Secure communications

With the emergence of the internet of things and ultra-high speed mobile and wireless connectivity on the horizon, future communication systems need to incorporate novel protection mechanisms to ensure security, reliability and adequate fault tolerance.


We draw on expertise in mobile communications through our links with Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre – the largest academic research centre in this area – to build secure communication systems in sectors such as connected vehicles and digital healthcare.


SAFRON (Safe Operational Radio Network for mixed-priority communications to trains using a shared architecture)

The SAFRON project aims to create a prototype to demonstrate how wireless networks (WIFI, LTE and 5G) can be used to train the trackside communications for mixed applications including those which are safety related and mission critical.

We are collaborating with Surrey’s 5G Innovation Centre to oversee the security analysis and design of the communication between the train systems and the rail route control centre, using secure tunnelling techniques.

  • Budget: £120,000
  • Funding body: Innovate UK
  • Centre lead: Dr Helen Treharne
  • Co-investigator: Dr Sotiris Moschoyiannis
  • Partners: Apollo Rail Ltd, TeleRail Networks, Network Rail Telecoms
  • Timeframe: 2018-2019.

SPEAR (Secure and PrivatE smArt gRid)

Bringing together a consortium of six European universities, two European research centres and eight industry partners, the SPEAR project is focused on the protection of smart grid infrastructures from cyber attacks.

Major electricity companies including Public Power Corporation (Greece’s main electricity provider) and Schneider Electric France SAS, are providing their infrastructure for the assessment of the tools being developed by us and the SPEAR consortium.

Real-time monitoring and big data analytics will be used to pick up any unusual activity, with the overall aim of improving the resilience of smart grid and increasing trust in electricity providers. We will also be developing the SPEAR blockchain to maintain intrusion detection logs facilitating timely attack prevention.

Contact us

Find us

Surrey Centre for Cyber Security
University of Surrey