We are living in the world of technology where everything is getting smart and intelligent. The gap between human imagination and reality is narrowing day by day thanks to the latest technologies like cloud computing, the Internet of Things (IoT), machine learning, and artificial intelligence (ML/AI).
While terms like cloud computing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are not new, the Internet of things (IoT) is the network of physical objects (say devices) that are entrenched with sensors, software, and other technologies to connect and exchange data with other devices and systems over the internet without human intervention.
These devices vary from ordinary household objects to cosmopolitan industrial instruments. As per a study, there are more than 12 billion connected IoT devices today with experts expecting this number to grow to 22 billion by 2025.
This huge network of interconnected IoT devices is making our lives easy but at the same time, it comes with several concerns, the biggest one of which is security. The connectivity of these IoT devices depends on the internet. More devices and more networks mean more data is exposed to hackers.
The largely unregulated IoT system means any data from personal information to authentication keys to system configuration files to passwords is not safe and could easily be extracted by attackers.
Though there are many security suggestions for IoT devices, such as biometrics and two-factor authorization, the industry is looking for a better solution. Seeing a big rise in IoT security flaws over the last few years, it’s time to look for a sounder solution. One conceivable solution to this security problem is Blockchain technology.
How blockchain technology enhances IoT networks?
When it comes to security, blockchain offers intrinsic security not present in standard networks. Blockchain technology has a strong protection mechanism against data tampering and has inflexible and distributed ways of data tracking.
One of the biggest issues with IoT devices is the lack of ability to identify when a device’s security gets compromised, sensitive data gets leaked and hackers take control. Blockchain technology can help overcome the following security issues related to IoT:
Data Theft and Fraud
Blockchain in conjunction with IoT can help secure data from getting hacked easily. Data stored over the blockchain network requires a larger hacking network which is nearly impossible at least for regular hackers. So, IoT networks with bigger blockchain backing have a lower risk of data attack because of the complexity required to break such a network.
The complexity of the blockchain-enabled IoT makes it the most secure arrangement for storing and sharing information online
Distributed Storage Issues
Users backed with blockchain technology can store their network’s data on their computers if they want to. This will ensure that chain won’t collapse. For example – if some hacker or intruder tries to tamper dataset, the system will identify it by analyzing every block and excluding the data block which is different from others. This blockchain is used to ensure the integrity of datasets.
Security implementation in Private Messaging
Social media and messaging apps have become integral parts of our lives. An enormous amount of data and information is transferred from one place to another during transactions or messages exchange. While most apps use end-to-end encryption methods to secure data over the network, intruders have found several ways to intervene.
Blockchain integration can easily tackle this issue by providing a secure framework for unified communication.
Supply Chain Management and Logistics Industries
In the supply chain management system, it becomes difficult and expensive to detect low-quality parts or components supplied by a specific manufacturer or vendor. However, the integration of blockchain can help significantly in this issue. A blockchain network can store the unique id of every part (component) along with the timestamp which is detectable at any time. In this way, the genuineness of every part of the supply chain can be achieved.
Several SMEs have suggested blockchain-based supply chain systems (BSCS) which assure data security, fraud detection, and access control policies in the chain by setting access policies to smart contracts.
IoT technology is going to a consequential role in our lives and society in the future. We will see how this technology going to affect not only our civil life but also industries, defense, the military, and almost everything.
So, it has become even more important to look out for creative solutions and extensive approaches to secure IoT devices. Integration of blockchain technology in IoT systems can enhance their security and reliability. Decentralization ensures that the connected devices get extra protection and become immune to malware and other attacks.
Written and curated by: Rahul Budhraja, Software Tech/Architect Lead, Macy’s Technology City, Duluth, Georgia, USA. You can follow him on Linkedin