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Cisco And NineSigma Announce $300,000 Grand Challenge To Secure Internet Of Things

Cisco is seeking solutions for malware defense, security credential management, and privacy protection

SAN JOSE, Calif. and CLEVELAND, March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Cisco, the worldwide leader in networking, and NineSigma, a leading innovation company, announced the Cisco Security Grand Challenge: A Global Initiative to Secure the Internet of Things. Winners of the challenge will share up to $300,000 in prize money for innovations that help prevent attacks on Internet-connected devices.

According to Cisco, the number of these devices, from cars to medical monitors to kitchen appliances, is projected to grow from 10 billion today to 50 billion by 2020. Collectively, this network of devices is known as the Internet of Things (IoT).

Grand Challenges enable organizations to reach out to qualified solution providers all over the world for help with problems that are too large or complex to be tackled by one entity alone. NineSigma manages every aspect of these highly public "events"-- articulating the challenges, contacting technical communities, developing a prize strategy, and improving global awareness.

"The Internet of Things has the potential to improve healthcare, transportation, energy transmission, and more in unprecedented ways. However, the more we depend on Internet connectivity for every aspect of our lives, the more vulnerable we are to new kinds of attacks. This Grand Challenge offers us the chance to build an exciting and secure future for the world, rather than forcing us to react to unknown threats," said Maciej Kranz, Vice President and General Manager of Corporate Technology Group, Cisco.

"The risks associated with the Internet of Things are too far-ranging and complex for us to solve on our own. By tapping into NineSigma's global network of technical experts, Cisco expects to surface new and better solutions to the growing problem of cyber attacks," said Kevin Stark, Ph.D., Vice President, NineSigma.

Cisco is seeking solutions for malware defense, security credential management, and privacy protection from companies, open source communities, researchers, consultants, venture capitalists, entrepreneurs, and inventors. The company will award $50,000-$75,000 in prize money for up to six solution providers. In addition to a monetary award, winners may have opportunities for future collaborations with Cisco.

A Cisco team of security experts will evaluate proposals based on several

criteria:

-- Feasibility, scalability, performance, and ease of use.

-- Applicability to multiple verticals (automotive, healthcare, oil/gas,

smart grid, etc.)

-- Technical maturity/viability

-- Proposers' expertise and ability to create a successful outcome NineSigma is promoting and managing the Grand Challenge through its open innovation platform, NineSights.com, where solution providers can find entry requirements and evaluation criteria, and link to a proposal template. The submission deadline is June 17, 2014. For more information, please go to http://www.ninesights.com/community/cisco.

About NineSigma?

NineSigma helps organizations in the public, private and nonprofit sectors find new solutions, knowledge and partners to accelerate the innovation cycle. The leader in creating 'unexpected connections' across industries and technical disciplines, NineSigma has produced billions of dollars in value for its clients. The company also helps for-profit and nonprofit organizations address problems of a global magnitude through Grand Challenges. NineSigma's online community, NineSights®, is the world's first social media-enabled open innovation destination, connecting innovators of all sizes with the resources and relationships needed to drive growth. Learn more at www.ninesigma.com or www.ninesights.com.

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