A lecturer from Bournemouth University has successfully completed the first Innovation Voucher consultancy funded by Innovate UK.
BU's Dr Richard Gunstone delivered the consultancy, working with Smartway2 Limited for their new Smartway2 product development.
Smartway2 (SW2) is a new product designed for mobile devices, which is installed at fixed locations within customer organisations, allowing users to book resources such as meeting rooms and desks, with a smart phone app prototype being developed.
The product allows users to reserve the resources they need when they want them using modern smart devices. The system also enforces organisational rules and policies around the use of these resources, hence deriving benefits for the organisation in areas such as Big Data.
Smartway2 Limited required systems security advice to develop the product in such a way as to protect customer information, and this is the area in which advice and expertise was sought.
The product line the company is a challenging technology application that relates to Innovation UK priority themes, and Richard used his expertise and those of his colleagues to develop advice for the company.
BU's advice was threefold: how to develop the product using secure development practices and methodologies, how to deploy the product in a secure manner, and furthermore how customers can use the product with a view to maintaining and enhancing cyber security.
Dr Gunstone achieved this by providing a confidential cyber security report to the company comprising non-standard business advice, and also by providing a white paper that discussed cyber security principles, with a view to enhancing system security provision in product deployments.
Richard said, "Our primary recommendations have been in how to develop the product securely, how to use technical measures properly to enhance security (such as TLS cryptosystems), and convey cyber security best practice to the customer community."
Martin Hiles, Managing Director for Smartway2 Limited, said: "Our enthusiasm to bring to market an innovative mobile solution, that allows users to book Meeting Rooms and Desks from their chosen device was slightly dampened by our concerns over security. Richard was able to educate us in the areas of vulnerability in these everyday devices, and provide sensible precautions for us to implement in order to minimise the potential risk. This is the start of a valuable partnership between our organisations that will greatly benefit our growing client base"
Richard added, "The contract provided an unrivalled opportunity for BU to work with a new funding model proposed by the Technology Strategy Board (now called Innovate UK) and has shown how the expertise of our staff can be accessed for not only teaching and research but science and technology consultancy that delivers beneficial outcomes."
Dr Gunstone, a former government scientist, has advised central government, including the Home Office. Richard has been a Technical Adviser to the DTIC Directorate of Equipment Capability Command, Control and Information Infrastructure in Whitehall. Richard has also been a Technical Partner to the MoD S&T Programmes Office for Cyber Security.
For more information on Innovate UK Vouchers and Enterprise Assurance and Security consultancy, contact David Parker at BU’s Cyber Security Unit (BUCSU) on 01202 962557 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.