Spies and Dolls: The Future of IoT Security

Professor Máire O’Neill was among an impressive line-up of speakers at the inaugural TEDx event at Queen's University Belfast.

The theme of the event 'OUTSIDE | IN' brought together bright minds to give ideas-focused talks, and on a wide range of subjects; to foster learning, inspiration and wonder – and provoke conversations that matter.

Professor O’Neill’s talk ‘Spies and Dolls: The Future of IoT Security’ highlighted some of the issues with connected devices in our homes and what to do about it. During her talk, she demonstrated just how easy it is to hack some household devices with a doll.

Professor O’Neill commented: “It was an honour to be involved in the first ever TEDx event at Queen’s University Belfast. The aim of my talk was to highlight the importance of considering security within the connected devices in our homes, including; Smart TVs, watches, toys etc and to raise the privacy and security issues that arise when our devices communicate with each other. It was great to have the opportunityto bring this subject to a general audience and to create awareness of this subject as it affects all of our daily lives.”

The speakers at TEDxQUB included representation from each of QUB’s faculties; Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Engineering and Physical Sciences, and Medicine, Health and Life Sciences.  

Members of the public, business and political leaders, as well as friends of Queen's University Belfast attended at event.


Watch Professor O'Neills talk here.


About Professor Máire O’Neill

Professor Máire O’Neill has a strong international reputation for her research in hardware security and applied cryptography. She is Principal Investigator of the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), Director of the Research Institute in Secure Hardware and Embedded Systems (RISE) and has recently been appointed to the UK’s Artificial Intelligence (AI) Council.

She recently led the €3.8M EU H2020 SAFEcrypto (Secure architectures for Future Emerging Cryptography) project (2014-2018). She previously held a UK EPSRC Leadership Fellowship (2008-2014) and was a former holder of a UK Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship (2003-2008). She has received numerous awards, which include a Blavatnik Engineering and Physical Sciences medal, 2019, a Royal Academy of Engineering Silver Medal, 2014 and British Female Inventor of the Year 2007. She has authored two research books, and over 150 peer-reviewed international conference/journal publications.