The world is heading for a future where IoT and the blockchain combine to offer even greater convenience. Blockchain is the future of IoT because it can solve the security threat that IoT faces.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has been at the center of technological advances for much of the last decade. Although the idea was born in the 70s, it was not until 2010 that it gained momentum. Experts say that 2018 was "the defining year" for the IoT. The IoT industry is expected to achieve a massive gain of $ 8.9 trillion by 2020.
This is not the only technology that is progressing. Another technology created at about the same time as IoT was the blockchain. The global blockchain market is expected to increase to $ 20 billion by 2024. With the popularity of cryptocurrency, the blockchain is conquering the world because of the only opportunities it is expected to produce.
One of these opportunities is in the field of IoT. The world is heading for a future where the two technologies combine to offer even greater convenience.
The problem with IoT
If IoT continues to grow at this rate, it will overcome the common security technologies that support it. This is a big threat to the industry. With a lack of adequate security, the challenges faced by the industry will include:
• Privacy issues due to data vulnerability
• Current platform security standards are not mature enough to satisfy the IoT
• There are no indications to manage or maintain the life cycle of IoT devices
The current centralized model of IoT does not help either. As of now, the IoT ecosystem depends on the identification, authentication and connection of IoT devices through a centralized cloud system. Everything is connected through this system and therefore the Internet. Cloud systems have a huge storage capacity. Therefore, they have been able to support the industry in the last eight years.
However, this is also the reason why today's IoT solutions are priced high. These solutions require extravagant infrastructure for execution. This, combined with high maintenance costs, makes them very expensive. As time passes and IoT strives to provide even better interconnection, it is likely that prices will rise further on this model.
Exploring IoT security threats
it has not only succeeded in transforming our daily lives into the past, but it is still changing the way we do things. Think about it. Could you have predicted that one day you will live in a highly connected smart home in an intelligent city? Probably not.
As the IoT is increasingly wrapping up industries and aspects of life, the main concern that arises is in terms of security. Imagine how disastrous it would be if your data, acquired through connected devices and vehicles, were leaked.
Well, this is a possibility we are facing. The senior vice president of the digital supply chain and IoT of SAP, Gil Perez, was very frank about this looming threat. According to him, the more devices are connected to the system, the more profitable it is for hackers to try to attack it.
While one might think that such threats only apply to consumer devices. The IoT is also used in other areas, including B2B and web development. The vulnerability of the system will also affect these commercial industries.
As with Perez, the world may see cyber attacks from industrial IoTs in 2018. No one can be sure what the hackers will look like. It can be anywhere in the value chain, including municipal supplies, distribution networks or autonomous vehicles.
Why Blockchain is the answer?
Blockchain is the future of IoT because it can solve the looming security threat that IoT faces. The last thing the connected world needs is cyberattacks and blockchain can guarantee that this does not happen.
This technology is based on the fundamental principle of data encryption in a way that makes it secure. All cryptocurrencies use this technology as a form of the public ledger to record all transactions that occur.
Exactly, all of them! And there is a good share of cryptocurrencies on the market today. This network is what makes the process safe and anonymous so you do not have to worry about data loss.
IoT can benefit from the level of security provided by blockchain. The mesh network offered by it is not limited to connecting the various devices transparently, but also avoids the problems of the central server model at the same time.
The fact that it is not necessary to have centralized cloud servers to handle IoT operations means that this solution will also consume less power. So not only the blockchain will guarantee security but also efficiency.
How can the Blockchain model improve IoT in the future?
The world is heading towards interconnection. If IoT were to adopt a blockchain model, with which a secure and encrypted but decentralized system was used, the structure of IoT could be improved by blockchain capacity to provide:
• Automated commercial interactions between the nodes of the network through the use of commercial terms embedded in it
• A verification and authentication process that revolved around a hash-based solution
• Consent models to identify suspicious activities and eliminate them
Therefore, in the future, the security of the IoT sector can be improved through blockchain. The lack of a central system will itself reduce attacks and threats while smart contracts would be used to help execute business logic.
The world is heading for a future where blockchain can renew the various aspects of the IoT sector, rather than just security. This includes:
• Analytical monitoring of the various decisions made during the IoT process. The data stored in the blockchain network can be the foundation of this analysis.
• Software security updates. A software update can make the system vulnerable enough. blockchain can remove this vulnerability from the equation by delivering a cryptographic update.
Challenge the future of Blockchain-IoT integration
Remember, blockchain technology was not initially designed to be applied to IoT. Therefore, even if the future is heading towards a convergence of the two technologies, the journey will be plagued by challenges.
1. Archiving and scalability of the Blockchain
The exact amount of data that can be stored on the blockchain network is still under discussion. The fact remains that the huge data capacity required by the IoT is an unexplored territory for the blockchain. And blockchain was not designed to store much information. If the size can be a limiting factor for IoT it is something we will only learn with time.
It is true that blockchain is a much better solution in terms of security than centralized systems. However, this does not mean that the technology is fully tested. Instead, if the two technologies need to be integrated in the future, new types of security problems may emerge. For example, while blockchain can guarantee that no data is corrupted when in the system, any data already inserted in the damaged system will remain so.
3. Legal aspects
Currently, blockchain is highly unregulated. For many people, this lack of regulation is why Bitcoin has been so successful. However, this also means that the legal aspects of the blockchain are rather obscure. On the other side of the spectrum, IoT is deeply influenced by the laws of the country in which it is used.
If we follow the rules of the blockchain, it is not possible to recover the private key or carry out a reverse transaction. However, for the IoT, these options must be offered. Not to mention, who will manage the network, the producers or the users?
The lack of clarity on the legal aspects can prove to be a challenge.
There is one thing we can say with certainty: both, IoT and blockchain are here to stay. The world is heading towards a point where these technologies will converge. How easily they do it and what benefits they bring to the masses is something we will have to wait and see.