Cisco offers $300K in prizes to secure the Internet of Things

Security Grand Challenge

Security issues with the Internet, and especially the Internet of Things, often generate hyperbolic headlines -- like last month’s buzz over a supposed botnet of connected appliances that had sent hundreds of thousands of spam emails. While the claim that tens of thousands of smart refrigerators were responsible may have been exaggerated, that sort of security threat is plausible.

And Cisco is taking it seriously. Yesterday the company announced the Cisco Security Grand Challenge, which will offer up to six prizes, ranging from $50,000 to $75,000 each, for solutions that tackle the unique digital security issues of the Internet of Things.

“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,” wrote Chris Young, Cisco’s top security executive, in a blog post.

Proposals will be judged by a panel of Cisco’s security experts on criteria such as feasibility, performance, technical maturity, and the ability to be applied across a variety of IoT devices and services. Winners will be announced this fall at the Cisco-hosted Internet of Things World Forum. The contest is open through June 17.

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Related: Internet of Things Hackathons