RERUM with Zolertia team @ Barcelona Smart City Expo and World Congress

From 17th to 19th of November, Zolertia was present in the new edition of the Barcelona Smart City Expo and World Congress (SCEWC) in Barcelona. The SCEWC is the worldwide leading event for the smart city industry presenting companies and speakers from all over the World in its format between expo and congress.

The profile of the expositors include tech companies, big corporations, cities from around the world, all them presenting their smart cities’ applications, show cases and research works.


In this edition RERUM was present inside Zolertia’s booth at the 4YFN Plaza, right in the center of the Expo zone.

During the three days of the expo more than 400 people came to Zolertia booth to see and touch the new RE-Mote, know how we are using it and learn more about RERUM project.

From these 400 assistants more than 150 showed interest in RERUM project in order to learn more about secure networks for the Smart Cities; most of them were really committed with the incoming importance about security in IoT networks.


The most common profile interested in RERUM were CTOs from companies suppling technology to the cities and integrators of existing technologies to create Smart Cities solutions, including some big corporations such as Philips, IBM or Cisco (some of them had also booth in the Expo). Visitors who asked for RERUM include also in less percentage academics, entrepreneurs, researchers and CEOs & engineers from Smart City solutions providers.

And the most common comment about RERUM was that now is not a priority but it will be soon. 3 visitors where actually looking for a technology to improve the security on the communications and would buy the RERUM outcomes if they were ready to deploy.


Security and privacy in IoT workshop at the IoT week Lisbon

The workshop had a double focus and was split in two parts.

Preserving security as IoT matures and consolidates from the current fragmentation

The contribution by Leonard Ciprian Pitu from Siemens highlighted that the number of attacks increased dramatically recently. Thus, hacking has become a major concern for manufacturers. It was stressed that security should start on device level, and on the hardware level. Life cycle risks: The impact of a large scale call back of for example white goods and the associated costs could be immense.

The contribution of Alexandros Fragkiadakis from FORTH highlighted that as IoT consists of highly heterogeneous networked entities and networks, a number of challenges have emerged including security, trust and privacy, scalability, legislation, and standardisation issues. The vast majority of the security challenges focus on authentication, access control, confidentiality, integrity, availability, and non-repudiation. A number of traditional security attacks (e.g. jamming), as well as novel attacks (e.g primary user emulation attacks in cognitive radio systems), are difficult to be detected and mitigated in the IoT, for reasons related to the vague ownership of the IoT devices, the resource constrained nature of these devices, standardisation issues, and legislation shortcomings.

The final contribution to the security topic from Antonio Jara (HOP UBIQUITOUS S.L.) discussed that in order to successfully break the traditional silos multi purpose and generic solutions, generic enablers, commodity like solutions and re-use of components are needed. Naturally, this process is expected to further increase complexity and heterogeneity, however integration should handle and manage the resulting heterogeneity. Further to heterogeneity scale is also an issue. Bootstrapping and registration of devices should be automated to scale. Connectivity should be global.

Levels of security – a layered approach is envisioned. Basic security should be present, to which increased levels can be added.


Innovation and privacy − approaches and best practices that support the innovation process and lead to actual privacy solutions that sell on the market

Klaus Moessner from the University of Surrey emphasised that we should not forget that ultimately the goal of IoT is to support people – technology solutions are only the means but not the end themselves. This means that users need to be involved. In the project SOCIOTAL a co-creation process is adopted to generate applications and uses that are responding to actual user needs and demands. However, the process needs to be transparent for bootstrap and to gain trust. Example given is measuring use and mileage of elevators to schedule service and maintenance in large block of flats – the Novi Sad case.

Data ownership –in most cases the situation is not black and white. Following the bubble principle, privacy circle / sphere, sensors of my smart phone, or other device might collect data for someone else, upon the initiative of that person. In case of a decision later by that someone else, actual data collected must be removed, but the fact / event that some data was collected cannot be erased.

Also, SOCIOTAL does not directly focus on preventing passing on the data to third parties that was made available. However, there were other research efforts that focused exactly on that − the “sticky policy” approach investigated in iCore was provided as an example.

Open data – principle is that data collected using public money should be of public good and serve the purpose of the community. However, as the presentation from Smart Aarhus by Jesper Algren revealed privacy needs to be observed, which sometimes means that geographic accuracy / precision of data needs to be reduced, or only cumulative data (for example from a certain geographic area) needs to be stored to prevent traceability back to individuals. Furthermore, economic impact and interest should be of concern, as certain data generated might have severe negative impact on property valuation, etc.

Another observation made was that health data / records are immensely sensitive.

Open Data Aarhus, being a small player with administration backing can not afford mistakes similar to the XBOX case, when user data was leaked on a very large scale. Any such or similar incident would have a devastating effect on reputation of the initiative, and would mean the end of the project, political support would stop.

