Cisco Offers $300K Bounty For Internet of Things (IOT) Security Apps

Now we’re talking: Cisco is putting up hundreds of thousands of dollars in an effort to deliver the security solutions necessary to protect the growing wave of connected devices in the Internet of Things. IoT security is a huge deal, both because of the potential disasters that could befall individuals, businesses, and cities with unprotected smart devices and also because to date there are essentially no security measures in place for connected devices that aren’t computers, smartphones, or tablets.

(Case in point is the now nearly legendary refrigerator hack. A refrigerator! Hacked!)

LG smart fridge
LG LFX31995ST smart fridge
(Note: There's no evidence that an LG fridge specifically was hacked)

Cisco agrees. “We’re connecting more of our world every day through smart, IP-enabled devices ranging from home appliances, healthcare devices, and industrial equipment. These new connected devices are offering new ways to share information and are changing the way we live,” wrote Cisco’s Chris Young in a blog post. “Yet, as our connected lives grow and become richer, the need for a new security model becomes even more critical.”

Cisco’s Internet of Things Grand Security Challenge aims to address those security woes. The competition seeks submissions from anyone who can offer a solution that meets the following criteria:

-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

The company is giving out $300,000 in prize money to six recipients that will receive $50,000 to $75,000 each. The deadline for submissions is June 17, and winners will be announced this fall.

Here’s hoping this contest helps jumpstart a new wave of much-needed security.