Blockchain and IoT: a tandem for security

Blockchain has several applications and that’s why it seems to make sense that IoT and Blockchain take advantage of each other

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Blockchain already resonates as the buzzword of the moment. And the reality is that it is fast becoming a great trend in the era of digitalization. Among its multiple application areas, which are many more than bitcoin, are the Internet of Things, financial transactions or even electronic voting

On the other hand, the Internet of Things represents a clear competitive advantage for the companies, as it allows them to collect large amounts of data of great value. With this, the need for security and privacy of these data increases. This is where Blockchain has a fundamental role and the reason why many companies are already beginning to develop it.

In a simple way, IoT involves a large number of connected devices that communicate with each other. This also increases the potential number of access points to the network that a “cyberattacker” can reach. To avoid this, a series of security measures should be taken, among which Blockchain would be found.

To this end, the so-called «Smart Contracts» are also of great importance. They are agreements that are executed when certain conditions occur. For example, imagine a cold chamber in which the temperature should be kept below -20 degrees. Thanks to this type of intelligent contracts, we can quickly verify that at no time there has been a rise in temperature above the threshold. If we register these contracts in the Blockchain, then we will have a guarantee on their compliance.

In order to guarantee the exchange of messages between the connected devices, each of them will pull these contracts to proceed with the communication. Blockchain, in this case, serves to authenticate, standardize and protect the data collected by the devices, thus ensuring that they meet the conditions set by the parties involved in the contract.  Blockchain adds a layer of security to the device, decentralizing the information and therefore preventing the entire network from being accessed in one go.

On the other hand, another of the advantages that Blockchain has is that, beyond securing the data, it allows generating an individual identity for each connected device. This way, each of the devices will have autonomy and will be easily and securely identifiable. Thanks to this, and combined with smart contracts, we can quickly know if a data leak occurs and at what point it has occurred. This is crucial to be able to repair any security breach with as little damage as possible.

Therefore, Blockchain becomes a facilitator for the management of the IoT devices. In this sense, Blockchain also allows registering the installed software version at any time, as well as its subsequent updates, which are saved, validated and executed in the same block. Again, this represents an improvement in both the management and the security of the device.

For its security applications for IoT, we find in Blockchain advantages such as the following:

  • Generation of trust. Blockchain makes sense in environments where there is no great trust, as once a record is produced, it can no longer be overwritten.
  • Cost reduction. It eliminates intermediaries and tasks, while they are automated.
  • Accelerates transactions, by eliminating intermediaries and intermediate tasks.

As we can see, Blockchain has several applications and that’s why it seems to make sense that IoT and Blockchain take advantage of each other. At Barbara IoT, we work with Blockchain and have already developed several use cases.