Sheffield IoT Meetup #3: IoT for cybersecurity


Ioetec launched Sheffield IoT Meetup last October, linking up with Pitch-In at the University of Sheffield and gathering further support from regional organisations such as Smart Sheffield, the Things Network Sheffield and IoT Security Foundation.

Ioetec’s CTO and Co-founder, Mike Faulks, shares his thoughts on the latest event and the growth of the network:

“The third meeting of the Sheffield IoT Meetup concentrated on cybersecurity and the particular challenges we face in securing the billions of new devices being connected to the internet. Speakers from a range of backgrounds provided a great balance of subject matter. It can be difficult to get the mix right between technical and non-technical but the content seemed to fit the audience well.

“One of the most encouraging outcomes of events such as this is the building of Sheffield and surrounding area as a centre of expertise. We sometimes forget that we have two great universities with a wide variety of specialist knowledge as well as a growing community of digital companies. Cybersecurity is a particular strength and the quality of speakers at the meetup reflected this. Even though we are only on our third event, Ioetec have already benefited with new opportunities and it is hoped that other companies in the area are also seeing similar benefit.

“We have a history in Yorkshire of keeping quiet about what we do but this type of activity is vital to build and promote our reputation.

“Our next events plan to focus on Industry 4.0 (April) and Medical IoT (June) and we are looking forward to building on our previous successes. Many thanks to our sponsors, Pitch-In for their continued support and to Sheffield Hallam University for hosting us and further expanding the existing network. As always, thanks to all the excellent speakers who contributed to a great event.”

Opening the event was Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield, who discussed the importance of drawing on research and technology developments to build safe societies:

“The North is playing a major part in this and tonight’s event shows a glimpse of its prowess. Uplifting events such as this bring together a truly global set of contributors to showcase expertise that is world-class. An example of the real super charged potential of this city and the region around it as a cluster of excellence that we should take real pride in.”

Videos from the meetup

1. Mike Faulks, CTO, Ioetec – Securing data at the edge

Mike highlights the challenges in securing resource constrained IoT devices at the edge, considering the methodologies and definitions of edge node security in a world where device security is often an afterthought.

2. John Clark, Professor of Computer and Information Security and Pitch-In lead, the University of Sheffield – Security challenges for IoT

John summarises challenges in IoT cybersecurity and also IoT forensics applying to both IoT systems themselves and the evaluation of proposed solutions. The talk briefly covers threats, solutions and the need to generate multiple credible simulations to serve as test platforms.

3. Dr Jims Marchang, Lecturer/Cyber Lead, Sheffield Hallam University – Blockchain and IoT

Jims discusses blockchain as a resource-hungry technology. In such a scenario, will a resource constrained IoT network be able to embrace such technology? If in fact, blockchain is going to transform the way IoT is adopted then how will this be achieved?

4. Robin Kennedy, Cyber Security Knowledge Transfer Manager, KTN – The Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme

Robin outlines CyberASAP – the Cyber Security Academic Startup Accelerator Programme – which helps academics commercialise their cyber ideas. The year three cohort will shortly complete their journey at their Demo Day on 13 February and recruitment onto the year four (starting in April) is now open.

5. Neil Richardson, Founder Samurai Security – Penetration testing IoT

Neil presents a short talk on Samurai Security’s experience of conducting penetration testing of IoT devices, exploring what common issues they find and what can be done to protect IoT devices from these issues.

6. Steve Leach – North East Business Resilience Centre

Steve Leach, Detective Inspector for South Yorkshire Police, provides an update on the North East Business Resilience Centre which brings seven regional police forces together with university and business partners to tackle cybersecurity threats and identify future opportunities.