Security in the Industrial Internet of Things in a context of 5G connectivity and edge processing

This research project is funded by the Cyber Security Cooperation Program (CSCP) of Public Safety Canada.

The project addresses cybersecurity in the integration of service providers for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and Edge computing in a 5G wireless wide area network paradigm. For Industrial Control Systems (ICS), this requires a transition from closed architectures to an open, distributed, edge service-oriented and cloud-based architecture.

An important issue remains for the integration of components at the architectural layers (e.g. physical, network, application), such as the trust relationship required for their identification. An open and secure architecture must be designed at the software level (authentication, access control, encryption, etc.).

Heterogeneity is a source of increased risk in cybersecurity. It must therefore be considered at the design stage of a system. Robust verification methods must be adopted early in the process to address cybersecurity issues. Our industrial partners have expressed urgent needs. To address these, four case studies will be conducted to study how new industrial control systems, based on IIoT and cloud computing, will enable greater abstraction and to tie current architecture models to future models:

  • telecommunications: secure 5G mobile edge computing and its management (multiple operators/providers within a single network) ;
  • agriculture: securing a sensor network and a tractor optimizing production, fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide management through automation;
  • drinking water management within a city: securely upgrading the current technological infrastructure to IIoT;
  • formalizing testing through Algebraic State Transition Diagrams: safely managing virtualization within embedded systems, including IIoT.

The perspectives will be interdisciplinary and will address telecommunications, formal methods, intrusion detection systems, governance, legal and regulatory compliance and social acceptability.