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Security-Aware Safety Monitoring of IoT-enabled Smart Environment

Faculty of Engineering and Informatics

About the Project

Internet of Things (IoT) is a promising networking paradigm that integrates physical processes with the cyber world to provide useful services. In the recent years, IoT has received a lot of attention from industry and academia. 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.

In the literature, it can be seen that the researchers are mostly concerned about the security of the IoT systems and different solutions have been provided to address different security issues in the IoT environment. Like security, safety is a critical non-functional property of a system and in many areas such as automotive and aerospace industries, significant efforts have been made to ensure safety of systems. However, in IoT industry, the issue of safety is not yet taken seriously and an insignificant amount of researches such as have been performed to address this issue.

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 analyse and monitor the safety of 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. The aim of this project is to develop a security-aware safety monitoring

framework for IoT environment. The framework 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. Therefore, the framework should provide ways to continuously monitor and analyse the safety-level of the IoT systems, and thereby allows to determine a good functional behaviour of the system components and to inform the users about the potential actions to take to avoid hazardous situations.


[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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