Sensors and actuators in industrial environments are traditionally controlled by processors located in close proximity. Due to the close proximity, many potential safety and security influences can be excluded. If a processor recognizes erroneous values from a sensor, the reason can be easily narrowed down to either a failure of the sensor itself or a local transmission error. This identification can be used from a safety point of view to perform functional safety measures like stopping a vehicle or a machine. In a similar way, security is less a problem in an encapsulated system without outside access.
Nevertheless, the ability to interconnect traditionally local systems with the outside world can lead to strong benefits for users, even leading to increased safety. If e.g. connected cars are able to talk to each other, a warning from a malfunctioning car can be sent to other cars in its vicinity. Benefits arise not only through networking of systems, but also by outsourcing processing to the Internet, i.e. by use of cloud computing. But on the other hand, it may also pose a threat to the personal user privacy, safety or security if those data are used or accessed by unauthorized entities.
In the IT world, cloud computing has been the enabler for many organisations to move elements of their IT to the cloud. People have been accustomed to the idea of storing personal data in the cloud, whether they share data files via Dropbox, photos via iCloud or music via cloud streaming services. However, all of that data is not safety-relevant and is not used to control machines in real-time. The big challenge is to make cloud computing capable of dealing with data for safety- and security-relevant systems. This is the main objective of SCOTT within this technology line.
The challenges in this respect are manifold. How can end systems deal with a failure of cloud systems? How can trustable usable security and privacy for the end user be provided? Tackling these issues represents the high level objective of SCOTT in this domain.