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Trust management in the Internet of things (Application Ref: SF19/EE/CIS/KHAN)

Faculty of Engineering and Environment

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Dr S Khan , Dr A Ali Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Internet of things (IoT) is a contemporary technology, which links a tremendous number of devices with each other to ease life via many useful services such as information exchange, monitoring, and control. IoT comprises different types of entities such as sensors and RFID tags, which mostly deployed in unattended, sensitive, and hostile territories. Due to rapid scalability and high heterogeneity, traditional security approaches fails to provide adequate security mechanisms for the current IoT infrastructure. The possibility of insecure and unattended deployment makes some of IoT’s entities subject to be captured physically by the attackers. As a result, the victim device can be exploited as a gateway to compromise the entire network. Furthermore, an entity may not work correctly because of resource constraints or instability of the network’s link. Recently, trust and reputation (TR) extended in IoT to monitor the behaviour deviation of IoT entities. Any malicious behaviour by IoT devices should be detected and mitigate so that it might not affect the entire IoT infrastructure. This requires a lightweight trust management solution which might not utilize scare resources of IoT devices in countering the malicious behaviour. Each IoT device when communicating with another device should confident enough that the communication is happening between two legitimate devices.

The project aims to find an optimal solution for the aforementioned problem by proposing a trust management mechanism in the IoT. This might be performed through any recent emerging technologies including blockchain or AI techniques to overcome the security mechanisms of the IoT resources.

The candidate should have sound knowledge about IoT infrastructure (theoretically and practically) and be self-motivated to work hard to achieve the project objectives.

Skills Required: Java/Python programming, Mathematical Modelling, IoT simulators (Cooja/Contiki, iFog sim, NetSim etc)

This project is supervised by Dr Suleman Khan.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/EE/CIS/KHAN) will not be considered.

Start Date: 1 March 2020 or 1 October 2020

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded research project.


1. Abdelmuttlib Ibrahim Abdalla Ahmed, Siti Hafizah Ab Hamid, Abdullah Gani, Suleman Khan, Muhammad Khurram Khan, Trust and reputation for Internet of Things: Fundamentals, taxonomy, and open Research Challenges, Journal of Network and Computer Applications (ISI Indexed, Q1, Impact Factor 5.27)-2019

2. M A Manazir Ahsan, Ihsan Ali, Muhammad Imran, Mohd. Yamani Idna Idris, Suleman Khan, Anwar Khan, A Fog-centric Secure Cloud Storage Scheme, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing -(Accepted May-2019)

3. Bilal Khalid Dar, Munam Ali Shah, Saif ul Islam, Carsten Maple, Shafaq Mussadiq, Suleman Khan, Delay-Aware Accident Detection and Response System using Fog Computing, IEEE Access (ISI Indexed, Q1, Impact Factor 4.09)-2019

4. M A Manazir Ahsan, Ainuddin Wahid Bin Abdul Wahab, Mohd Yamani Idna Bin Idris, Suleman Khan, Eric Bachura, Kim-Kwang Raymond Choo CLASS: Cloud Log Assuring Soundness and Secrecy Scheme for Cloud Forensics, IEEE Transactions on Sustainable Computing-2018

5. Abdelmuttlib Ibrahim Abdalla Ahmed, Suleman Khan, Abdullah Gani, Siti Hafizah Ab Hamid, Mohsen Guizani, Entropy-based Fuzzy AHP Model for Trustworthy Service Provider Selection in Internet of Things, The 43th IEEE conference on Local Computer Networks (LCN), October 1-4, 2018 Chicago, USA- (Core rank- A)
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