Austin-based blockchain developer Factom Inc. has received $199,000 from U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in order to advance the security of digital identity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
According to the press release, the DHS Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) funded the project titled “Blockchain Software to Prove Integrity of Captured Data From Border Devices” through Securing the Internet of Things (IoT) which is the first proposal submitted under the Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP) launched in December last year.
The SVIP aims to encourage non-traditional performers to offer solutions to some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission.
“IoT devices are embedded within our daily lives – from the vehicle we drive to devices we wear – it’s critical to safeguard these devices from adversaries. S&T is excited to engage our nation’s innovators, helping us to develop novel solutions for the Homeland Security Enterprise,” DHS Under Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers, said.
The IoT is the network of physical devices, vehicles, buildings and other items and uses microchips to monitor everyday devices. The release said that the DHS OTS call for security solutions seeks novel ideas and technologies which will develop situational awareness and security for protecting domains, including the 16 critical infrastructure sectors monitored by DHS like communications sector, energy sector, chemical sector among others.
“DHS is engaging this community to gain access to products that will have a large impact to our enterprise, and we’re excited by the diversity of solutions this solicitation is able to bring to the Department,” Melissa Ho, Managing Director of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program, said.
Factom Inc. blockchain technology secures data for large private and public organizations by publishing encrypted data or a cryptographically unique fingerprint of the data to Factom’s immutable, distributed ledger. Businesses and governments use Factom to simplify records management, record business processes, and to address security and compliance issues.
Last week, DHS announced a total of $3.1 million in competitive research awards for 29 small businesses located across 12 states, and Washington, D.C. Each business was awarded roughly $100k in preliminary funding through DHS S&T’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program.
Founded in November 2002 by George W. Bush, the United States Department of Homeland Security is a cabinet department of the United States federal government with responsibilities in public security, roughly comparable to the interior or home ministries of other countries.