NSTIx Cyber Pipe-cleaning Project: a precursor to SWAN’s work on LoRa

LoRa logoBy 2050, more than 60% of the world’s population is expected to live in urban areas1, making significant use of networked smart sensors through the Internet of Things (IoT). However, interconnectivity of data, sensors and networks, will introduce cyber vulnerabilities.

Through the National Security Technology & Innovation Exchange (NSTIx), a small consortium based project was established to create a test-bed and framework for assessing Cyber Intrusion for non-cellular based IoT systems using LoRaWAN as the candidate technology. As part of NSTIx’s Cyber pipe-cleaning projects, the purpose was to establish an efficient administrative mechanism for the future co-creation of projects as well as the LoRaWAN testbed described below.

SWAN's partner GCHQ coordinated the project on behalf of NSTIx, with the two SMEs, Configured Things and IOETEC joining the University of Bristol in establishing this short programme of work.  Here Configured Things have provided an appliance that gives encapsulated LoRa connectivity with the ability to isolate segments or collections of sensors to end users, and IOETEC have provided the sensor technologies.

Through the Communication Systems and Networks Group, the University has developed and built a LoRaWAN network consists of sensors, gateways and LoRaWAN servers.  The efforts from all partners were combined to provide end-to-end LoRaWAN testbed.  The University has provided hosting locations for the LoRaWAN servers, gateways and sensors as well as autonomous network connectivity between the sites. This instantiation, including central computation for machine learning (ML) tools such that the dynamic of network and sensor profiles, can be learnt and cyber intrusion methods established to detect rogue nodes.

1Cyber Security for Smart Cities in the UK NCSC-A/R/1135-19