Reducing the risk of cyber-attacks by incorporating cyber security features in IoT solutions

Over the last ten years, IoT (Internet of Things) has started taking center stage as one of the big technological advancements. IoT devices and solutions provide convenience, interconnectivity, safety and the ability to monitor remotely activities that in the past was almost impossible. However, this success comes at a price and IoT environments must wrestle with several security related risks.

Cyber-attacks are one of the most dangerous threats when it comes to IoT solutions in the industrial sector. According to IoT based attacks statistics for 2019, the average IoT device gets attacked just five minutes after it goes live. Consequently, these attacks are creating obstacles on the performance of the devices, a breach on essential data and eventually an uncertainty on the security of the overall applications, especially when it has to do with safety.

As an example, IoT plays a significant role in the railway sector. The installation of several sensors along such infrastructure can proactively detect wear and failures on the railway network and the surrounding infrastructure prevent from unexpected accidents, saving human lives and reducing other, costly related damages. But still those systems could be a target to cyber-attacks putting in danger human lives and public infrastructure.

Worldsensing has a long experience in the implementation of IoT solutions in the railway sector. Loadsensing provides more proactive identification of quality and safety parameters monitoring. Those solutions can generate alerts, so they can also address the reactive identification of slope failures among others. These solutions can incorporate data from large sensors networks and Worldsening’s Loadsensing IoT-based systems uses one or several gateways that gather the data sent from nodes by means of LoRa technology. This can be considered as a quite innovative approach in terms of remote real-time monitoring.

Within PHOENIIX project, Worldsensing participates, providing the IoT testbed for the integration and validation of new, innovative cybersecurity tools to be developed within the project’s framework. Eventually, this research will lead to a safer environment for the implementation of IoT solutions not only in the railway sector but also in other critical infrastructures like subways, bridges, motorways, etc. and of course will shield and reduce risks against cyber-attacks moving cybersecurity technologies one step further.


Ioannis Kakogiannos

Ignasi Garcia-Milà