is creating its own ecosystem, the biggest challenge for the industry is how companies secure and manage the exponential growth of decentralized endpoint devices. Unfortunately, most security experts only know how to defend against attacks from a centralized perspective. Most Chief Information Security Officers (CISO) only understand centralized networks and depend on choke points or linear cyber kill chains that focus on traditional perimeter and inbound security protocols to defend against malware, viruses and other attacks that inevitably overwhelm networks and damage servers, devices and workstations. One of the potential solutions available to improve the distributed nature of IoT security is blockchain. Vanguard companies like Accenture , Deloitte , IBM and Samsung Electronics have made considerable investments in both capital and resources to bolster IoT security by using blockchain. What is blockchain and what does it do? Blockchain is the security, permissionless, distributed, transaction ledger and communication model that is behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Blockchain acts as a peer-to-peer network that eliminates the need for “trusted” third-party transaction authorities, intermediaries or payment processors. There are three main functions Blockchain performs that are sure to make it a viable solution within IoT.
- Data Authentication / Pedigree refers to creating an authenticated chain-of-custody and evidence to know when and where a piece of data came into existence, thereby creating a “single source of truth” for data management
- Data Aggregation is how information is shared in a database, but no single user can add or delete information without consensus. Blockchain is also immutable, which makes it difficult to hack therefore making information collected trusted and secure
- Transaction Management & Settlement. Due to regulatory, legal and structural challenges (especially in Europe) blockchain has been slow to gain adoption within banks and financial institutions for settlement. Recent breaches by hackers of digital wallet provider, Parity (and others), will not do much to bolster confidence in Blockchain as a viable security solution for banking. However, Blockchain is a solid way to secure how high-value products, contracts and other transactions are managed and resolved throughout the chain-of-custody. Blockchain acts as a secure ledger database that is shared by various parties that participate in a distributed network of endpoints, devices and assets.