How Blockchain Gives a New Level of Security to IoT
Blockchain is going to be the answer for all the woes faced by IoT professionals.
The most pressing problem in IoT was security, and while people began to accept and adopt this technology, the threat of security also loomed large.
While IoT created opportunities on one side, the risks grew on the other, and tipped the balance wildly.
Enter Blockchain and the scales balanced itself.
Blockchain, the peer-to-peer distributed ledger used in new generation transactional applications, maintains a huge and ever-growing list of records that would be secured from tampering or unauthorized revisions.
This technique improves the security of online transactions. Users can verify and audit their transactions easily and without actually incurring high-end expenses. Blockchain reduces the risk of infinite reproducibility from digital transactions, keeping them as they should be – secure.
Blockchain is almost akin to crypto currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoin, and is already popular in various fields, especially IoT. Through Blockchain, there is a paradigm shift within the IoT ecosystems, as there is a break away from traditional broker based networking paradigms to a centralized cloud based services where individual devices are identified and authenticated.
Because of the security it provides, the future of Blockchain looks very promising. IoT and Blockchain security together open up multiple avenues that were only a dream in the distant past.
The public ledger technology followed by Blockchain helps execute and confirm all the transactions taking places between devices and brings IoT to a whole new level of mature independence where all data exchanges are recorded, even all the transactions done between a human and a device and between devices.
What Makes Blockchain Secure?
When Blockchain is introduced in IoT devices, it eliminates the problem faced by engineers, developers and business. As smart devices can now communicate seamlessly and operate autonomously, there is no more room for error. There is no need of human intervention, because the blockchain by itself is capable of checking every communication, transaction or exchange.
The online ledger (usually Bitcoin) system also updates itself every few minutes and alerts the concerned personnel in the event of illegitimate changes. Hence, a three-fold system is at work here — a distributed system that works on permission-based activities, making it secure.
In the Blockchain system, there is no single person holding the records, and no one can delete it. And the best part is that no malicious systems can launch an attack because it will all be caught publicly and access will be denied.
Blockchain’s Role in the World of IT
Considering the potential of Blockchain, you can rest assured that it is not used only in the world of financial transactions, but for several other uses as well.
Bitcoin’s 100.000.000 units can easily be linked to different kinds of digital based requirements, not just credit cards or digital votes. Apart from auditing the exchange of units of digital currency, Blockchain can verify the digital transactions that happen between machines.
Blockchain Avoids Device Spoofing and Impersonation
The Blockchain security model is very important when networks grow because that means millions and millions of transactions at a single time. This would not only increase computational requirements, but it would also escalate the cost. The servers handling the requests become bottlenecks, while requests turn unresponsive and dead.
This makes the IoT networks vulnerable, the most common being Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks, where certain servers would be targeted and flooded with traffic and devices compromised. As the tasks turn sensitive, this could bring the downfall of IoT ecosystems.
Through Blockchain technology, it is possible to create secure mesh networks where devices get connected through secure means and this can solve the device spoofing and impersonation problem.
This is done through the legitimate nodes registered on the Blockchain. It allows identifying the devices and authenticating them eliminating the need for any kind of certification authorities, mediators or even centralized cloud alternatives.
Several enterprises have recognized the potential of Blockchain and how it can be used for not just money-based dealings, but any kind of digital transactions. Bosch, Cisco, BNY Mellon, SkuChain, Ambisafe, Chronicled, Gemalto are just a few of the companies using Blockchain technology.
Here are three examples of companies leveraging the power of Blockchain:
The German multinational engineering and electronics company Bosch, with the help of Blockchain technology’s distributed ledgers, successfully combated their problem of mileage manipulation.
Bosch uses the Blockchain technology to fulfill their vision of self-driving vehicles using AI. The data is secured using Blockchain technology and stops people from illegally rolling back their odometers. This allows the company to send the vehicle’s mileage to a digital logbook and to check the veracity of the recorded mileage.
San Jose based Cisco joined the Blockchain consortium to track the performance of their physical objects and to identify the source of problems as and when they occur.
Through the consortium developed for Cisco, unique identifiers are assigned to the raw materials and finished goods so they can identify when the goods are sold or exchanged. This way, they can easily identify counterfeit goods.
#3. BNY (The Bank of New York Mellon Corporation) Mellon
BNY Mellon developed a technology by which they utilized Blockchain to create a backup of their brokerage transactions. The company is looking at different ways in which they can leverage the full potential of the technology.
They were successful in creating an operational buffer that would work alongside the bank’s existing operational records system, in case the initial transactional records become unavailable.
If you want to leverage the full power of IoT, then you need to embrace Blockchain technology. It is nothing complicated, just a technique, whereby transactions and documents are secured through advanced cryptography with the help of a network of computers.
There are consortiums where huge companies, with the aim of advancing the Blockchain technology make collaborative efforts. More than 40 banks are already members of R3 CEV’s Blockchain consortium, while several others, like IBM and Hitachi are part of the Linux Foundation’s consortium.
An investment into the Blockchain technology is definitely well-rewarding and there’s more to expect from this, as it is still developing and growing.
Sunu Philip is the Inbound Marketing Head for Cabot Technology Solutions - an IT consulting firm specializing in web and mobile technology solutions. Cabot offers progressive end-to-end business solutions, blending a solid business domain experience, technical expertise and a quality-driven delivery model.Read Full Bio