Gary B. Wills

Work place: Electronics and Computer Science Dept., University of Southampton, Southampton, UK



Research Interests: Engineering


Gary B. Wills is an Associate Professor in Computer Science at the University of Southampton. He graduated from the University of Southampton with an Honours degree in Electromechanical Engineering, and then a PhD in Industrial Hypermedia system. He is a Chartered Engineer, a member of the Institute of Engineering Technology and a Principal Fellow of the Higher Educational Academy. He is also a visiting associate professor at the Uniiversity of Cape Town and a research professor at RLabs.

Gary’s research projects focus on Secure System Engineering and applications for industry, medicine and education.

Author Articles
Blockchain with Internet of Things: Benefits, Challenges, and Future Directions

By Hany F. Atlam Ahmed Alenezi Madini O. Alassafi Gary B. Wills

DOI:, Pub. Date: 8 Jun. 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) has extended the internet connectivity to reach not just computers and humans, but most of our environment things. The IoT has the potential to connect billions of objects simultaneously which has the impact of improving information sharing needs that result in improving our life. Although the IoT benefits are unlimited, there are many challenges facing adopting the IoT in the real world due to its centralized server/client model. For instance, scalability and security issues that arise due to the excessive numbers of IoT objects in the network. The server/client model requires all devices to be connected and authenticated through the server, which creates a single point of failure. Therefore, moving the IoT system into the decentralized path may be the right decision. One of the popular decentralization systems is blockchain. The Blockchain is a powerful technology that decentralizes computation and management processes which can solve many of IoT issues, especially security. This paper provides an overview of the integration of the blockchain with the IoT with highlighting the integration benefits and challenges. The future research directions of blockchain with IoT are also discussed. We conclude that the combination of blockchain and IoT can provide a powerful approach which can significantly pave the way for new business models and distributed applications.

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Validation of an Adaptive Risk-based Access Control Model for the Internet of Things

By Hany F. Atlam Ahmed Alenezi Raid Khalid Hussein Gary B. Wills

DOI:, Pub. Date: 8 Jan. 2018

The Internet of Things (IoT) has spread into multiple dimensions that incorporate different physical and virtual things. These things are connected together using different communication technologies to provide unlimited services. These services help not only to improve the quality of our daily lives, but also to provide a communication platform for increasing object collaboration and information sharing. Like all new technologies, the IoT has many security challenges that stand as a barrier to the successful implementation of IoT applications. These challenges are more complicated due to the dynamic and heterogeneous nature of IoT systems. However, authentication and access control models can be used to address the security issue in the IoT. To increase information sharing and availability, the IoT requires a dynamic access control model that takes not only access policies but also real-time contextual information into account when making access decisions. One of the dynamic features is the security risk. This paper proposes an Adaptive Risk-Based Access Control (AdRBAC) model for the IoT and discusses its validation using expert reviews. The proposed AdRBAC model conducts a risk analysis to estimate the security risk value associated with each access request when making an access decision. This model has four inputs/risk factors: user context, resource sensitivity, action severity and risk history. These risk factors are used to estimate a risk value associated with the access request to make the access decision. To provide the adaptive features, smart contracts will be used to monitor the user behaviour during access sessions to detect any malicious actions from the granted users. To validate and refine the proposed model, twenty IoT security experts from inside and outside the UK were interviewed. The experts have suggested valuable information that will help to specify the appropriate risk factors and risk estimation technique for implantation of the AdRBAC model.

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