Government to invest £6 million in development of new IoT security solutions

Shortly after promising a £70 million investment to support research into the infusion of security and protection solutions into hardware and chip designs at the development stage, the government has promised to invest up to £6 million in firms that come up with new ideas to enhance the security of IoT devices.

The funds will be provided to winners of a new competition, the aim of which is to motivate organisations and research institutes to develop new products and services that tackle cyber security in the IoT environment. Such products and services should enable firms to protect and recover data and should protect people living in digital homes and their smart systems from cyber threats.

Dedicated fund to boost research into IoT security

"Innovate UK has up to £6 million to invest in organisations with ideas that address industry-focused cyber security-related challenges. The investment forms part of the UK Research and Innovation Strategic Priorities Fund, which supports the highest priorities identified by researchers and businesses.

"It is part of a set of measures by UK government to build increased security and protections into digital devices and online services. As well as this programme, this includes an up to £70 million investment through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to tackle digital security by design," said the government in a press release.

The latest announcement is just another in a series of decisions taken by the government to boost cyber security research and to better protect millions of IoT devices in the wild. In January last year, the National Cyber Security Centre announced that it would provide grants of up to £16,000 to cyber security academicians in the UK to help them commercialise their ideas and earn money in the process.

Even though funds to be provided to each deserving academic was to be capped at £16,000, applicants were eligible to obtain additional funds from the programme if they provided appropriate justification for the same.

Aim to make IoT devices 'securre by design'

Last week, the government promised up to £70 million in investment through its Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to support research into the infusion of security and protection solutions into hardware and chip designs at the development stage, thereby signaling its intent to promote 'security by design' for all IoT devices used by businesses and individuals.

The government also promised to invest a further £30 million to ensure the safety and security of Internet-connected smart devices, 420 million of which would be deployed across the UK within the next three years.

Business Secretary Greg Clark said that the fresh round of investments to ensure the cyber security of IoT devices will make the UK a world leader in the race to eradicate some of the most damaging cyber security threats facing businesses and better protect consumers.

"This could be a real step-change in computer and online security, better protecting businesses, services and consumers from cyber-attacks resulting in benefits for consumers and the economy.

"With businesses having to invest more and more in tackling ever more complex cyber attacks, ‘designing in’ security measures into the hardware’s fabric will not only protect our businesses and consumers but ultimately cut the growing cybersecurity costs to businesses.

"This is our modern Industrial Strategy in action. Building on the UK’s heritage and strengths in computing and cyber security alongside the government and industry investing together to ensure the UK capitalises on its position to become a leader in the growing markets and technologies of tomorrow," he said.