Cisco Systems is extending the deadline for submissions for its Internet of things security contest, giving interested parties another two weeks.
Cisco announced its IoT Security Grand Challenge at the RSA 2014 show in March, offering $300,000 in prize money to people who come up with the best security-related solutions and approaches for the Internet of things. The deadine was set for June 17.
However, in a June 16 post on the company blog, Jeff Aboud, technology and solutions evangelist for the IoT at Cisco, said the challenge is drawing more submissions than expected, prompting the networking giant to push back the deadline to July 1. Cisco will pick as many as six winners, who will get $50,000 to $75,000 each.
"Thus far, we've had dozens of wonderful submissions and they're still coming in," Aboud wrote. "The challenge has been so popular that we've decided to extend the deadline by two more weeks."
The contest is bringing together two of Cisco's favorite subjects: security and the IoT, or what Cisco calls the Internet of everything. As it has looked to expand beyond its networking roots to become a larger player in the entire data center, Cisco has steadily built up its security capabilities through in-house development and outside acquisitions, with the latest being the purchase of ThreatGrid in May.
At the same time, CEO John Chambers and other company executives have said the IoT represents the most significant transition in the tech industry since the Internet. Cisco last year created a business unit dedicated to the Internet of things.
And for good reason. Cisco is estimating that as many as 50 billion devices and systems—ranging from smartphones and tablets to TVs, home appliances, surveillance cameras and manufacturing systems—will be connected to the Internet and each other by 2020. IDC analysts have said the IoT market could hit $7.1 trillion by the same year.
At the same time, more connected devices means a greatly expanded attack surface for increasingly sophisticated cyber-criminals, feeding a growing chorus of people warning that security issues around the IoT need to be addressed.
Cisco's Aboud agreed. "We all benefit by ensuring that the things we connect are secure," he wrote. "And with billions of objects networked all over the world, many of which will reside in insecure locations, security is arguably more important for IoT than it has been for any other technology in history."