Blockchain and IoT Security: All You Need to Know

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Blockchain-Right-Security-The Internet of Things (IoT) is associated with large IT attacks, often involved in the abuse of vulnerable connected devices, such as surveillance cameras, to facilitate malignant activities. Of course, there are concerns about the ability of the IoT to protect billions of devices connected to the internet lodges, asking for feasible solutions to fill the safety gap. This Blockchain port is a relatively emerging technology that promises to reduce the risk that IoT devices are influenced by a central authority and improve the scalability of IoT implementations.

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In principle, it would make the protection of IoT networks in various ways possible, such as forming a group consent on the behavior of the deviant network and on all nodes capable of working irregularly. So, blockchain technologies can become an excellent ally of the IoT industry. If you want to know how they can help you with security issues, keep reading and take note!

The Internet of Things (IoT) proves to be a very powerful weapon regarding competitive advantages in a business. Each data collected is extremely important to successfully initiate or request an action without human intervention, where user privacy and security are at risk.

Considering every technological and physical component of the Internet of Things ecosystem, this technology is understood as if it were a system of systems with great business value, which needs integrated solutions and protection to complete its functionality. So, let’s get started.

Two key factors merged into one: when the IoT meets the blockchain.

The IoT has greatly expanded its area within a few decades, connecting numerous devices and networks in homes, workplaces, transportation systems, and even entire cities. The decade-long blockchain, on the other hand, will revolutionize business models through its encrypted and distributed ledger designed to create tamper-proof, real-time records. With the IoT and blockchain working together, the latter should provide a verifiable and secure withdrawal method for devices and processes associated with the former.

The blockchain works like a distributed ledger, recording every deletion or modification of data. As more entries are inserted into it, a longer chain of events is created. Each transaction is accompanied by a digital signature and cannot be modified or deleted. Due to its decentralized nature, blockchain can prevent a vulnerable device from spreading false information and disrupting the network environment.

In recent notable IoT security incidents, blockchain can mitigate the risk of Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks affecting multiple devices simultaneously: failure of one device should not affect others. When securing smart cities, we have found that such an opportunity is critical to maintaining service connectivity and functionality, especially for critical systems.

With blockchain, every device has strong cryptography that further ensures secure communication with other devices and provides anonymity in IoT use cases where privacy is paramount. Users can better track devices and distribute security updates, helping to protect potentially vulnerable devices.

The merger of blockchain and IoT should also solve the surveillance problem. Businesses, for example, can manage transactions from multiple sources through an immutable, transparent record that tracks data and physical assets throughout the supply chain. In the event of a bad decision or system overload, the blockchain record should be able to identify the point – say, a device or a sensor – where something went wrong, and the company could take immediate action. Blockchain could also help reduce operational costs by eliminating mediators or intermediaries.

Use cases and implementations of blockchain in IoT

Blockchain is more than the distributed ledger technology that underlies cryptocurrencies, especially bitcoin. It is already used in various industries, including retail, to simplify and ensure the movement of products through supply chains and in pharmaceuticals to ensure the integrity of contracts, clinical trials and the drugs themselves. With blockchain integration in these and many other sectors, the quality of products and services is closely monitored.

Blockchain has also gained importance in the field of IoT. One company already offers a blockchain-protected security platform for the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT). The solution billed as the first and only of its kind, aims to address the large attack surface of the IoT by giving more participants consensus control and increasing redundancy in systems. Additionally, a blockchain-focused research Centre has been established to promote the development and commercialization of the technology and its capabilities to revolutionize the IoT ecosystem.

The Challenges of Integrating Blockchain into the IoT

Blockchain in the IoT is gaining momentum, but not without some obstacles. On the one hand, the key concept of blockchain is the series of transactions that have taken place and how they form a chain. The chain is built by referencing previous transactions, hence the blocks. However, creating blocks is computationally intensive, requiring multiple CPUs and a lot of time to generate. Since a single block is difficult to create, manipulating it would be just as difficult: as manipulating the previous block and following the created chain to change it completely. This setup seems ideal for securing the IoT. The caveat, however, is that IoT devices are relatively low-powered, and the underlying blockchain protocols create congested traffic, with block generation introducing potential latency. This situation does not bode well, especially for devices and operations with limited resources and bandwidth that need real-time updates or quick responses.

Regarding security risks, the researchers categorized the threats in terms of accessibility, anonymity, authentication, and access control. Malicious actors can threaten accessibility by preventing users from accessing data or services, such as denial of service (DoS) attacks and cloud storage compromises. Additionally, they may attempt to identify a specific user by finding links between the user’s anonymous transactions and other publicly available information. They may also attempt to impersonate legitimate users to access data. However, authentication and access control threats can be detected since all transactions are logged and verified by on-chain users.

Additionally, in our security predictions for this year, we predict that threat actors will exploit blockchain to augment their evasion techniques. Furthermore, it is not unlikely to suspect that IoT sensors and devices could be compromised to send misinformation to a blockchain. Thanks to technology, input is recorded and authenticated in the chain. Adopters should therefore ensure that sensors and devices have overrides at hand in case of a compromise and grant access only to users who should have control.

Security Recommendations

Blockchain can significantly benefit IoT systems when executed correctly by reducing costs and increasing efficiency. Nevertheless, the penetration of the technology in IoT environments is far from optimal. For example, only 10% of production blockchain ledgers are expected to include IoT sensors by 2020. Moreover, there is still a long way to go before most IoT systems are proficient enough in computation to manage large-scale blockchain implementations.

While eliminating the single point of failure is not yet achieved, securing the IoT still lies in the continuous provision of security for all connected devices. Besides timely software updates to avoid downtime, IoT users, individuals and organizations need to care about multi-layered security with end-to-end protection from the gateway to the endpoint, capable of blocking potential network intruders and compromises to prevent. This includes:

Changing Default Credentials.

Default credentials have notoriously allowed IoT botnets to compromise connected devices. Therefore, users are advised to enable password protection and use unique and complex passwords to reduce the risk of device hacking.

Strengthen router security.

● A vulnerable router makes a network vulnerable: Securing routers with comprehensive security solutions allows users to take inventory of all connected devices while maintaining privacy and productivity.

● Configure devices for security: Default device settings should be reviewed and adjusted to user needs. It is recommended to customize features and disable unnecessary ones to increase security.

● Network traffic monitoring: Functional analysis of abnormal network behavior can help users ward off malicious attempts. Automatic and effective malware detection can also be used through real-time scanning of security solutions.

Implementation of additional security measures.

Users are advised to enable firewalls and use the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) security protocol for additional protection. Solutions that use web reputation and application control also enable greater network visibility.

The Future of IoT and Blockchain

IoT isn’t going anywhere, nor is the demand for good security. Businesses and businesses need to protect the information across the entire IoT ecosystem. Therefore, blockchain encryption is becoming more and more popular. IoT-based companies are turning to blockchain systems if they haven’t already. While it has some challenges, blockchain technology and security continue to advance. No doubt improvements are underway, and until then, blockchains are still a solid security feature to add to the implementation of super-powerful IoT Services across industries.

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