Cisco launches Internet of Things security challenge

Cisco is offering prizes worth up to $300,000 for those who can solve security issues surrounding the "Internet of Things" concept.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer

Cisco has launched the "Internet of Things Grand Security Challenge" for programmers to contribute to the patching up of security flaws in our Web-connected appliances, vehicles and devices.

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The "Internet of Things" is a concept aimed at making our devices, gadgets, appliances and transports all interconnected in the name of convenience and Big Data -- whether businesses want additional data on their customers or consumers want to control their appliances through their smartphones. From Starbucks coffee makers that update recipes automatically and track consumer preferences to connected cars, the IoT is already big business.

However, if a cyberattacker is able to break in to one such system, they potentially can harm thousands of people with little effort. As Rachel Metz says on the subject of unlocking doors through mobility:

"It might be some effort to get this kind of scenario, but if breaking into one server means you get to ransack 100, 1,000, 10,000 people’s homes, that’s definitely worth it, and that’s where the real danger lies."

In order to combat these issues, the tech giant's competition is offering up to $300,000 worth of prizes. Cisco Security Group senior VP Chris Young explains that up to six contenders can earn prizes ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 by putting forward proposals related to the Internet of Things and its security challenges.

Proposals will then be assessed for:

  • Feasibility, scalability, performance, and ease-of-use;
  • Applicability to address multiple IoT verticals (manufacturing, mass transportation, healthcare, oil and gas, smart grid, etc.)
  • Technical maturity/viability of proposed approach
  • Proposers’ expertise and ability to feasibly create a successful outcome.

Winning solutions will be showcased this fall at the Internet of Things World Forum.

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