recommended reading

DHS Think Startups Know How Best to Protect the Internet of Things

a-image/Shutterstock.com

The Department of Homeland Security wants to be able to detect all devices connected to its network in a particular location -- say, an airport -- and it thinks startups will know how to do it.

DHS is looking for companies whose technology can not only detect devices and sensors, but can also verify and authenticate them, prevent spoofing and update devices' security systems. Ideally, the system wouldn't disrupt other devices, map out the location of those devices and would be easy to handle for nontechnical users. 

The burgeoning Internet of Things -- a term for the increasingly connected network of computers, sensors and devices -- allows “any IoT system [to] be connected to any other device on the Internet,” DHS noted in a recent call for technology applications

While connectivity can sometimes be helpful, it “also allows every node, device, data source, communication link, controller and data repository... to serve as a security threat and be exposed to security threats" -- especially because they're often connected to autonomous, distributed and even physical systems. 

The call for Internet of Things security applications represents DHS' attempt to work with startups, especially those close to its new office in Silicon Valley, which opened in the spring. To entice startups, DHS last month unveiled plans to use small short-term technology contracts to bypass the lengthy administrative process associated with traditional contracting. 

“Traditional procurement and assistance processes sometimes take too long and are ineffective at deploying state-of-the-art Homeland Security innovations,” DHS wrote.

Under the new model, DHS plans to make small awards -- between $50,000 to $200,000 -- to companies for three- to six-month performance periods. (According to the notice, a project that gets four rounds of funding could get up to $800,000 over 24 months, at the end of which the technology could be deployed for testing or acquired by another group.)

DHS also plans to use the new contracting system to collect technology related to first responders, aviation and drone security, and fighting biological threats.

(Image via /Shutterstock.com)

Threatwatch Alert

Thousands of cyber attacks occur each day

See the latest threats

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

Close [ x ] More from Nextgov
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from Nextgov.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

    Download
  • PIV- I And Multifactor Authentication: The Best Defense for Federal Government Contractors

    This white paper explores NIST SP 800-171 and why compliance is critical to federal government contractors, especially those that work with the Department of Defense, as well as how leveraging PIV-I credentialing with multifactor authentication can be used as a defense against cyberattacks

    Download
  • Toward A More Innovative Government

    This research study aims to understand how state and local leaders regard their agency’s innovation efforts and what they are doing to overcome the challenges they face in successfully implementing these efforts.

    Download
  • From Volume to Value: UK’s NHS Digital Provides U.S. Healthcare Agencies A Roadmap For Value-Based Payment Models

    The U.S. healthcare industry is rapidly moving away from traditional fee-for-service models and towards value-based purchasing that reimburses physicians for quality of care in place of frequency of care.

    Download
  • GBC Flash Poll: Is Your Agency Safe?

    Federal leaders weigh in on the state of information security

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.