Newcastle Urban Sciences Building IoT: Workshop report

By John Mace
Research Associate

Newcastle University hosted a Newcastle Urban Sciences Building IoT (NUSBIoT) project workshop on 13th February 2018.

The event was held in the University’s new £58 million flagship development: The Urban Sciences Building (USB). The USB is home to the School of Computing at Newcastle, and, together with its surrounding city area, is a living laboratory underpinning research to make urban centres more sustainable for future generations.

The workshop focused on the creation of a methodology for assessing the security risks of smart buildings, based upon a risk assessment of the USB.

Present at the workshop were Professor Carsten Maple and Hugh Boyes, University of Warwick; Dr Charles Morisset, Newcastle University, Dr John Mace, University of Warwick (seconded to Newcastle University); Tony Williams, Cube2 Ltd.

The workshop opened with an in-depth update from Tony Williams on his findings from the USB risk assessment and architectural review he has been conducting with the help of Hugh Boyes. Tony will deliver his complete findings by the end of February 2018 as a confidential report to Newcastle University.

Informed by the USB risk assessment process, John Mace reported his progress with another deliverable; a general methodology to assess the security risks of smart buildings. To validate the approach, it was decided to form a focus group of organisations in the northeast, whose operations are conducted in smart buildings. The idea is to conduct interviews with building managers to understand current smart building risk assessment practices in industry, healthcare, transport, retail, leisure, education, and so on.

John also updated the workshop members on two further project outputs: An academic paper accepted for presentation at the PETRAS\IET Living in the Internet of Things Conference. The paper presents a novel multi-modelling approach to model, simulate, and analyse attacks on smart building systems.

The other deliverable is a proposal for a future research project on analysing smart building security risks using multi-modelling. It was decided this would be in the form of an application to a call from the Royal Academy of Engineering for a UK Intelligence Community research fellowship, submission date end of March 2018.

In identifying further deliverables the workshop members suggested an abridged, unclassified version of the findings presented by Tony Williams would be produced for dissemination with other PETRAS members. The workshop members agreed upon submitting the methodology undertaken by John Mace as a journal paper by end of March 2018.

As the NUSBIoT project will draw to a close at the end of March 2018, the workshop members agreed the final project workshop would be used as a platform to present all deliverables to invited members of PETRAS. To facilitate invitee attendance, it was decided to hold the workshop at Newcastle University’s London campus on 27th March, the day before the London based PETRAS\IET conference.