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TU/e leads national research project for a secure IoT

Devices that are connected to the internet, such as self-driving cars and intelligent thermostats, pose an increasing threat to our privacy and security. Protecting against this requires a fundamental approach that is urgently needed. A national research project comprising more than 45 parties - universities, companies, NGOs and government – and led by Eindhoven University of Technology will be conducting research into this approach in the coming years. NWO will invest almost ten million euros in the project.

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From an internet that consists purely of connected computers, an internet is created at a rapid pace to which devices are connected, such as cars, books or refrigerators, but also sensors, smart home systems and complete power plants. This Internet of Things is expected to contain 75 billion connected devices worldwide by 2030. Given that there is little control over its development, the size of the technology entails a major security risk.

According to Sandro Etalle, professor of cyber security at Eindhoven University of Technology, we have reached a turning point in history. "If we do nothing now, we run the risk of being overwhelmed by technology that we cannot oversee or control and that will completely undermine our privacy and cyber security."

Systematic approach

As a solution, current ad hoc security methods such as virus scanners or firewalls are no longer adequate, says Etalle. "To get a grip on this problem we need a systematic approach  with rules for the design and management of IoT systems." Etalle leads the research project ‘An Internet of Secure Things - INTERSECT’ with more than 45 affiliated institutions and companies that aim to provide the first impetus for "a blueprint" for the design, security and management of IoT systems.

Because universities, government, business and NGOs are coming together in the project, the approach can be technically as well as legally and criminologically. This can also be used to investigate a wide range of applications, including health, energy, mobility and smart cities.

The INTERSECT project is receiving almost 10 million euros within the Dutch National Research Agenda program. In addition to TU/e also VU University Amsterdam, Radboud University Nijmegen, Delft University of Technology, University of Twente, Tilburg University, Dutch Crime and Law Enforcement Center, Fontys University of Applied Sciences, Leiden University of Applied Sciences, Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences and TNO are involved. From the Government it's the Ministry of the Interior. Companies that are participating are BDO Advisory, Brainport Development, Bosch Security Systems, Centric, Compumatica secure networks, Fourtress, ICT Automation, Océ-Technologies, Omron Europe, Oracle, Philips, Qbit Cyber ​​Security, Secura, Siemens, Signify, Simac Technique, SURFnet, Synopsys , Technolution, Verum Software Tools. Also the Dutch Consumers' Association and Stichting Internet Domeinregistratie Nederland (SDIN) will play a role in the project.

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