lot of attention from industry and academia. It is envisaged that by 2025, over 80 billion devices around the globe will be connected to the Internet. The rapid growth of the IoT applications has allowed the introduction of IoT-enabled smart systems into private and public spaces such as in our homes, hospitals, or workplaces. These systems are increasingly given autonomous decision-making power, such that while performing critical tasks within human vicinity, they can autonomously make their own decisions and take actions with minimal human intervention. For example, in a smart home environment, smart devices can control the heating system of the home, locks of the doors, surveillance systems, and functionality of the connected devices.

While IoT changes the way we play, live, and work, it also raises concern about the safety and security of the IoT-enabled digital lives. Due to a large number of connected devices and their ability to control critical physical assets, IoT systems can reach to unsafe and dangerous physical states because of intended attacks on them and/or unintended failure events such as failure of physical devices, failure or error in communication and unforeseen bad interactions between connected devices. Whether the failure of an IoT system is caused by intended attacks or random failure of devices or communication, the failure has the potential to cause great harm, both to people and the environment. For this reason, the development of these systems requires a rigorous assessment of system behaviour to ensure that they possess a high level of dependability.

Given the “gold rush” state of the IoT industry where manufacturers are competing with each other to release their next innovative connected devices without thinking much about the non-functional properties, e.g. safety of the system, there is a need to provide suitable platforms to ensure safety and security IoT systems. The cyber-physical nature of the IoT systems requires us to take a unified view of safety and security to identify the potential causes that may lead the systems to hazardous states, and thereby determine actions to minimise the likelihood of a system entering such a hazardous state. This project aims to develop new techniques and/or tools for assessing the safety and security of IoT systems using concepts from Systems Engineering, Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data Analytics, etc. The developed methodologies should be able to provide meaningful information about the safety status and the integrity of the IoT systems while assuring the security of the systems, thus will have impact on developing safe and secure smart systems.


[1] M. Wolf and D. Serpanos, “Safety and Security in Cyber-Physical Systems and Internet-of-Things Systems,” Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 106, no. 1, pp. 9–20, 2018.

[2] M. Orcutt, “Security experts warn congress that the internet of things could kill people,”, 2016.

[3] E. Ronen, A. Shamir, A.-O. Weingarten, and C. O’Flynn, “IoT goes nuclear: Creating a ZigBee chain reaction,” in IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy (SP). IEEE, 2017, pp. 195–212.

[4] Z. B. Celik, P. McDaniel, and G. Tan, “SOTERIA: Automated IoT Safety and Security Analysis,” in Proceedings of the USENIX Annual Technical Conference, 2018, pp. 147–158.

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