Anyone doubting the disruptive effect that security lapses in the Internet of things (IoT) devices could create should know how a DDoS attack from a Mirai botnet in 2016 nearly compromised internet access across Liberia in Africa. Things haven’t changed much since. Botnets have been continually dwarfing security in IoT devices through 2017 and for no obvious reasons. However, a new framework that underpins a distributed and decentralized ledger suggested by investigators at the University of Portsmouth is to be believed, this is going to end soon.
Shared Governance Model in Blockchain Technology Key to Securing IoT
Researchers analyzed the security and privacy controls in 55 systems in the IoT network and found that most of the systems didn’t have any such controls. While the reasons for this can be varied—with manufacturers lacking the incentive to update their safety controls or IoT devices being deprived of enough processing capabilities—shared governance in blockchain technology could bolster the security and privacy of IoT devices and networks and enhance their manageability.
In a recent research paper authored by Paul Fremantle, Benjamin Aziz, members of the University of Portsmouth’s School of Computing, and Tom Kirkham, Science and Technology Funding Council, UK, revealed that a trusted intermediary between the blockchains and interconnected IoT devices can help overcome the challenges.
New Entity ‘Pythia’ to Act as Trusted Arbitrator between IoT and Blockchain
Blockchain, the key framework for Bitcoin, essentially works on the shared governance, as it collects and records data across a large number of computing devices. Using the same concept, the blockchain can create a secure environment for all IoT systems, where equal trust and anonymity are paramount in effecting any contract between the parties involved. The researchers suggested that a new entity they call ‘Pythia’ will act as an arbitrator between the two by interacting with the IoT on behalf of the blockchain in a trusted fashion.
The researchers stated that the proposal is in the preliminary stage but believes in the vast potential of the same. They will soon be prototyping the concept.