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IoT security challenges: Securing IoT with Blockchain innovative technology

 
The Internet of Things is penetrating all spheres today, bringing intelligent connections to all business activities and ordinary life. Touching almost everything, IoT offers companies various advantages and opportunities.

A manufacturing plant where the tracking system monitors all the equipment and where the machinery orders repairs – all of it without human participation. A transport monitoring system responsible for road traffic optimization. A smart home management system that allows people to manage home appliances, automate ordering, and remove anxiety regarding home security.

These and many other scenarios become possible due to IoT technology only. Though IoT provides a plenty of advantages and business opportunities, there are IoT security challenges that need to be realized and resolved.

 

IoT security challenges

 
The Internet of Things is about collecting and transmitting large amounts of data throughout the system of hundreds and thousands of various devices. Since information security and privacy is essential for any business, the task is to protect all data communications at all levels.

Only imagine: data flows across a lot of kinds of devices and integrated solutions, that may involve apps, sensors, machinery, transports, and analytics capabilities. What’s more, the data have to pass various administrative boundaries with different policies. In this case, ensuring data management and safe functioning of IoT system is really complicated.   

Another task is not only to protect data, but also provide safe data delivery to the right place, time, and form. And no matter in what way your company participates in IoT environment – develops IoT solutions, provides services, or something else – you’ll have to deal with IoT security challenges.

In these terms, now 92% of businesses that use IoT technology, are concerned about establishing the safeguards. BI Intelligence report predicts that spending on securing IoT devices and systems will become five times higher over the coming years.

 

Problems of a centralized IoT network

 
The current IoT ecosystem works on a centralized model, implying that multiple devices are identified, authenticated, and connected via cloud servers providing high data storage capabilities. Even if the devices are placed two steps from each other, each communication between them has to pass through the Internet.

In the centralized model, businesses have to deal with high infrastructure and maintenance costs of an integrated IoT solution. An important issue to consider is a growing number of IoT devices. Imagine how costs will increase when it reaches millions and billions of Internet-connected objects.

The number of communications will also increase, leading to scalability challenging and even economic and engineering issues. And in case they are successfully overcome, cloud servers will remain a bottleneck, which may disrupt the whole network. Hence, securing all IoT devices will become even more difficult.

Thus, applying a centralized model to small-sized IoT solutions, you unlikely come across difficulties regarding maintenance costs and scalability problems. However, such model won’t cope with large IoT ecosystems. So, there comes a need for the decentralized approach.

 

Blockchain technology: meaning and advantages

 
Blockchain is a distributed ledger maintaining a growing number of transactions and data records, the two system elements. While network participants create transactions, blocks record them, ensure that they are in the correct sequence, and record a timestamp when they were added.

Since Blockchain is decentralized, there is no a central authority or a single administrator responsible for approving transactions or establishing rules to have them accepted. The removal of any intermediaries allows to bypass long inconvenient banking processes and reduce both time and costs.

Moreover, the technology is based on cryptographic algorithms designed to prevent data distortion and provide high-security level. Each block in the network involves a hash to the previous block, which makes impossible the substitution of an intermediate block in the database. Thus, the chain can be extended, but can’t be changed.

Today, the technology faces an increasing interest and attracts huge investment. Besides banking and financial operations, Blockchain can be successfully applied in a variety of industries, including healthcare, insurance, voting, logistics, real estate, and a lot more.

 

Securing IoT with Blockchain decentralized approach

 
An emerging and important trend is IoT and Blockchain used together. The decentralization of IoT network will enable to solve most IoT security challenges we’ve described above. The technology decentralized, trust, scalability, and autonomous capabilities make it an essential component of IoT solutions.

In the Internet of Things, Blockchain can be successfully applied for processing multiple data transactions, coordination and tracking of millions and billions of smart devices, thus ensuring data management at all levels.

Since Blockchain is based on cryptographic algorithms, its integration into IoT ecosystem will provide data security and privacy. Moreover, Blockchain has all transactions carefully recorded, so the history of connected devices will be also recorded and the necessity of a central authority will be removed.

 

The main Blockchain applications for securing IoT ecosystem

 
There are two main scenarios of securing IoT with Blockchain technology. In the first one, a company integrates connected devices to collect and transmit data and connects them to Blockchain.

The technology allows smart devices to exchange messages (data) and even make orders and complete financial transactions. For instance, in a manufacturing plant, the devices define machinery conditions and order repairs and parts for replacements.

In the second case, a company implements Ethereum smart contracts that help provide secure and seamless message exchanges between connected devices in the way it occurs in Blockchain financial transactions.

Smart contracts serve as the agreements between devices involved in the communication. All transactions (messages) are safe, direct, and don’t require intermediaries. This scenario can be effectively used in many industries.

For example, in agriculture, smart devices are placed to collect data about crops and communicate it with the irrigation system. All actions are performed automatically according to the conditions defined in smart contracts, which enables water management based on these conditions (information detected by smart devices).

The integration of a Blockchain decentralized approach will allow companies and corporations to protect the entire IoT network by ensuring data security and privacy at all levels, resolving scalability issues, and providing effective system functioning as well.

No less important, that this model will also enable businesses to significantly reduce costs required for installing and maintaining large data centers. So, we can say that Blockchain is the very missing link, needed for the secure functioning of IoT ecosystem.
 
Hope, the article has been useful and interesting.) If you have some issues unsolved or have a project idea, apply to a reliable software development company.

Having high expertise in building IoT and Blockchain solutions, we’re here to provide you with a free consultation!