Dept of Homeland Security Awards $200K to Factom for ID System
An announcement from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has revealed that the Austin-based firm Factom will receive a grant for $199,000 USD to procure a system of security of digital identity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
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Factom to Ensure Immutability for IoT Devices
In a press release sent to Bitcoin.com, DHS awarded Factom with some funding from the Science and Technology Directorate (S&T).
The plan for the capital is for a project entitled, “Blockchain Software to Prove Integrity of Captured Data From Border Devices.”
The funds were awarded to the Factom team through securing the Internet of Things (IoT), Solicitation Number: HSHQDC-16-R-00035. This is the first proposal under the newly created Silicon Valley Innovation Program.
DHS Under-Secretary for Science and Technology Dr. Reginald Brothers stated in the announcement:
“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.”
Internet of Things technology uses microchips within everyday devices and networks them together so they can perform through connected sensors and operating systems such as smartphones.
DHS OTS is interested in new ideas that address security solutions “to improve situational awareness and security for protecting these domains, including the 16 critical infrastructure sectors monitored by DHS.”
Last week, DHS issued a press release that detailed the funding of six blockchain startups, each awarded $600,000 USD for the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) initiative. Each company was granted $100,000 USD to help DHS further its technological progression.
Melissa Ho, Managing Director, S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program had this to say about Factom’s recent grant:
“The start-up community is already developing innovative commercial solutions for IoT, so why not take advantage of that? 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.”
The Factom Inc. team will ensure authentic devices cannot be spoofed and make sure things are completely immutable with the use of its blockchain technology.
The company will create an identity log that secures the identification of a device such as “who manufactured it, lists of available updates, known security issues and granted authorities while adding the dimension of time for added security.” Tiana Laurence CMO of Factom told Bitcoin.com:
“We are excited to work on the project with DHS. The US government has been looking at the potential of blockchain technology for a while and we feel honored to help. This will be an interesting use case, because of how interconnected all of our devices have become. IOT devices are also deeply woven into our lives. They are not that secure, yet they contain a lot of private and intimate data about us. We hope to add some security and redundancy.”
The mission is to thwart off hackers and corruption of the very records of these devices and make them free from fraudulent activity.
Factom is pleased with the recent funding and plans on using blockchain technology to leverage secure solutions for DHS and many infrastructure systems found around the globe.
What do you think about Factom getting a grant from DHS? Let us know in the comments below!
Images courtesy of DHS, Factom, and Pixabay.