The Internet of Things (IoT) is one of the fast-growing sectors in the tech world today. Currently, 14 billion devices (excluding phones, tablets, and PCs) can connect to this vast network. According to the 2018 Gartner Reports, there will be over 26 billion IoT devices connected by 2020. If this comes to pass, we are seeing the possibility of developing smart cities, farms, homes, buildings, and manufacturing, among others.
However, various milestones exist before IoT reaches its projected potential. While IoT devices are small and low-key, security and management remain the top concerns as more of these devices connect to the internet. According to studies, the immense scale and distributed nature of IoT networks are a significant impediment to achieving security and privacy.
What’s more? The internet architecture and infrastructure must expand to accommodate the rapid expansions in IoT. The increasing number of devices also puts more strain on existing servers, and this overload can leave the network vulnerable to cyber threats and forms of external attacks.
Blockchain is one of the solutions presented for solving various security and management challenges that accompany the exponential rise of connected devices. Thanks to its success with Bitcoin cryptocurrency, Blockchain technology has found its way into multiple sectors including banking, financial management, and distribution, among others. According to a study, Blockchain is the missing link towards building a secure, decentralized IoT network. However, to acknowledge its real benefits, we need to understand how it works.
Blockchain data transparency and its seamless update will allow easy access to a full spectrum of information relevant to the sector which employs its use. Many people consider it a desperately needed addition to the tax sector following the rollout of the 2019 IRS Fresh Start Program. But does it have potential in streamlining some of the rough edges in IoT security?
Integrating Blockchain with IoT
The IoT network shares a large volume of data between billions of connected devices. The infrastructure used in managing these devices and controlling access requires sophisticated authentication and security layers. There should be a defined way of identifying and blocking unwanted devices from connecting. The system should also remove all compromised virus-infected devices from the network. So how does Blockchain impact IoT security?
Blockchain essentially brings transparency with its decentralized, encrypted filing system. It offers immutable records and also creates a foundation for real-time verification, seamless collective updates, and anonymity. It works the same way for cryptocurrency. Blockchain ensures that all data provided is accurate and legitimate. It also defines the process used to introduce new data. As such, integrating Blockchain with IoT promises to be a game-changer.
Benefits of Blockchain for IoT security
Blockchain is transparent by nature, all the records are tamper-proof, and the system can quickly detect any inconsistencies, discrepancies, leaks, and breaks. Machines hold the “write-access” so it is impossible to overwrite any records with inaccurate information. Besides, only verified personnel can access the files. It updates information at the same time for everyone, and malicious changes are effortless to trace. This makes it easier to identify and remove unwanted devices from the network.
Data encryption and distributed storage
No one user or group of users control the storage of Blockchain records. Instead, the system updates records in real-time in all the databases, and each authorized user has access to the database. The machine also uses secure encryption to store transactions and records with no need for human oversight. Once information is in the digital database, no one can make alterations without the system flagging and deleting such changes.
An extra layer of security
The IoT network is more secure with Blockchain. It only executes agreements once the system meets all the required conditions. It is also tough for malicious factors to access the large volume of data shared between devices in the network. According to research, successfully attacking a Blockchain-dependent platform would require a verified user who owns 51% of the nodes/blocks. While this is possible, it is almost impossible to achieve in such a distributed market. All records are tamper-proof and must synchronize in harmony before any update takes place. The updates are made in real-time.
Scalable access management and control
As IoT cements its place as part of the future internet, it will outgrow the centralized models for access management technologies currently in place. Blockchain offers the foundation for the global management of millions of devices. It removes the limitations of centralized management by providing the ideal architecture for a fully distributed control system.
IoT is set to continue expanding, and the projections for the coming years seem incredibly huge. Cyber attacks are also on the rise, so privacy and security will continue to be priority areas for concern. Implementing Blockchain technology for IoT network promises to revolutionize and streamline various aspects and operations. Nonetheless, it does not come without its unique constraints. From device integration to facilitation, roles arbitration, and permission granting, there is a lot of work to be done before Blockchain impacts IoT the anticipated way.