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Stepping ­p Security For an Internet-of-Things World

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Internet of Things, illustration

Credit: Tripwire

As the reality of an Internet of things comes closer to realization, initiatives must be followed to ensure the technology is secure from hackers, according to Michael Walker at the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). "If we want to put networked technologies into more and more things, we also have to find a way to make them safer," Walker says.

Walker and DARPA have created the Cyber Grand Challenge, a contest in which participants are tasked to create automated digital defenses that can spot and correct software vulnerabilities without human assistance. Out of more than 100 teams initially participating in the competition, only three won the finals in Las Vegas in August. The winning teams' leaders say the contest reveals how machine automation and human expertise might be most efficiently integrated with computer security. The winners combined different software methods into automated "cybersecurity systems."

Second-place team captain David Melski says, "this was a demonstration that automated cyberdefense is mature enough, and it's coming." Third-place team leader Yan Shoshitaishvili believes systems that combine human expertise and machine power are the likely way forward, especially since humans are superior to computers at understanding context.

From The New York Times
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