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COVID-19: IoT and Cybersecurity

fredrikskippervold27 August 2020

Fredrik Johan Skippervold is a UCL MPA Graduate within Digital Technologies and Policy 18/19. He holds a Bachelor of Law with Spanish and is currently a researcher in the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity.

Introduction

Over the past four months (April – July) my colleague Dr Catherine Wheller and I have been following the impacts of COVID-19 on cybersecurity and the Internet of Things (IoT) within the UK and beyond. The pandemic has inspired a range of IoT innovations to help stop the spread of the virus. We have written weekly landscape briefings (LB) that provide up to date information on the latest developments in this area. In this blog I will talk about how we set about collecting information and how we put together these reports, as well as highlight some of the major developments which include discussions surrounding privacy and ethics. To note, a final summary briefing will be posted alongside this blogpost. The summary, which can be found here, includes a detailed timeline of events, provides an overview of how IoT devices are helping to stop the spread of the virus (UK and globally) and presents discussions around so-called ‘immunity passports’.

Cybersecurity

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A holistic approach to reasoning about the security of critical infrastructure systems

uchennadani13 February 2020

By Dr Uchenna D Ani, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow with the PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity, UCL STEaPP

Security designs should not consider technical details alone but should capture the bigger picture of the co-interacting participants that provide critical services.

Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) systems need cybersecurity, physical security and personnel security.  CNI systems use networks of diverse technologies (hardware and software) to enable the exchange of data and information. Generally, this involves socio-technical systems (STS) – people interacting with the technology and working together as a single system structured to achieve operational objectives.

IoT

Integrating the internet and the Internet of Things (IoT) with CNI systems enable greater capabilities for remote, autonomous sensing. Integration supports smarter control, monitoring, predictive maintenance, safety, and security management, but the convergence brings new security risks that demand serious attention. Geoff E, of the UK National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), highlights the need to consider such systems as a whole rather than the sum of individual components. A holistic perspective is therefore necessary to achieve more all-embracing security.

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People with Hearing Loss and Connected Home Technologies

k.pothong15 November 2019

PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity took a first step to understand the needs and expectations of people with special requirements, starting with those with hearing loss, in their engagement with Internet of Things (connected devices) in their domestic environment. We organised a workshop on the 29th October 2019 which received interest and representation from a broad range of stakeholders, including technology developers, researchers, representatives of various UK groups for people with hearing loss (both the profoundly deaf and hard-of-hearing and cochlear implant users), as well as some individual end-users with hearing loss.

Kruakae Pothong led the workshop design, building on deliberation and value sensitive design, with the support of Claire Milne, a PETRAS Associate and LSE Visiting Senior Fellow, and Sarah Turner, a STEaPP Digital Technology and Public Policy MPA graduate. The workshop opened with participants sharing their experiences of technology in domestic life and the adjustments made to support various types of hearing loss. Participants were then asked to collectively define what they find problematic about their experience.

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