EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/N02334X/1
Title: Cyber Security of the Internet of Things
Principal Investigator: Watson, Professor JDM
Other Investigators:
Meiklejohn, Professor S Blackstock, Dr J Hailes, Professor S
Hudson-Smith, Professor A Brass, Dr I
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Amadeus Capital Partners Limited AT&T Labs Barclays Bank Plc
BBC BRE Trust (Building Res Excellence) British Gas
BT Callsign Cisco
Concentra Costain Cube Controls Ltd
Defence Science & Tech Lab DSTL EE Limited Greater London Authority (GLA)
His Majesty's Government Communications Holst Centre (Imec-NL) Home Office
In Touch Ltd Institute for Sustainabilty Intel Corporation Ltd
InterDigital L-3 TRL Technology London Legacy Development Corporation
MASS Consultants Ltd MEVALUATE Microsoft
NEC Nettitude Ltd Network Rail
NSC O2 Ordnance Survey
Pinsent Masons LLP Poplar HARCA Purple Secure Systems Ltd
QONEX Raytheon BBN Technologies Royal Bank of Scotland
Siemens Sogeti UK Limited Thales Ltd
Toshiba TRL Ltd (Transport Research Laboratory) Which
WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff Ltd UK ZTE (UK)
Department: Science, Tech, Eng and Public Policy
Organisation: UCL
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 29 February 2016 Ends: 31 August 2019 Value (£): 4,559,841
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Human-Computer Interactions Information & Knowledge Mgmt
Mobile Computing Networks & Distributed Systems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Healthcare Energy
Information Technologies Transport Systems and Vehicles
Related Grants:
EP/N023013/1 EP/N023358/1 EP/N022912/1 EP/N023242/1
EP/N02317X/1 EP/N022785/2 EP/N023234/1 EP/N02298X/1
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
30 Nov 2015 PaTrIoTS Interview Panel Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Today we use many objects not normally associated with computers or the internet. These include gas meters and lights in our homes, healthcare devices, water distribution systems and cars. Increasingly, such objects are digitally connected and some are transitioning from cellular network connections (M2M) to using the internet: e.g. smart meters and cars - ultimately self-driving cars may revolutionise transport. This trend is driven by numerous forces. The connection of objects and use of their data can cut costs (e.g. allowing remote control of processes) creates new business opportunities (e.g. tailored consumer offerings), and can lead to new services (e.g. keeping older people safe in their homes).

This vision of interconnected physical objects is commonly referred to as the Internet of Things. The examples above not only illustrate the vast potential of such technology for economic and societal benefit, they also hint that such a vision comes with serious challenges and threats. For example, information from a smart meter can be used to infer when people are at home, and an autonomous car must make quick decisions of moral dimensions when faced with a child running across on a busy road. This means the Internet of Things needs to evolve in a trustworthy manner that individuals can understand and be comfortable with. It also suggests that the Internet of Things needs to be resilient against active attacks from organised crime, terror organisations or state-sponsored aggressors.

Therefore, this project creates a Hub for research, development, and translation for the Internet of Things, focussing on privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security/safety: PETRAS, (also suggesting rock-solid foundations) for the Internet of Things. The Hub will be designed and run as a 'social and technological platform'. It will bring together UK academic institutions that are recognised international research leaders in this area, with users and partners from various industrial sectors, government agencies, and NGOs such as charities, to get a thorough understanding of these issues in terms of the potentially conflicting interests of private individuals, companies, and political institutions; and to become a world-leading centre for research, development, and innovation in this problem space.

Central to the Hub approach is the flexibility during the research programme to create projects that explore issues through impactful co-design with technical and social science experts and stakeholders, and to engage more widely with centres of excellence in the UK and overseas. Research themes will cut across all projects: Privacy and Trust; Safety and Security; Adoption and Acceptability; Standards, Governance, and Policy; and Harnessing Economic Value. Properly understanding the interaction of these themes is vital, and a great social, moral, and economic responsibility of the Hub in influencing tomorrow's Internet of Things. For example, a secure system that does not adequately respect privacy, or where there is the mere hint of such inadequacy, is unlikely to prove acceptable. Demonstrators, like wearable sensors in health care, will be used to explore and evaluate these research themes and their tension. New solutions are expected to come out of the majority of projects and demonstrators, many solutions will be generalisable to problems in other sectors, and all projects will produce valuable insights. A robust governance and management structure will ensure good management of the research portfolio, excellent user engagement and focussed coordination of impact from deliverables.

The Hub will further draw on the expertise, networks, and on-going projects of its members to create a cross-disciplinary language for sharing problems and solutions across research domains, industrial sectors, and government departments. This common language will enhance the outreach, development, and training activities of the Hub.
Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: