Being a cyber security blog, we are used to mentioning MITRE mainly when it comes to disclosure of vulnerabilities (CVEs). However, the not-for-profit company “operates multiple federally funded research and development centers” and has now launched a competition with the idea to accomplish results in the IoT security sector.
The Unique Identification of IoT Devices Challenge
The IoT industry is now entering people’s homes at a fast pace and is giving cybercriminals another way in. Nonetheless, there’s still a difference between “good” and “bad” connected devices, and MITRE is now attempting to provide a way to separate malicious from legitimate devices vi their Unique Identification of IoT Devices Challenge.
With so many potential points of entry that could be exploited, how do we protect our cars, homes, and factories? Organizations, from utility providers and hospitals, to corporations and the military, are wondering how to manage the IoT to ensure security and privacy within their different operating systems and environments.
MITRE researchers also explain that network administrators need to know exactly what is in the environment, or the network, including when an adversary has switched out one device for another.
The question that should be asked here is, is the smart thermostat we use today the same one that was there yesterday? MITRE is looking for a unique identifier or fingerprint to allow administrators to take account of the IoT devices while passively observing the network.
In other words, if network admins are aware of the exact devices connected to an environment via these unique identifiers, then they will be given enhanced control over a network and hence, over its security. This “knowledge” can really help businesses which often lack sufficient awareness of connected devices, from Wi-Fi-enabled printers to smart fax machines.
Who Should Participate in MITRE’s IoT Security Challenge?
Shortly said, MITRE’s challenge is exploring the opportunities to solve the problem. Vendors will most likely embed digital signatures into their products MITRE highlights the fact that we need a solution for the devices in use today.
Anyone who is willing to participate in the competition should think of a solution that doesn’t bring changes to the IoT protocols or manufacturing processes. The solution should also be affordable and simple. In order for the participants to get the idea straight, the organization has provided a model home network for the challenge and will pay winners in the competition up to $50,000 for their achievements.
This Challenge is open to a broad range of competitors. We welcome individual entrepreneurs, college teams looking to showcase their talents, and large and small companies trying to make their mark in the IoT space.