A group of 12 UK research institutions have launched the PETRAS 2 - National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity. The centre aims to advance a comprehensive and systematic research on Internet of things (IoT), artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning. The creation of the centre is the second phase of the UK PETRAS (privacy, ethics, trust, reliability, acceptability, and security) programme which deals with the opportunities, challenges, and threats of digital technology. The centre is funded by the UK Research and Innovation, through the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) as part of the Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme.
The Internet of Things (IoT) includes a wide range of Internet-connected devices, from highly digitalised cars, home appliances (e.g. fridges), and smart watches, to digitalised clothes that can monitor health. IoT devices are often connected in wide-systems, typically described as 'smart houses' or 'smart cities'.
Capacity development is often defined as the improvement of knowledge, skills and institutions to make effective use of resources and opportunities. Widespread on the agenda of international development agencies, capacity development programs range from societal to individual level and include a diversity of strategies, from fundraising to targeted training.
Cybersecurity is among the main concerns of governments, Internet users, technical and business communities. Cyberthreats and cyberattacks are on the increase, and so is the extent of the financial loss.
Yet, when the Internet was first invented, security was not a concern for the inventors. In fact, the Internet was originally designed for use by a closed circle of (mainly) academics. Communication among its users was open.
Cybersecurity came into sharper focus with the Internet expansion beyond the circle of the Internet pioneers. The Internet reiterated the old truism that technology can be both enabling and threatening. What can be used to the advantage of society can also be used to its disadvantage.