We have written previously about the benefits of utilizing blockchain for IoT security purposes. While the advantages are many, there can be some instances where blockchain may not make sense. For instance there will always be a trade-off between scale and security. While blockchain’s cryptography features offer security benefits, there are expensive space and computation requirements that may obviate it as an option for inexpensive or low-power applications. The following article does a very good job of highlighting the the best applications of IoT security using blockchain, as well as those that may not make sense.
Connected devices are everywhere—in your home, in your car and sometimes even in your body. However, as the number of IoT devices grows, the opportunities for security breaches grow as well.
Without a built-in method of data authentication, connected devices are susceptible to risks such as hijacking, man-in-the-middle attacks, spoofing or data breaches.
Security Is Mission-Critical for IoT
Take the following recent nightmarish vulnerability, for example. In March 2019, the FDA issued a warning that Medtronic’s implanted cardiac devices are susceptible to cybersecurity attacks because they don’t employ on-device encryption, authentication or authorization security techniques.
In mission-critical instances like this, IoT security shortcomings can result in life-threatening vulnerabilities. More generally speaking, security concerns have stalled consumers, OEMs and manufacturers alike from adopting IoT devices, slowing the growth and opportunity for connected devices.
Blockchain as a Security Framework
Blockchain is a viable option to protect against these attacks and heighten end-to-end security. By leveraging cryptographic techniques like hashing and consensus algorithms, blockchain legitimizes data that’s being collected and transferred between devices to ensure it’s safe from corruption. This verification process is an important development as worldwide IoT security spending is expected to climb to $3.1 billion by 2021.