Cisco to give away $300K in ‘Internet of Things’ security contest

Cisco has announced the start of the “Internet of Things Grand Security Challenge” in which programmers can create apps to help solve security issues around web-connected ‘things.’

The Internet of Things is the idea of every object in the world becoming connected to identifying devices, essentially running on an internet-like setup. Security and privacy are crucial issues in the development of what is essentially a Smart World. The future of cars’, drones’, appliances’ and other devices’ connectivity demands highest levels of security—if a hacker is able to break into any of these real world devices, the potential harm could be much greater than a hack on a cell phone or a computer.

The contest was announced by Cisco Security SVP Christopher Young, keynote speaker at RSA last week. Young said “the idea is ‘a contest of experts around the world to submit blueprints’ for how security issues created by the Internet of Things could be addressed. It’s expected that up to six winning entries would be selected and the prize money awarded at the Internet of Things Forum in the fall.”

Cisco is offering up to $300,000 worth of prizes that it will dish out for the winners of the challenge. Young announced that up to six competitors can earn prizes ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 depending on their different solutions to the security of the Internet of Things.

Security solutions will be judged based on:

  • 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 the proposed approach
  • Proposers’ expertise and ability to feasibly create a successful outcome
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