Smart Cities, Smart Manufacturing, Smart Buildings, Smart Homes, and Smart Farms—the Internet of Things (IoT) market is growing exponentially.
Within several decades, the IoT has significantly expanded its reach and connected numerous devices and networks in homes, workplaces, transportation systems, and even entire cities. The moment we started connecting devices to each other and then to the internet, the problem of virtual security became our modern-day boogeyman. From military installations to banking, corporate records, utilities, factories, to homes—the humble IoT device is being installed globally.
IoT pertains to the interconnectivity of the world around us – how all of our personal and home devices work together to optimize daily human life. Connected devices, homes and vehicles are just around the corner, and as anyone with experience in the technology industry knows, this means that a lot of second-order complexity will need to be solved. Economies, platforms and payment systems will have to be integrated. As this device explosion is increasing, the internet architecture also has to mature to support the upcoming IoT revolution and assuage the growing concerns of security and extensive management posed by so many devices connected to the internet.
IoT has been associated with major cyber attacks, often involving the abuse of vulnerable connected devices to facilitate malicious activities. Concerns have been raised about the IoT’s capability to secure billions of devices connected to the unwieldy internet, calling for viable solutions that could fill the security gap. Below the froth of IoT excitement are bubbles of insecurity about IoT’s many vulnerabilities.
How blockchain technology can improve the IoT space
Ironically, the connected nature of our virtual world has enabled the development of blockchain technology, which may be the solution to what ails us. Blockchain consists of an encrypted computer filing system that creates records that are tamper proof and in real-time. Its encryption capabilities enable security and anonymity and allow for mutual consensus verification that translates into collective network updates and consequently presents accurate datasets at all given times without the need of a central governing authority.
Decentralizing IoT networks
IoT security is a big topic of discussion because of the sheer volume of data that flows between these connected devices and the embedded processors. In principle, blockchain technology would enable protection of IoT networks in a number of ways, such as forming a group consensus on aberrant network behaviors and quickly streamlining communications.
For example, Arloid Automation will develop an IoT platform based on blockchain technology. Given its decentralized nature, blockchain can help prevent a vulnerable device from pushing false information and disrupting the network environment, whether it’s a smart home or a smart factory. On the Arloid platform, members will be able to communicate with their adapters and providers through secure channels on a blockchain network protected by cryptographic proofs. In addition, their IoT platform will have voting and funding protocols for adding and removing devices to the ecosystem.
What’s the bottom line?
IoT cybersecurity is a complex problem, one that fortunately many experts are willing to discuss, and many engineers are willing to tackle. The bottom line is that the internet, as currently configured, was not designed to handle the volume and complexities of modern transactions.