CMU Team Recognized for Securing the 'Internet of Things'


October 23, 2014

A team led by CMU-SV professor Patrick Tague was one of four winners named at the Cisco Internet of Things (IoT) Security Grand Challenge, announced Oct. 15 at Cisco's IoT World Forum in Chicago.

The challenge asked for proposals aimed at securing the interconnected "smart" devices that represent a growing segment of the tech economy - as well as a primary area of research at CMU's Silicon Valley campus.

Tague, Associate Director of the Information Networking Institute and Associate Research Professor in theDepartment of Electrical & Computer Engineering, submitted a proposal entitled "Dynamically Controlling IoT Privacy Risks and Trade-offs with Fog Mediation," which incorporated his research in mobile security and work from PhD students Emmanuel Owusu (EPP, pictured above) and Xiao Wang (ECE).

While the need for Internet security is generally well understood, there are a number of fundamental differences when talking about the IoT, Tague explains. Domains are more geographic and less logical, and the information flowing between devices is not used and transmitted the same way as "typical" Internet traffic. The nature of security and privacy in IoT devices must take into account location, proximity, and physical relationships in ways that global networks don't.

Because this type of spatiotemporally dependent data can potentially reveal information that should be kept private, Tague's proposal suggests the use of intermediary resources as a trusted gateway for connecting devices. "Fog mediation" describes the function of this central gateway, which manages requests from external systems and interact securely with known IoT devices.

The winning proposals were selected from more than 100 submissions from 33 countries. Tague will receive a $75,000 cash award from Cisco to support continued research and development efforts in practical IoT security and privacy.

Original article published here.

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Patrick Tague