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Blockchain Technology for security of IoT devices

Blockchain Technology for security of IoT devices
September 30, 2021

Introduction

As the world goes through technological advancement, there is increasing use of IoT (internet of things) devices. The IoT is advancing development in several sectors, including automotive, healthcare, and manufacturing. It makes technology smart by either removing or improving manual intervention. The IoT devices communicate with each other to control or optimize the state of the system. This communication is nothing but a network of different smart devices.

Challenges in IoT implementation

Trust is the primary aspect during the acceptance of any technology. This trust can be achieved by a higher norm of security. To understand vulnerability, we need to understand the features and corresponding drawbacks of the IoT system, which are as follows.

Device connectivity: The achievement of a higher security standard becomes very difficult, especially for a large network of devices. The network’s security depends on the weakest link since one entry point can disturb the complete system.

Flexibility: The vulnerability of IoT systems increases with the increase in the number of devices. The IoT systems are flexible to include new devices within the system. Although these devices have their security measures, those measures may not be up to the mark.

Centralization: The IoT connects devices (nodes) through a central network that enables them to communicate with each other and takes necessary actions. The centralized system is more prone to attack because a single successful intrusion can result in complete control over the system.

Blockchain technology as a security solution

Blockchain is a chain of blocks that adopts a decentralized database and uses a ’ledger’ to record transactions. The nature of the block is immutable, and each block in a blockchain contains a hash of its own and of the previous block, along with transaction data, timestamps, and digital signature. The following features of the blockchain security solution will help achieve security norms.

Blockchain is a chain of blocks that adopts a decentralized database and uses a ’ledger’ to record transactions

Consensus rule (51% rule): Since IoT gives provision to add new devices, it is essential to check the compatibility of the security norm of the new device with the rest of the system. It will ensure that network expansion follows security norms. Also, without manipulating the majority of blocks, we cannot connect an infected device.

Reliable and traceable: The communication between each device is a transaction in the ledger. This

is reliable because any tampering in the transaction results in a change in the hash. Also, we can trace the transaction made by a particular device.

Decentralization: Due to the decentralization, the blockchain is very secure and customer-centric. The Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks by Botnet are more prone to a centralized system.

Use cases of blockchain implementation in IoT devices

There exist many use cases in the implementation of Blockchain in IoT. A few of them are mentioned below.

Healthcare

All the data from EHR (electronic health record) can be distributed securely to other devices using blockchain. The encrypted nature of the blockchain ensures privacy. Furthermore, blockchain also reduces administrative overhead.

Automotive vehicle

The smart automobile extensively using IoT devices has more points of attack. Hackers can hack parking cameras and thermostats of the cabin. Blockchain can avoid these issues by working toward the standardization of security norms of devices.

Insurance

For medical and car insurance, the companies collect the data using IoT devices to decide which premium should be suggested to the customer. Blockchain makes sure there is no tampering with the data. At the same time, the privacy of data is maintained.

Supply chain management

Data associated with raw material and finishing products must circulate in the supply chain. Blockchain technology makes all the transactions traceable, which improves transparency in the management.

Conclusion

Blockchain is a very promising technology to provide security and other benefits in IoT devices. But this technology is relatively new, and only a few of the customers are aware of it. It is also in the initial stage of development. Still, this technology has a great potential to dominate in the future.

References

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blockchain

  2. https://hclcontent.percipio.com/courses/82615f90-6316-11e8-a845-7feea7c0e6e7/videos/d1a6a5b0-6316

  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_of_things