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Cyber Security Research Projects

PETRAS Project

Privacy, Ethics, Trust, Reliability, Acceptability and Security.

Funder: EPSRC (


Many new challenges arise as the objects and services we use in our daily lives become increasingly “connected”. To address these challenges, the EPSRC have funded a UK Research Hub for Cyber Security of the Internet of Things (IoT).


University College London (lead), University of Warwick, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, Imperial College London, University of Southampton, University of Surrey, University of Edinburgh, Cardiff University
Concentra, Transport Research Laboratory Ltd, BT, MEVALUATE, InterDigital, ZTE (UK), Sogeti UK Ltd, Toshiba Research Europe Ltd, London Legacy Development Corporation, Greater London Authority, The Home Office, Institute of Sustainability, NSC, Holst Centre (IMEC-NL), Callsign, QONEX, Costain Ltd, O2 Telefonica Europe Plc, Ordnance Survey, Cube Controls Ltd, In Touch Ltd, Intel Corporation (UK) Ltd, BRE Trust, Cisco Systems UK, Network Rail Ltd, WSP / Parsons Brinckerhoff, Nettitude Ltd, NEC Telecon MODUS Ltd, British Gas Plc, Pinsent Masons LLP, Everything Everywhere Ltd, BBC, DSTL, Which, Siemens Plc, MASS, Poplar HARCA, Raytheon, Thales UK Ltd, Royal Bank of Scotland Plc, Amadeus Capital Partners Ltd, Her Majesty’s Government Communications, L-3 TRL Technology, AT&T Labs, Purple Secure Systems Ltd, Barclays Bank Plc, Microsoft Research Ltd.


This IoT Research Hub focusses on the Internet of Things, particularly the aspects of privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security (referred to as "PETRAS" henceforth) and their interaction in tomorrow's Internet of Things. This Hub takes a transdisciplinary approach that involves engineers, social scientists, end-users, partners from multiple sectors, and researchers from business schools. Moreover, the Hub will become an open "social and technological platform" on which external partners, including academics, will participate in the Hub's activities.

Central to the Hub’s approach is agile creation of projects that explore issues through impactful co-design with technical and social science experts and stakeholders, and flexible wider engagement with centres of excellence in the UK and overseas. These projects will be grouped into areas of core technologies and application, and will feed into five core thematic ‘Streams’ of research:
• Privacy and Trust
• Adoption and Acceptability
• Safety and Security
• Harnessing Economic Value
• Standards, Governance and Policy
Properly understanding the interaction of these themes is vital, and an ethical and economic responsibility of the Hub in influencing tomorrow's Internet of Things. Application area projects will serve as demonstrators to evaluate these ‘Streams’ and their tension. Outputs from the projects and demonstrators will provide new solutions to pervasive IoT issues, with many applicable to problems in other sectors. A robust governance and management structure will ensure good research portfolio stewardship, excellent user engagement and focused coordination of impact for deliverables.
Carsten Maple, Cyber Security GRP Academic Co-Lead and Professor of Cyber Systems Engineering at the Cyber Security Centre in the Warwick Manufacturing Group (WMG) leads the Privacy and Trust Stream and projects in Transport and Mobility, and Control Systems and Supply Chain. More broadly, research will examine how data is stored, transmitted and used to ensure privacy is maintained, and will analyse how consent, privacy and protection issues are addressed. As diminishment in the functionality of the IoT would result in the loss of business capacity (e.g. automated systems in the manufacturing sector), a key aim for the researchers is to harness the economic value and provide the vital exchange of data needed to run many areas of industry.