A new project by Edinburgh Napier University and Keysight Technologies will test the cybersecurity of networks and internet-connected devices.
The prevalence of internet-connected devices is growing in society, and with the implementation of the internet of things (IoT) this looks set to continue and expand to all kinds of household devices. However, there is also an increasing need to test and reinforce the cybersecurity of networks, in response to evolving threats which can take advantage of weaknesses in these emerging technologies.
The new project aims to enable manufacturers working on internet-enabled devices to build strong cybersecurity into their design, by facilitating the testing of interconnected devices and networks before they reach the market. This in turn could lead to the creation of identifiable security standards for IoT devices, which could help device manufacturers to pursue stronger cybersecurity.
How will the new project address cybersecurity challenges?
The project will run for 12 months, and will take advantage of data analytics to pinpoint potential vulnerabilities in the electromagnetic, power and acoustic signals that hackers can use to crack encryption codes on IoT devices.
It will then create a framework for testing that manufacturers can use to test the cybersecurity of networks between their devices. The use of Keysight’s PathWave platform will help creators to test their connected devices at every point in the design workflow, from concept to prototype stage.
What impact will the project have on the rollout of the IoT?
For Professor Bill Buchanan of Edinburgh Napier University, the internet of things could transform many aspects of society if it were to take on a greater role, but this cannot be successfully achieved without addressing significant security considerations. The university’s new project aims to deliver this.
Buchanan explained: “The biggest thing holding back the development of the Internet of Things is security – specifically, concerns about the vulnerabilities of devices, the ease of hacking them, and the consequences of such hacks. In healthcare, for example, IoT could transform the way we monitor people’s health and manage conditions like asthma. But security concerns are holding back wider adoption of smart devices.”