US Homeland Security Awards $192k to Blockchain Startup Factom
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate (S&T) has awarded $192,380 to blockchain startup Factom for the development of a blockchain-based technology to secure Internet of Things (IoT) data.
Based in Austin, Factom is a leading solution provider and blockchain integrator for enterprise companies. Back in 2016, the startup was awarded $199,000 by the DHS to advance the security of digital identity for Internet of Things (IoT) devices.
According to the press release, the latest award is part of the fourth and final phase of S&T’s Silicon Valley Innovation Program (SVIP). By combining blockchain technology with critical infrastructure—such as sensors and cameras, Factom’s project helps protect the integrity and authenticity of data collected by these devices.
“The early phases of Factom’s work has informed architecture choices and design decisions inherent in integrating blockchain with existing technologies,” said Anil John, S&T Identity Management Research and Development Program Manager. “In Phase IV, Factom will deploy this technology in a realistic field environment with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to understand its operational impacts.”
In the final phase of the project, Factom will test its capability in an outside environment with limited internet connectivity and in varied weather conditions – mirroring the conditions under which U.S. Border Patrol agents operate.
The objective is to proof IoT devices can maintain high standard of reliability while eliminating the ability to spoof, modify or disrupt data from ground sensors and cameras. The end objective is to produce a commercially viable product ready to enter the market, the release said.
“Operational testing in a realistic U.S. Border Patrol environment will greatly benefit the development of this technology,” said Melissa Ho, SVIP Managing Director. “SVIP’s goal is to partner with companies to produce the best possible market-ready products that address homeland security needs and we feel that this project could reach that point.”
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