Suggestion from floor – Ivan Meseguer, Institut Mines-Télécom – that a more active international dialogue might be helpful, as the problems the different European countries are facing are similar in this relatively unchartered territory. Admittedly though there are historical and cultural differences also embedded in the various jurisdiction frames and practices. Still, a more active dialogue and sharing of best practices would support and ease the way forward, as opposed to acting in isolation.

Smart City Expo and World Congress, Nov. 2014, Barcelona – Some clues


Cities are where people live!

This was the opening statement made by Francisco Jariego, Director of Industrial Internet of Things (IoT), during the Smart City Expo & World Congress hosted in Barcelona, 2014.  Citizen’s needs are the ones paving the road to deploy the future Smart Cities, with infrastructure fitted to adapt to its citizen needs, configurable to enrich the set of services it can provide, as pointed out David Johera, Commercial Director of Wonderware, cities should be envisioned as a resource, changeable to adapt and react to its present landscape and citizen requirements, for example to adapt the garbage collection schedule on a given area, manage its water irrigation network to avoid wasting water, build mobility ecosystems and route traffic efficiently: improve the city quality life.

But Cities have also the obligation to become smarter in order to be efficient, as pointed by Michael Jansen from Cityzenith, a city needs to share its own resources and information, and effectively use the collected data and transform it into useful and comprehensive information, easily shareable between government entities and even with its citizens, to improve the strategies and decisions towards enforcing policies that enrich the City itself.

In any case targeting citizen needs also means dealing with citizen’s concerns, such as privacy and security. Nowadays, with the increasing number of smart-phones and people-driven applications, not all information sources are hardware: people, inadvertently or willingly, are sensors too.  IoT is not new to the industrial world; not so many years ago the lack of standards was a problem on how to integrate networks and services safely and securely. Now, even with the market driving the standardization efforts, the problem is still there, augmented by the proliferation of IoT applications, products and platforms, which has brought into our houses connected toothbrushes, air quality sensors, smart wearables and smart appliances … and Cities now investing in ubiquitously collecting data from our surroundings.  This opens more questions on the privacy and security of the data users, willingly or inadvertently, share while platforms and services are fragmented into isolated silos, governed by its own standards.

Still lot of work to do, so, but fortunately the RERUM project is progressing specifically in the privacy and security part, towards to an open and standard-based middleware that will cover this need very soon … stay tuned.

Gartner predicts Internet of Things will spark supply chain reaction, will transform data centres and create challenges


Techradar published that the analyst firm Gartner published a new report where they predict that a huge increase in the number of devices making up the Internet of Things (IoT), which will reach 26 billion by 2020, up from 0.9 billion in 2009, will have a significant impact on how the supply chain will operate.

According to Gartner, factors such as access to information about the supply chain and exposure to cyber-risk will become increasingly pertinent. In RERUM we also saw these risks in the WSN-based IoT and put the focus of the project in finding a technical solution to add reliability, privacy and security to the communication between devices.

Gartner, in another report published by Techradar, put the data centres in the eye of the storm of the IoT boom derived challenges, including security, consumer privacy, data management, networking, and server technology.

According to Techradar,

Security is a growing concern in the industry, and the increasing digitisation and automation of various devices in many different urban environments is likely to create new security issues. When coupled with the enterprise sector, where increasing volumes of big data present their own security challenges, it is not difficult to see that this will be a top priority.

Tied to security is the issue of consumer privacy, which is in the consumer consciousness now more than ever. The widespread adoption of smart devices means that more data is being collected on people than before, and any breaches in security will have a knock-on effect on privacy.

In RERUM we see also these challenges as opportunities and key enablers for a future with such amount of devices connected to internet that Gartner foresee.

Internet of Things: Freescale Addresses Challenges of Designing for the IoT

Security in the IoT is an important challenge that needs to be solved.
Geoff Lees, Senior Vice President and General Manager of MCUs from Freescale, one of the world’s biggest semiconductors manufacturers, highlights this in the above video (from 33″ to 1’07”): He underlines how important it will be to securely control the network access and security in the coming Internet of Things era.

This is one of RERUM’s goals.

Despite Freescale giving the maximum priority to the “Time-to-Market Focus Intensification” challenge, they identify “Securing information from the edge to the cloud” as the next important challenge “for making the IoT a reality”. RERUM focusses on Security and Privacy and Trust. We see Security as a main challenge and as a key enabler for the IoT. RERUM is assuming that companies, like Freescale, will solve the Time-to-Market challenge and bring technology to the market, that — implementing RERUM’s ideas and suggestions on those technology — allows building a more secure IoT.

RERUM @ MWC 2014

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Representatives of RERUM visited the expo of the 2014 edition of the Mobile World Congress to take the pulse of the mobile sector regarding the IoT, especially regarding the security on communications, main goal of RERUM’s project. Probably the most interesting trend related the RERUM scope is the emergence of the wearables,… Continue reading