CIRA Secure Home Gateway

As more items become internet-connected – items that form the Internet of Things (IoT) – cybersecurity risks around them grow. With this in mind, CIRA Labs is working on a secure home gateway to mitigate the risks these devices pose to their users as well as larger internet systems (including .CA) that can be attacked through them.

What is it?

The CIRA Secure Home Gateway does just what it says – it secures connected Canadian homes.

CIRA Labs will develop a proof of concept and document the requirements for a next-generation secure home gateway and a home registry solution that protects IoT devices and the internet from each other through security controls.

The project is an innovative IoT initiative to develop a secure home network for its connected devices based on domain names and DNSSEC. The functional prototype will be based on the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) standard.

Protecting Canadians in their homes

CIRA wants to make sure this is a device that doesn’t require a computer engineering degree to use. Thanks to a planned, simple user interface – where users simply swipe up, down, left and right – even your grandmother in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan should be able to use it.


Why is this needed?

It’s not an over exaggeration to imagine a majority of Canadian homes with internet-connected security systems, light bulbs and thermostats. Even coffee makers, refrigerators and toothbrushes are going online. The internet-connected home will also include the homeowner’s Wi-Fi enabled vehicles parked in their garage. This is the future of the Canadian home.

Given this, and the inherent risks associated with it, as well as the fact that current secure home gateways do not provide the level of security needed to mitigate those risks – CIRA is seizing an opportunity.  

If successful, the CIRA Secure Home Gateway will significantly decrease the risks associated with IoT devices for Canadians.

Who is involved?

CIRA is part of the IoT Security initiative’s network resiliency team. The Canadian IoT Security Initiative includes a multistakeholder committee made up of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, the Internet Society, CIPPIC, CANARIE and CIRA. Learn more at

In addition, CIRA Labs is collaborating with other country code top-level domains (ccTLDs) including .IT and .NL. Additionally, is documenting the function specifications for the secure home router and developing a prototype.

CIRA is part of the Network Resiliency team and actively working on building a functional prototype based on the IETF Manufacturer Usage Description (MUD) standard.

Get involved

To contribute to this project, visit the CIRA Labs GitHub page where you can learn more about the technical details of the project and the open-source code in development.

CIRA is grateful for funding from the Internet Society that supports this important research on IoT security. Internet Society’s kind sponsorship of $10,000 helps support this project aimed at protecting homes with internet-connected IoT devices.