Complex safety assurance methods of IoT systems

OData support
Dr. Varga Pál
Department of Telecommunications and Media Informatics

By the extensive spread of the Internet of Things, the IT sector faces new challenges in security of informational systems. In 2020, more than 20 billion devices will be connected to the Internet, many of which will be a low-power, small and simple sensor or interactor in the IoT world with low computing capacity. Building up an efficient protection system seems to be a hard task with new difficulties to face, hence the hardware of the new devices will not make possible to use such a complex defense system as a computer’s, or smartphone’s. The problem is getting bigger by the change in the motives of potential attackers, as by getting into systems, significantly more user-related data can be gained (Security-related threats) and human life can be much more directly threatened (Safety-related threats). There are a lot of example for this in the rapidly growing automotive industry, which requires a comprehensive, more standardized defensive strategy.

In my thesis I investigate a future the defense system of a self-driving car with an internet connection (based on actual industrial examples) through a case study, assessing the potential weaknesses, prioritizing them, and make suggestions for the fix of them. My system model includes the IT-relevant units of the car (sensor, data processor, interactor, transmitter, and receiver) and the communication with the outside world - the vehicle driver, the environment, the manufacturer and a possible external observer.

During my work I relied on the currently available information and professional articles, and I created and analyzed the case study's system model using the Microsoft Threat Modeling Tool. This software uses the STRIDE method, which was also practical choice for me, with potential attacks being divided into 5 groups.

By thoroughly examining the case study, the potential 93 weaknesses was divided into priority groups according to the likelihood and the potential impact caused on the system, to help the creating of a future real system similar to my model.

During my work, it has also been proven that the communication with anything outside the car (especially with the external observer and the manufacturer) can pose most of the greatest threats, if the communication channel becomes available to the attackers. Much of the problems like that can be handled efficiently based on today's standards, for example, effective encryption can significantly improve the security of the system.


Please sign in to download the files of this thesis.