Before we can discuss why Blockchain and IoT are arguably reliable on each other, you must have an understanding of what Blockchain is. Blockchain is both simple and complicated at the same time, but for now, we will only look at the basics.
Blockchain is most commonly associated with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. However, it does go farther than those uses as well, and we see Blockchain technology is used for many things – from politics to healthcare to IoT. In the most basic form, Blockchain is a database that is a collection of various records that large masses control and maintain these databases, rather than a single company, government, or person.
In a Blockchain, each block in the chain represents a record and the chain links all of the blocks together. Once the Blockchain is created, it is kept on a network of computers and can be accessed by many different people. This means that no single person can go back into the chain and change or alter information. This makes it much harder for the chain to be tampered with, effectively making it more secure than a database controlled by one single entity.
Although we have yet to fully see Blockchain technology used in a voting or healthcare system, we are beginning to see this technology being considered for these uses. In theory, it would make a country’s voting system more stable, secure, and automated.
IoT is changing our lives as we know it, even if you don’t believe you have truly felt its effects yet. However, with significant advancement in the IoT sphere, come issues with data and information security. Not only are our technologies improving, but hackers and cybercriminals are finding new, high-tech ways to breach secure and private data. For instance, a connected healthcare device that collects patient information and is sent back to doctors for analysis, all run through the Internet, making this data a prime target for cybercriminals. It creates an entry point for hackers all too eager to gain access to such information.
Although connected devices and IoT have insurmountable benefits, they often lack the security and authentication necessities we need to keep user information secure and private. To keep users safe, better security must be developed, maintained, and become the standard for IoT and connected devices.
This is where Blockchain comes into play. Blockchain can track data collected by sensors and block the ability for cybercriminals to duplicate that data with other malicious forms of data. IoT also provides the ability to exchange information and data through a specific Blockchain, rather than going through a third party system. A third party system opens up even more doors for data and information to be breached, which is almost eliminated with a Blockchain.
Since Blockchains can never be changed or manipulated and all chains are stamped with a unique signature, this makes it much harder for hackers to access and gain control of that information. The information in a Blockchain is also stored in many different locations at once, also helping to prevent private data from being leaked and accessed.
How can we expect IoT and Blockchain to work together in the future? Are there any big plans in the near future to help make our IoT, connected devices more secure?
Plans with large tech companies are in the works for creating a standardize Blockchain system that will help better secure data with connected devices. However, that is only one aspect of the security issue. The companies that make the IoT-based and connected devices must adapt to switching to Blockchain methods as well since it would be useless for a Blockchain system to exist if companies did not put the technology to use.
Therefore, it is essential that smaller companies that make connected devices use this type of technology as well as to ensure their user's information and data is safe. This is easier said than done considering many smaller tech device companies often have smaller budgets or a manufactured in third-world countries. Laws and governmental regulations will need to be constructed to ensure all tech companies adopt a Blockchain standard for safety and security.