- Many IoT systems are poorly designed and implemented, using diverse protocols and technologies that create sophisticated and sometimes conflicting configurations.
- Limited guidance for life cycle maintenance and management of IoT devices
- IoT privacy concerns are complex and not always readily evident.
- There is a lack of standards for authentication and authorization of IoT edge devices.
- Security standards, for platform configurations, involving virtualized IoT platforms supporting multi-tenancy is immature.
- The uses for the Internet of Things technology are expanding and changing—often in uncharted waters.
In addition to the above list, new security technologies will be required to protect IoT devices and platforms from both information attacks and physical tampering, to encrypt their communications, and to address new challenges such as impersonating “things” or denial-of-sleep attacks that drain batteries, to denial-of-service attacks (DoS). But IoT security will be complicated by the fact that many “things” use simple processors and operating systems that may not support sophisticated security approaches.
The problem with the current centralized model
Current IoT ecosystems rely on centralized, brokered communication models, otherwise known as the server/client paradigm. All devices are identified, authenticated, and connected through cloud servers that sport colossal processing and storage capacities. Connections between devices have to go through the internet, even if they happen to be a few feet apart exclusively.
While this model has connected generic computing devices for decades and will continue to support small-scale IoT networks as we see them today, it will not be able to respond to the growing needs of the vast IoT ecosystems of tomorrow.
Existing IoT solutions are expensive because of the high infrastructure and maintenance costs associated with centralized clouds, large server farms, and networking equipment. The sheer amount of communications that will have to be handled when there are tens of billions of IoT devices will increase those costs substantially.
Even if the unprecedented economic and engineering challenges are overcome, cloud servers will remain a bottleneck and point of failure that can disrupt the entire network.
However, establishing peer-to-peer communications will present its own set of challenges, chief among them the issue of security. And as we all know, IoT security is much more than just about protecting sensitive data. The proposed solution will have to maintain privacy and security in large IoT networks and offer some form of validation and consensus for transactions to prevent spoofing and theft.To perform the functions of traditional IoT solutions without centralized control, any decentralized approach must support three foundational functions:
- Peer-to-peer messaging;
- Distributed file-sharing;
- Autonomous device coordination.
The ASTERI blockchain approach
ASTERI Blockchain, the “distributed ledger” technology, has emerged as an object of intense interest in the tech industry and beyond. ASTERI Blockchain technology offers a way of recording transactions or any digital interaction in a way that is designed to be secure, transparent, highly resistant to outages, auditable, and efficient; as such, it carries the possibility of disrupting industries and enabling new business models. The technology is young and changing very rapidly; widespread commercialization is still a few years off. Nonetheless, to avoid disruptive surprises or missed opportunities, strategists, planners, and decision-makers across industries and business functions should pay heed now and begin to investigate applications of the technology.
ASTERI blockchain and IoT
ASTERI Blockchain technology is the missing link to settle privacy and reliability concerns in the Internet of Things. ASTERI Blockchain technology could perhaps be the silver bullet needed by the IoT industry. It can be used in tracking billions of connected devices, enabling the processing of transactions and coordination between devices; this allows for significant savings for IoT industry manufacturers. This decentralized approach would eliminate single points of failure, creating a more resilient ecosystem for devices to run on. The cryptographic algorithms used by ASTERI Blockchains would make consumer data more private.
The ledger is tamper-proof and cannot be manipulated by malicious actors because it doesn’t exist in any single location. Man-in-the-middle attacks cannot be staged because there is no single thread of communication that can be intercepted. ASTERI Blockchain makes trustless, peer-to-peer messaging possible and has already proven its worth in the world of financial services through cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin, providing guaranteed peer-to-peer payment services without the need for third-party brokers.
The decentralized, autonomous, and trustless capabilities of the blockchain make it an ideal component to become a foundational element of IoT solutions. It is no surprise that enterprise IoT technologies have quickly become one of the early adopters of blockchain technology.
In an IoT network, the blockchain can keep an immutable record of the history of smart devices. This feature enables the autonomous functioning of smart devices without the need for centralized authority. As a result, the blockchain opens the door to a series of IoT scenarios that were remarkably difficult, or even impossible to implement without it.
For example, by leveraging the blockchain, IoT solutions can enable secure, trustless messaging between devices in an IoT network. In this model, the blockchain will treat message exchanges between devices similar to financial transactions in a bitcoin network. To enable message exchanges, devices will leverage smart contracts, which then model the agreement between the two parties.
One of the most exciting capabilities of the blockchain is the ability to maintain a duly decentralized, trusted ledger of all transactions occurring in a network. This capability is essential to enable the many compliances and regulatory requirements of industrial IoT (IIoT) applications without the need to rely on a centralized model