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Pioneering cyber security software wins invention competition

Published 08/10/2015

Queen's University in Belfast, where Centre for Secure Information Technologies' researchers developed the software
Queen's University in Belfast, where Centre for Secure Information Technologies' researchers developed the software

A pioneering piece of software to protect all types of electronic devices has scooped one of Northern Ireland's top inventor awards.

The PicoPuf, a tiny semiconductor IP (intellectual property) core that provides a unique fingerprint for even the cheapest microchip has been hailed as the next big thing in cyber security.

It has been developed by researchers from Queen's University's Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and was recognised at the Northern Ireland Science Park Connect Awards.

"There is a perfect storm happening in IT security right now, "said PicoPuf founder Neil Hanley.

"The huge number of devices on the market, combined with the low-cost nature of these devices, makes it impossible to use heavily-computationally-resourced security solutions.

"Lightweight security will be a game-changer and we are set to capitalize on that."

Other prize-winning inventions included a new drug delivery system that provides long-term benefits for patients suffering from eye diseases that lead to blindness and learner surfboards which are recyclable and unbreakable.

Steve Orr, director of NISP Connect said: "S ecuring the Internet of Things is one of the hottest topics on the global IT agenda at present.

"It's a huge pleasure to see that our Invent competition was topped by a group addressing a global concern."

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