As a melding force of the physical and the digital worlds, the internet of things (IoT) debuted a decade back and cruised into the innovation engines of countless businesses. The simple yet remarkably distinctive idea of collecting data from outside and communicating it over the internet opened up a sphere of opportunities for businesses in the logistics, automotive, and aerospace industries. The rise of autonomous vehicles, smart airports, intelligent transport management systems, IoT-enabled smart meters, real-time tracking and effective maintenance of assets are some of the most transformative benefits that businesses from these sectors have derived from IoT. Paradoxically, the most powerful aspect of IoT has turned into the Achilles’ heel of enterprises, from a security perspective. In no time, the ability to share data with everyone and every ‘thing’ has snowballed into cybersecurity threats that security teams cannot keep up with. At a time when businesses are inundated with security attacks from every angle and channel, IoT is contributing to making this attack surface significantly larger.
More than ten years into building highly flexible IoT stacks and applications across diverse industries and use cases, security challenges pertaining to malware and distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks continue to intensify simultaneously. Unpatched and less secured connected devices are some of the easy targets of such attacks.
The induction of blockchain in the IoT space is changing the security narrative in businesses. In filling the security gap, blockchain has emerged as the most advanced and feasible pathway to secure billions of devices connected to the unmanoeuvrable internet. Many companies in France are actively supporting the increased adoption of blockchain and associated business models. With catapulting use cases of the technology across the nation, blockchain is now poised to transform the security posture in the IoT space as well. The technology introduces the concept of a central authority (distributed database) and empowers enterprises with tamper-resistant, ledger records to lock access to numerous devices and improve the scalability of IoT implementations. Immutable records distributed across distinct nodes allow users to monitor aberrant network behaviors and performance irregularities seamlessly in real time.
Blockchain, with its decentralized and encrypted nature, enables the verification and security of vulnerable devices and processes associated with IoT, and prevents the dissemination of inaccuracies or disruptions across the network. As a result, a DDoS attack on one device does not disrupt the functioning of others. Blockchain also strengthens IoT ecosystems with cryptography, ensuring secure communication, anonymity, and privacy. From a holistic perspective, blockchain offers the following benefits while securing an IoT network:
- Tracking connected devices in the IoT network
- Maintaining secure data records
- Reaching a consensus to approve transactions
- Enabling decentralization across the network
- Identifying, authenticating, and securing the devices
- Excluding intermediaries
- Building trust relationships between IoT devices and processes
- Reducing operational costs
Beyond the Reach of Conventional Security Solutions
The information game changer, blockchain, is rewriting the rules of IoT security in many industries. Here’s a glimpse of how the technology is shaping operations and improving business efficiency in:
- Logistics: Establishing smart logistics management systems that exhibit improved security, enhanced data accessibility, and efficient and quick tracking and traceability.
- Aerospace: Contributing to aviation safety and IP protection, and managing the replacement of parts on in-service airplanes, protecting flight records, maintenance statuses, and other data.
- Automotive: Improving autonomous and connected vehicles with capabilities like automated fuel payment, smart parking, automated traffic control; enhanced and secured data exchange between devices and platforms.
Changing IoT Security Forever
IoT security loopholes will continue to evolve with ever-changing regulations in France. Yet, the possibility of fortifying IoT security with blockchain holds great potential. As an ally to global enterprises, Tech Mahindra can empower French businesses with its in-depth technical expertise in the blockchain and IoT landscape. From enabling business strategies and system integrations to implementing plug-and-play platforms, Tech Mahindra can assist enterprises to gear up for the new era of cybersecurity and stay abreast of the latest developments to maintain their competitive edge.
About the Author
Philippe Ly Cong Trinh
Vice President and Country Head – France, Enterprise Business, Tech Mahindra
Philippe is the Vice President and Country Head – France, Enterprise Business, Tech Mahindra, and is responsible for P&L, subsidiary management, sales strategy and international account management, market making, delivery and operations, as well as penetrating into new clients. With over 26 years’ experience in business and IT industry in leading sales team, delivery, managing CXO relationship across Europe, he has a proven track record of delivering outcomes exceeding internal objectives and customer expectations.