The topic of poorly protected Internet of Things (IoT) devices is nothing new – remember the Dyn IoT botnet attack in October? To address the insecurity of connected devices and the rise in IoT attacks, the U.S. government is looking to the public for some help. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has launched a new IoT Home Inspector Challenge with a prize of $25,000 USD.
Here’s how it works according to Dark Reading. The FTC will award up to $25,000 to any individual or group that proposes a way to properly protect connected home devices from security threats. The contest is designed to encourage the development of a tool that, at a minimum, can address security vulnerabilities caused by out-of-date software in consumer IoT devices. According to the FTC, an ideal proposal would involve hardware or software that consumers could add to their home network to check for and install updates on any connected IoT device that might require them.
Contestants can add other features if they’d like. And, the challenge is not restricted to physical devices. Cloud-based apps and services that help consumers manage the security of IoT devices will be eligible, as will any user interface or dashboard that helps inform consumers about IoT device security on their network.
This challenge is yet another reminder that the industry needs to improve the security of IoT devices coming to market. As a matter of fact, back in November WatchGuard CTO, Corey Nachreiner, published an article on the topic in Dark Reading – “7 Security Lessons The Video Game Industry Can Teach IoT Manufactures.”
For those interested in all the details around the IoT Home Inspector Challenge, visit the following website for participation information: https://www.ftc.gov/iot-home-inspector-challenge. Read the complete Dark Reading article on the FTC contest here.