4 Reasons to Use Blockchain to Secure the Internet of Things

We previously explained that the marriage of Blockchain and the Internet of Things seemed natural. For those who are not yet convinced, here are 4 reasons to use Blockchain to secure the Internet of Things.

Once again, Blockchain is not just a “dark thing” to protect cryptocurrency transactions. It is a truly distributed, decentralized and encrypted system that provides security and confidence to the members of this data chain. They share blocks of information that cannot be changed without the consent of all channel participants. Therefore, deleting or modifying data in the Blockchain is very difficult, almost impossible.

We are quickly understanding the interest in such technology in areas such as energy, financial services, agri-food traceability, or even industry. These use cases, we have already defined. The first thing we thought of was cybersecurity in the Internet of Things. Here are four reasons to use Blockchain to protect IoT infrastructures.

1. Securing sensors through authentication

IoT sensors are primarily installed at the edge of infrastructures. In general, the intelligence is not found in these small devices, but on the other hand, in the cloud. But this is a problem. The first point, some companies want to put intelligence at the heart of connected objects. The second threaded point, these sensors are not sufficiently shielded for this purpose. This is where Blockchain comes in. This technology makes it possible to verify equipment and stations on the network. Another advantage is that verifying data origins has become easier.

In this emerging sector, some companies are already offering commercial solutions. Available in mid-December, Xage is a Blockchain platform dedicated to IoT security developed by the company of the same name.. By connecting trusted devices and connected objects, the goal is to raise the level of trust within the ad hoc network and to identify unauthorized access attempts. The goal is to control the flow of information within the company thanks to the redundant security seals affixed to the data storage space. Dell EMC and ABB Wireless are among the early customers of this solution. Thus the first secures its gates in this way.

2. Improve data integrity and privacy with Blockchain

Blockchain privacy

As a shared system, Blockchain was not originally intended to control access to the network. The uses have become so diverse that some players in this sector are offering it to ensure data integrity and confidentiality. This is to ensure that files are not intercepted, read and/or tampered with. With this technology, end-to-end encryption is almost within reach.

When applied to the Internet of Things, this makes it possible to secure items associated with consumers and professionals in order to prevent intrusion into infrastructures. In this sense, players like General Electric, with its IoT Predix platform, Ericsson with its Blockchain Data Integrity offering and IBM with Watson IoT, are using Blockchain to secure data in the cloud.

3. Enhanced Domain Name System (DNS)

DNS blockchain

Everyone who follows IoT news remembers the Miraï Botnet and the DDoS it caused. This army of 150,000 bots consisting primarily of connected cameras were used to attack the DNS DYN provider. Many web players who are among the company’s customers have suffered the brunt of the attack, which has led to outages on Facebook, Airbnb, Twitter, Netflix and many more. According to ComputerWorld, a Blockchain approach to DNS protection in the cloud could in theory prevent access to what security professionals call a “single point of failure”.

This time it is not necessarily the connected objects that are protected, but the DNS. In this sense, several alternative projects to the existing architecture have emerged. This is the case of the Blockchain DNS whose creators are essentially seeking to create a decentralized system for accessing censored content from a browser like Google Chrome. An approach very appreciated in some countries where the web is often partially free. Blockstack, for its part, is proposing to rebuild a decentralized network free from the problems of confidentiality and censorship. Similarly, the Nebulis project, which relies on the Blockchain used to secure the virtual currency Ethereum, envisions an equivalent solution. Either way, adopting such an approach would protect the web from unprotected IoT devices.

4. Reduce the number of DDoS attacks with Blockchain

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=149&v=uSKkFeuZZog

DDoS. For some, these four characters evoke a real nightmare. A distributed denial of service attack consists of flooding a network, access point, or data station in order to prevent access to a service or network. To do this, cyber attackers first attack the terminals – computers, connected objects – that they control remotely in order to send all this parasitic data. The consequences of DDoS typically run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

In principle, using tools developed by IBM, GE or Dell EMC allows companies using IoT technologies to prevent their peripherals from turning into computer zombies. Web service providers also want to protect themselves from DDoS attacks. Gladius startup, founded in April 2017, is positioning itself in this market. Young entrepreneurs advocate on their head a “decentralized solution to protect against DDoS attacks”.

According to this principle, the website owner contacts the pools located in the geographic region in which his site is hosted. Gladius is committed to its use of Blockchain technology, so that its customers benefit from increased security and superior performance. On the other hand, companies can rent the bandwidth. Conversely, companies and individuals can entrust a portion of the bandwidth and power of their computers in order to earn tokens in return. The system also relies on the creation of new security pools by blockchain participants. In fact, Gladius technology is also based on Ethereum. By rewarding shares, the startup intends to secure transactions and thus reduce protection costs. If we have to wait until August 2018 to discover a prototype of this tool, the idea is particularly interesting.

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