Should IoT Embrace the Blockchain?

The 5G network is here, and if there is an industry that will benefit from it, it is the Internet of Things. Analysts predict that the superfast bandwidth will increase the adoption of IoT. However, the proliferation of IoT connected devices is expected to come with many cybersecurity challenges. That’s where blockchain comes in to help.

Blockchain and IoT are currently the most popular technologies today. However, it is not until recently that scientists have started exploring the marriage between the two. Blockchain brings transparency and immutability in transactions through its decentralized public ledger.

Furthermore, the technology encrypts all data passing through it hence making it hard for hackers to steal it. It also eliminates single points of failure by distributing control across a wide network. All these security functions of blockchain can go a long way in addressing the issue of IoT security.

Key security gaps of IoT and blockchain solution

According to Datafloq, one of the critical weaknesses of IoT is centralization. Traditionally, all IoT devices must submit data to a centralized network for processing and analysis. This means that these devices are prone if the centralized network is attacked.

Also, the processing of data in a centralized location can prove to be costly especially with the exponential growth of IoT connected devices. Blockchain eliminates this single point of failure by distributing control across networks.

Simply put, IoT decentralization involves dispersing computation and storage needs across billions of devices that an IoT network. This means that hackers would need at least 51% of the entire network computing power to hack a device in the network. While this type of attack is possible, it takes massive resources and therefore does not make economic sense in most instances.

As mentioned earlier, the traditional IoT model relies on centralized servers. These are easy to hack given that a mistake by those that control them compromises the whole network.

Another advantage of blockchain in IoT is data encryption. In most instances, IoT devices depend on unsecured networks. These networks often expose them to snooping hackers leading to data theft. Also, at least 15% of IoT devices operate on default password making them prone to brute force attacks.

Blockchain can solve these challenges by ensuring that all traffic through IoT devices is encrypted. This means that hackers are not able to make sense of the data even if they get an opportunity to snoop.

Bottom line

Blockchain is mostly known for its role in cryptocurrencies, but it has many use cases. One of the areas where its potential is being explored is in IoT security. One of the advantages of this technology in this industry is that it brings in decentralization hence eliminating single points of failure. It also enables data encryption thus keeping off snooping hackers.

There are several other use cases of blockchain in IoT. For instance, technology can enable accurate communication between smart IoT devices. Think of a smart refrigerator that can order groceries and make automatic payments through cryptocurrencies.