With each passing day, digitalization is increasing, which has increased the percentage of online transactions. People send out emails because they think they will be delivered on time and will remain private, while financial transactions are done on the basis that they will reach their recipient. In simpler words, every online transaction depends on a third party, and we rely on them for security and safety.
Having said that, blockchain technology has managed to transform the digital world and creates a distributed consensus system so everything is recorded accurately. In fact, it ensures that records can be accessed without security compromises. So, with this article, we are sharing how integrating blockchain with IoT and cloud can help increase security standards.
1. Data Integrity
Blockchain technology helps create a distributed ledger, which helps ensure data integrity by copying it onto different network nodes. Every block has a cryptographic hash, which is suitable for creating a chain of blocks that are linked. The linking of these blocks makes sure that no one can tamper with the data. In case the data has to be optimized, you’ll need consensus from participants. For this reason, it promises top-notch security.
When transaction records and sensitive data are stored on the blockchain, the information will remain secure. It’s a good thing for trust and data accuracy, such as in healthcare records, supply chain management, and financial transactions.
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2. Secure Access Management & Identity
Blockchain is one of the best options for enhancing access management and identity in IoT and cloud environments. Identity and access management depends on centralized providers, which are exposed to data breaches and failure. Having said that, blockchain solutions will eliminate the need for centralized institutions as devices and specific personnel will have cryptographic identities.
The cryptographic identities are protected with the help of public-key cryptography, with which people get the keys (it includes public as well as private keys). The private keys usually remain confidential and are meant for signing transactions and authenticating access requests. On the contrary, the public key is available online for verification purposes.
3. Smart Contracts
Smart contracts are basically self-executable contracts – they have rules embedded into the blockchain. This means that terms and conditions are automatically implemented. When cloud and IoT devices are integrated with smart contracts, it will be easier for organizations to automate the interactions without compromising on efficiency and security.
To illustrate, when IoT sensors are embedded into a facility for collecting data to modify the processes according to the predefined conditions. For instance, if the sensors identify a high temperature, it will pull a trigger for a smart contract. It means that smart contracts can execute the actions automatically, be it initiating maintenance requests or updating the inventory systems.
4. Supply Chain Security
Connecting blockchain with IoT and blockchain will help improve supply chain security standards. It’s evident that supply chains have a global and complicated nature, which is why it’s vulnerable to fake products, transparency errors, and unauthorized modifications. With the help of blockchain, organizations will be able to track and verify supply chain steps.
The sensors and devices are suitable for collecting real-time data throughout the process, ranging from quality to location and temperature. The data can be stored on the blockchain, so you have a clear record of the manufacturing process. Also, the process stakeholders can access the records to verify product conditions, origin, and authenticity.
It will not only help with security, but it also helps improve traceability, prevent fraud, and optimize audits and recalls.
5. Decentralized Storage
In most cases, conventional cloud storage solutions depend on centralized servers. These solutions are vulnerable to unauthorized access and data breaches. However, when you integrate blockchain with IoT and cloud, it will increase security standards. They can help distribute data on different network nodes. Also, data is divided into encrypted fragments before storage.
The data distribution makes sure that no one node has the complete data. In addition, the nodes need to reach a consensus before they accept modifications and data. It will ensure that there won’t be corruption or manipulation of stored information. Also, users can retain control over the data.
6. Auditing & Compliance
Integrating blockchain with IoT and cloud helps improve compliance and auditing. Every data stored on the blockchain is time-stamped, transparent, and immutable. It will help create an audit trail, which can be used for forensic analysis, dispute resolution, and regulatory compliance. In industries like healthcare and finance, blockchain systems help streamline compliance by automating data collection and verification.
For those who don’t know, data is transparent and resistant to tampering, which means regulators and auditors can verify compliance efficiently. It means that they don’t have to rely on manual auditing. However, you’ve to focus on privacy needs, scalability, compatibility, and consensus mechanisms between different devices and protocols.
7. Self-Sovereign Identity
When you leverage blockchain-centric systems, the users will be able to get ownership and control over different identities – it is known as self-sovereign identity. The users will be able to manage personal data and have control over the access. In addition, you can choose which services and entities will get the information. It promises better control and privacy.
The blockchain system allows the users to disclose the data elements and capabilities without revealing their identity. This means that access is based on attributes, which helps minimize privacy errors.
8. Immutable Identity Records
The identity-centric updates, as well as transactions, can be easily recorded on the blockchain, which promises immutability and transparency. It includes personal data updates, authentication, and user registration. Having said that, the records work as an audible trail of identity-centric activities, which helps with forensic investigations and security audits.
Similarly, if the identity records have to be tampered with, the network participants need to take part in consensus. This means that there won’t be any unauthorized changes, so you don’t have to worry about the reliability and integrity of identity-based information. In simpler words, it will help you keep the intruders away!
The Bottom Line
Blockchain is the new buzzword in the tech world and it’s helping organizations maximize their performance and efficiency. In addition, it’s a promising way of securing the data, making it a high-ROI investment!
Disclaimer: The author is completely responsible for the content of this article. The opinions expressed are their own and do not represent IEEE’s position nor that of the Computer Society nor its Leadership.