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Cisco kicks off $300k Internet of Things security competition

Borg wants an Internet of secure things and wants you to do the heavy thinking

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

Cisco has announced prizes of up to $US75,000 to get help finding ways to secure the burgeoning Internet of Things.

Anyone who watches the procession of SCADA vulnerabilities, the exposures discoverable through the Shodan search engine, or the recent bugs popping up in cars, routers, home automation and (maybe) smart appliances knows that the Internet of Things is a security minefield.

Hence Cisco's competition, the "Internet of Things Grand Security Challenge, for which the Borg is offering up $US300,000 worth of prizes. Awards, as Cisco Security Group senior VP Chris Young explains, will range from $US50,000 to $US75,000 to as many as six recipients.

The brief is as broad as the criteria will be demanding: participants have until June 17 2014 to put forward proposals for dealing with Internet of Things security. 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; and
  • Proposers’ expertise and ability to feasibly create a successful outcome.

Proposals, as is explained at the security challenge site, are to be kept short – think four-to-six pages – and they have to be non-confidential. Entrants have to demonstrate stuff like feasibility, scalability, maturity and so on; and the entrant also has to provide case studies of successful applications of their proposed solution.

The judges are listed here, and winners will be named in the northern autumn of 2014. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

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