Can Blockchain Enhance IoT Technology?

While Internet of Things (IoT) devices are popular for their convenience, they also come with some serious caveats. Most notably, IoT devices aren’t usually the most secure, largely due to their low amount of internal memory and processing power.

This has left IoT technology at risk. For example, IoT botnets, a form of cyberthreat, were incredibly prevalent in 2017, demonstrating that the potential for attack is fairly high. Also, more people are turning to IoT devices for a range of activities, both business and personal, so these technologies are automatically an attractive target for hackers and cybercriminals.

Since the level of security can easily be considered subpar, and their connected nature can put other internal systems at risk, finding a method to improve the current level of protection is a must. And it’s possible blockchain is that solution.

What is an IoT Device?

In its simplest form, an IoT device is any nonstandard computing technology that has the ability to transmit data wirelessly. Some of the more common examples are home automation devices, fitness trackers, and certain manufacturing or warehouse sensors.

Usually, these devices possess very little internal computing power, either only transmitting very basic data or relying on a cloud-computing connection for more resource-heavy tasks.

Blockchain for IoT Security

While the idea is essentially only a concept, the theory is that blockchain could create an environment that would make IoT networks more secure through shared governance models.

Blockchain uses decentralized databases to approve exchanges or contracts, holding information securely while maintaining transparency. While this may not seem like an automatic solution on the surface, the fact that blockchain doesn’t inherently require a significant amount of processing power can make it an ideal approach when it comes to enhancing IoT technology.

Now, the blockchain wouldn’t be used for its predominate purpose today, such as the financial transactions most commonly associated with cryptocurrency. Instead, the concept relies on the IoT device and blockchain interaction, allowing data to be sent in a trusted fashion.

Is This Level of Protection Available?

At this point, using blockchain to enhance IoT security is largely theoretical, at least form a business perspective. While researchers are exploring its potential, a full, working solution isn’t on the market today, and may not be for some time.

However, there is a significant amount of potential behind the concept and, once a solution is created, many IoT device manufacturers will likely consider integrating the technology as a means of protecting their customers.

It’s too early to be sure as to when such a solution will exist. But, a number of highly skilled cybersecurity professionals are working the problem, hoping to find a solution that will mitigate the risk of IoT botnet-style attacks.

If you are interested in learning more about blockchain and IoT devices or are looking for a skilled tech professional that can assist you with securing your systems, the knowledgeable team at Talon can help. Contact us to speak with one of our staff members today, and see how our expertise and services can benefit you and your business today.


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