PETRAS announces seven new research projects


Addressing cybersecurity of the Internet of Things (IoT)


The PETRAS National Centre of Excellence today announces seven new research projects that explore cybersecurity of devices and networks at the edge of the internet.

The projects were funded from PETRAS’ 1st Strategic Research Fund, as part of the Security of Digital Technology at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme being delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI). The national call was launched in June 2019 and was open to UK Higher Education Institutions.

With cyberattacks on the rise, and as society increasingly relies on technologies to enhance our lifestyles, these new projects investigate the social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks.

For example, improved supply chains and logistics operations can help businesses deliver more goods and increase cost savings. In collaboration with Tate, project Logistics 4.0 Securing High Value Goods using Self-Protecting Edge Compute aims to create, design and develop tiny sensor-tracking systems that attach directly to objects to better protect high-value goods.

The transport sector is expanding its capabilities to allow autonomy, cooperation and reliability, creating challenges for current engineering practices around safety and security of future vehicular systems. Project Multi-Perspective Design of IoT Cybersecurity in Ground and Aerial Vehicles (MAGIC), led by new PETRAS partner the University of Glasgow, investigates the limitations of current approaches to cybersecurity in the transport sector, with the aim of achieving security and resilience for future systems.

In collaboration with Cisco, project Impact of Cyber Risk at the Edge: Cyber Risk Analytics and Artificial Intelligence (CRatE) will examine the role of artificial intelligence and machine learning in designing a self-adapting system for predictive cyber risk analytics. Decisions in cyber security, cyber risk and cyber insurance require quantitative risk impact estimation based on real-time data. This project will hold red teaming events to understand how users and autonomous systems interact to ensure system resilience and how to stress-test such systems for complex attacks.

Digital Minister Matt Warman said “Research into the challenges associated with privacy, security and trust in the IoT  is vital to advance the UK’s global leadership in the sector. We look forward to working closely with PETRAS to make sure our policies continue to be informed by the most cutting-edge studies.”

PETRAS is part of the £30.6 million Security of Digital Technology at the Periphery (SDTaP) programme being delivered by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Strategic Priorities Fund. PETRAS works in collaboration with academia, industry and government partners to ensure our research can be directly applied to benefit society, business and the economy.

Reflecting on the potential impact of these new research projects, Professor Tim Watson (PETRAS Co Investigator and Director of the Cyber Security Centre at WMG) said “In a variety of ways, all seven new projects promise to make our digitally-controlled world safer and better. We look forward to reporting on their progress, and on the real impact they will be providing.”

The seven projects are:

Notes for Editors:


  • PETRAS exists to ensure that technological advances in the IoT and associated systems at the Edge of the internet are safely and securely developed and applied in private and public sector contexts. We do this by considering social and technical issues relating to the cybersecurity of IoT devices, systems and networks
  • PETRAS is a consortium that connects research institutions with outstanding expertise in securing the connected world. They are UCL, Imperial College London, University of Oxford, Lancaster University, University of Warwick, University of Southampton, Newcastle University, University of Nottingham, University of Bristol, Cardiff University, University of Edinburgh and University of Surrey
  • Four new research institutions are joining PETRAS (subject to completion of contract execution), including Coventry UniversityNorthumbria UniversityTate, and University of Glasgow
  • The seven new research projects will be awarded over £1.7m through PETRAS’s Strategic Research Fund call

About UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and Securing Digital Technologies at the Periphery’ (SDTaP)

  • UKRI works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities, and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish. They aim to maximise the contribution of each of their component parts, working individually and collectively. They work with their many partners to benefit everyone through knowledge, talent and ideas.
  • The SDTaP programme is funded by UKRI’s Strategic Priorities Fund. The programme aims to ensure that the IoT systems are safe and secure, particularly as more critical applications emerge meaning there is increased vulnerability to broader, more sophisticated cyber-threats.



Sarah Hardy
Communications Lead

PETRAS National Centre of Excellence for IoT Systems Cybersecurity
Mobile: 07741 671 581
Twitter: @PETRASiot