Cisco Launches the Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge


Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge

Cisco has announced the launch of the Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge, an initiative that challenges the global IT security community to contribute to securing the Internet of Things. The company promises considerable prizes for the winners.

“The Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge offers visionaries, innovators, and implementers like you the opportunity to define a future of a secure IoT,” Cisco Security Group senior VP Chris Young noted in a blog post.

“With the IoT as a significant part of the larger Internet of Everything (IoE) market transition that brings together connected devices with people, processes, and data, it’s even more imperative that we ensure the things we connect are secure,” Young added.

Those who want to take part in the challenge must submit their proposals for cybersecurity solutions by June 17, 2014. The solutions must be designed to secure the Internet of Things, addressing threats before, during and after an attack. Specific focus areas include privacy protection, the management of security credentials and malware defense.

The total prize money is $300,000 (€218,000). Up to six contestants can receive awards of between $50,000 (€36,000) and $75,000 (€55,000). The winners will be announced at the Internet of Things World Forum this fall.

Applicants must submit a detailed description of the proposed approach, key differentiations from other solutions, data showing feasibility, scalability, technical maturity and performance, case studies, applications, and documentation that demonstrates the applicant’s expertise.

Submissions should be brief, 4-6 pages, and they can contain two additional attachments. However, they must be less than 10 Mb in size.

The evaluation panel consists of Dave Evans, Cisco chief futurist; Jason Brvenik, principal engineer at Cisco; CKah-Kin Ho, head of Cyber Security Business Development; Nancy Cam-Winget, Cisco distinguished engineer; and Dr. Tao Zhang, chief scientist for Smart Connected Vehicles at Cisco.

As more and more home appliances, healthcare devices and industrial equipment are being connected to the Web, ensuring that they can’t be abused by cybercriminals is becoming crucial.

A few months ago, Proofpoint published a report about a smart fridge being abused to send out spam as part of a major campaign. While the reports turned out to be inaccurate, considering the rapid evolution of smart home appliances, we probably don’t have to wait very long until such reports become true.

Internet of Things Security Grand Challenge submissions can be made on the NineSights Community Forum. The same website contains additional details on the competition.

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