Wednesday morning December 7, Dr. Gerhard Hancke Jr from the Department of Computer Science at City University of Hong Kong held a breakfast seminar at Mid Sweden University on Ad-Hoc Security for Smart Things. Researchers and partner companies was invited to get Gerhards best advice for secure Internet of Things (IoT) business.
Dr Hancke is an expert on Internet security and presented his knowledge and experience to researchers at STC Research Centre and partners within the research project SMART. Dr. Hancke took his PhD at the University of Cambridge and has worked with smart card in the mobile industry for several years. Now he is an assistant professor at the City University of Hong Kong and his research group focus on Internet security for both consumer and industrial use. Dr. Hancke sees an overlap between these two business areas that shows great potential although the Chinese industry has not come quite as far in connecting the industry.
- The industry here in Sweden and Europe is at the forefront of Internet of things thanks to a strong vision such as the German strategy Industry 4.0, Dr. Hancke explains.
Time and money affect security
At his presentation Dr. Hancke presented several examples of how hackers have attacked different systems around the world and how these could have been avoided.
In recent years we have seen hacker attacks on connected things such as web cameras, baby monitors and RFID-readers. Sometimes it´s not the device itself that is the target but it can be used for other purposes. That’s why it is important to think about the security at all times, also in small seemingly insignificant devices.
- You have to think carefully about if your data might be interesting for others? Can you obtain new, more interesting information, if you combine your data with other data? Failing in security often is because it has not been taking seriously enough or has been prioritized in the process. Time and money plays a big role when a new device need to be launched, Dr. Hancke points out in his lecture.
Tips for safer IoT
Dr. Hancke´s gave his best tips for companies who want to expand their business with Internet-of-Things services.
- Start to think about security from start when you building or choosing which IoT system you should buy. Mistakes are avoidable if you just take it seriously from the beginning.
- Choose the right tool for your business, it doesn’t have to be advance and expensive system to be secure.
- Make a risk analysis – how likely is it to happen? If you just think this through you keep the average attacker away.
Basically it is the same things to think about for a large industry but they have a more complex systemthat needs to be secure. Dr. Hancke concludes by pointing out that the IoT is the future and we should not be afraid to make use of the technology
The start of a new cooperation
This is the first visit to Mid Sweden University by Dr. Hancke. He was invited to share his knowledge to the PhD-students and to initiate a new research collaboration between the two research environments.
- There is some overlap between the two research groups that shows great potential for new collaboration. Hopefully we can apply for funding to do student exchange and there also might be some common research ideas in the future, Dr. Hancke concludes our interview