By 2020, there will be up to 30 billion new IoT devices online. This dramatic increase in the number of devices connected to the Internet will allow consumers and businesses to connect with each other like never before. But with this new era of connectivity there are also very real risks. Everything from patient monitoring devices to home security systems will become vulnerable to data breaches and hacker attacks, thanks to the backdoor security vulnerabilities currently found in almost all IoT devices. Likewise, the privacy and validity of all transactions that occur on IoT devices represent an area of additional concern for those interested in adopting this nascent technology.
However, a solution could already exist in the form of blockchain, the backbone of the popular Bitcoin cryptocurrency. According to Itransition corporate experts, applying blockchain to the IoT could provide the assertion of security that consumers and businesses need.
Blockchain with any other name
Once synonymous with cryptocurrency, blockchain is now increasingly recognized as a technology worthy of full recognition. It is based on a distributed ledger or on a decentralized system and security is one of the major strengths of this registration system. Consisting of identifiable member participants, each of which is part of the blockchain network, this registry-based ecosystem requires majority consent for each blockchain transaction. The verification process of each transaction is completed through an intensive mining which uses complex algorithms, the final result of which is a demonstration of the work . Because of the high computational cost of completing this work, normal computer systems are not able to duplicate the process, reducing the chances of hacking. Once the authentication of a transaction is completed, it is added to the blockchain, where it remains unchangeable.
The Current State of IoT
Both consumers and companies are keen to invest in blockchain and IoT. A study by Gartner found that the blockchain is estimated by adding $ 3.1 trillion in value to the corporate sector . Likewise, Forbes predicts that the IoT will be similarly affected with the total amount of market value surpassing the $ 450 billion by 2020. However, for widespread deployment of IoT devices, security issues surrounding the billions of connected devices need to be addressed.
IoT devices are designed to be discrete, which often means small and light. As a result, they are typically not designed with the type of malware, firewalls or authentication protocols that a laptop or smartphone has when it leaves the manufacturer. This makes them unique, if not inherently, vulnerable to a series of security breaches. Ironically, this has not prevented consumers or businesses from investing in cost-effective devices like smart cars, fitness trackers, home security cameras and remote thermostats. In addition, many health professionals have also started investing in IoT solutions such as wearable sensors, medical resource monitoring and equipment monitoring. This last point raises further valid doubts about the security of sensitive health data.
Blockchain and IoT Together
The distribution of IoT devices involves a lot of moving parts and having to call them back if they become rogue (due to a violation it is likely to be even more difficult.) The addition of blockchain to this process can eliminate the possibility of widespread failures due to a single weak security link and helps protect all devices from unauthorized access. Blockchain's distributed ledger is also ideal for simplifying the deployment of IoT devices  since there is no intermediary to pass in. The improvement of the resolution process for any maintenance or troubleshooting of these systems is also possible with blockchain, thanks to its detailed historical archiving and the ability to trace the connectivity of the device.
With unparalleled amounts of data passing by and vers or IoT devices, some of the most sensitive data, including corporate logistics, transport system records and patient health information, are susceptible to hacking. A security breach can devastate business processes, make consumers vulnerable to identity theft or even cost lives if IoT vehicles are hacked. But the tampering protection incorporated in the blockchain architecture can reduce or even significantly eliminate these threats, allowing a uniform and highly secure data exchange between devices.
The Internet was originally designed to facilitate communication, transactions. Today, trillions of transactions from all over the world take place on the Internet. IoT devices are poorly designed to handle financial transactions. But the inevitable influx of devices that will soon be online requires that they be kept to a new standard. Consumers and businesses also need to know that their financial information is safe when using these devices. Smart contracts can help achieve this goal.
Activated once an action or a specific condition is reached, smart contracts can be added to any blockchain transaction, creating a level of transactional sophistication powerful enough to support legal contracts and project-based billing, as well as any other way middle. Smart contracts are also customizable, from single to multi-layer, allowing their authors to add buyer / sales details, transaction value information and even contract time restrictions. Of course, authentication is also assured because each IoT device can be registered directly on the blockchain via a public key visible to all members.
Healthcare providers who use sensors to monitor patients or track resource data can also reap the benefits of a blockchain-enabled smart contract. Known as microtransactions, anything from the adherence of drugs to patients to the use of the machine, can be recorded and monitored through an intelligent contract and an autonomous IoT device. In fact, this process is actually a completely new business category that will surely become more popular as health care-based IoTs spread.
When it comes to blockchain, IoT and authentication, the possibilities are open. As i-Scoop stated: "Blockchain technology could provide a simple infrastructure for two devices to directly transfer a piece of property such as money or data to each other with a secure and reliable contract handshake."  The Future is Now
Independent from one another, blockchain and IoT are both changing the way consumers and businesses interact with each other and with the overall digital landscape. Combined, these two technologies offer powerful solutions for some of the most pressing problems of the day regarding security and authentication. Within a few years, industries such as e-commerce, logistics and even health care can be completely changed – and safer than ever – thanks to the marriage of blockchain and IoT.