497-510: Power over Ethernet – Lighting Cybersecurity Vulnerabilities and Capabilities Analysis

Meeting Day/Time
Wednesdays 6:25 pm to 9:05 pm
Equipment donation by Hubbell, Inc.
Daniel Tomal (INTM) (drtomal@aol.com)
Appropriate Majors
Architectural Engineering, Architecture, Business, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Technology & Management, Information Technology & Management, Mechanical Engineering

This open-ended, problem is focused on cybersecurity vulnerabilities of the new Power over Ethernet (PoE) lighting control system. The PoE, with a bank of 12 LED lighting fixtures, has recently been installed in the IIT Smart Tech Lab, and is the first Hubbell PoE lighting system in the United States. The PoE features advanced smart-phone controlled capabilities (Apps) and is directly powered through the Ethernet by CAT 6 cable and a Cisco Switch, versus traditional alternating current, which is more environmentally-friendly and energy efficient. However, along with advanced technology, there are cybersecurity vulnerabilities that create unreliability, inefficient operation and breaches of data that can result in energy waste and expense. Therefore, there is a need analyze and identify vulnerabilities and explore feasible solutions that will improve the technology and social aspects of the PoE system.

Presently, there is no quick-fix, solution-in-mind remedy for this problem, which first needs to be fully characterized before viable solutions can be proposed. The PoE systems can be especially competitive with old manual lighting and HVAC systems typically found in old buildings. The old systems impose negative impacts on facilities, time, cost and the environment.

The objective of this IPRO project is to analyze the cybersecurity vulnerabilities and capabilities of the newly installed Hubbell PoE lighting system and address the vulnerabilities through viable solutions. A cost-effective, creative solution is needed to address this technical complex problem.

The IPRO team will work with Hubbell, Cisco, Igor software, and IIT Office of Energy and Sustainability and analyze the Hubbell PoE lighting system and its vulnerabilities and develop feasible solutions for this technically and socially complex problem.

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