A wifi-enabled fridge that lets you track your groceries; farmers remotely monitoring their crops and livestock as well as getting predictions, soil quality reports, weather forecasts; a pill which has an ingestible sensor to track the effectiveness of diagnosis and medication, these are some of the examples of fast-moving pace of the world of IoT. In this scenario, it won’t be wrong to say that Internet of Things is a revolution, which is changing the way we exist. It is affecting the way we think, act, travel and entertain ourselves.
In the past couple of years, owing to the easy access to the Internet as well as the high rate of adoption of smartphones, there has been a tremendous growth in terms of IoT application and devices. The success of IoT still largely depends on one important factor, trust. Besides the functional value, IoT application and devices provide, for further mass adoption, people should be comfortable in using these. Let’s take a look, what’s stopping them, or at least hinting towards their hesitation:
- More the number of connected devices more is the vulnerability: More devices being connected to the Internet, and with an ability to collect/gather data, more is the risk of hacking. Every device needs protection against unauthorized access, data tampering, and theft. It is especially true because IoT devices are not manufactured with security as the top priority.
- Ease of access to sensitive information: IoT devices are able to collect and exchange data, in this process, they generate huge amounts of data. This data often reflects the lifestyle and behavioral patterns. With more and more households and individuals owning smart devices, there are more entry points for illegal and unauthorized access to this sensitive and confidential data.
- Passing of information to third-party: With more and more apps catering to the IoT devices, there is an increased possibility and probability of third party companies to gain information about individuals, their habits, patterns, even confidential financial data. This is so because when people install apps, their terms and conditions may lay down that their information will be stored (though not passed onto unintended parties, but there is always a possibility for that to happen). For example, based on an app for fitness and health-monitoring, unintended people may gain access to a person’s physical activity and health parameters. This health information may be passed on to health providers/health equipment manufacturers for example. The health parameters can also be tampered with, which may result in wrong diagnosis and treatment.
Internet of Things involves various connected things, and with billions of connected things, the issue of keeping information secure and private is a grave responsibility. But IoT security means much more than just protecting the devices. For an IoT ecosystem to be successful, security has to be built in the network connections these devices will be linked to as well as the software applications these devices interact with have to be secure against all sorts of security risks. IoT security solution needs to be comprehensive and horizontal, covering several layers with security.
SmartAxiom’s IoT security model is a comprehensive horizontal IoT platform, providing security from the cloud to the sensors, devices and everything in between. It’s based on two major new innovative concepts: Blockchain and Context-Aware Privacy. Blockchain solution offers a decentralized model of recording digital transactions, in a secure and transparent way. This along with contextual information from smart applications and devices about user needs, preferences and location, and interactions, SmartAxiom offers a broad spectrum of heterogeneous and interoperable, cross-ecosystem IoT solutions. These can be built and optimized, with the added advantages of scalability, security from device to cloud, data management, and analytics support. The SmartAxiom IoT security model serves to provide security at three basic yet important levels:
- Operational-level: Provides authentication and authorization, access policies, and identity-management around all of the virtual components of the IoT platform
- Transport-level: Guards the transfer of information and includes network security and encrypted data packets that move between the cloud and devices
- Physical-level: Protects physical devices, with security measures that include signed software images, manufactured master keys, secure boots, and tamper-proofing
Currently, IoT ecosystems rely on centralized communication model, the client-server architecture. These due to their high infrastructure and maintenance costs associated with centralized clouds, large server farms and networking equipment would not be able to address the growing needs of the huge IoT ecosystems of tomorrow. SmartAxiom’s security model enables autonomous smart devices that can exchange data without the need of a central broker, within social, environmental, and user contexts. For more information on this tightly integrated horizontal security model, feel free to contact SmartAxiom’s team.