Military technologies new sources, Military Embedded Systems, has published an article highlighting the research that Professor Steve Myers and Fellow Gianpaolo Russo are doing in the area of Uninterruptible Power Supplies through a new research agreement with NSWC Crane.
Gianpaolo Russo, the primary researcher in this project, is investigating potential security concerns with the UPS systems which are critical in business settings and becomingly increasingly present in the consumer market. UPS are easily overlooked devices, yet are often as connected as any other piece of IT equipment.
The market which watched the destructive results of cell phone battery failures isn't going to slow down. The presence of batteries in our homes, offices, and cities only stands to increase as systems become more networked, distributed, and critical to the delivery of infrastructure and tied into our safety. The future smart home will likely have battery backups installed to protect uptime on critical equipment, as well as large units to collect solar power or to charge electric cars. Research into the security of these batteries as computing devices is an important step in ensuring that as we become more connected, we stay safe.
As Professor Myers recounts, his realization that batteries will be increasingly critical components of the smart home came when his own home had a power loss,
I had previously been on remote meetings where brown-power had led to significant connectivity issues, and disruptions to our meetings. To solve the problem I purchased a home UPS. Shortly thereafter, I was having a remote meeting when I propped my feet up on the UPS and then I thought, "Oh my, I have my feet sitting on a huge power storage device that is network connectable in the middle of my home"; from a security perspective and understanding most hardware manufacturers approach to information security, this was a concerning situation.