The Internet of Everything (IoE) is a fairly new concept but rapidly expanding. Unfortunately, when large automated AI-driven systems get bigger and more advanced, they become more interesting targets for cyberterrorists and hackers. Even if it can look scary, there are solutions to these problems.
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the increasing number of devices connected to the internet that can send and receive data. These devices, which can range from thermostats and appliances to industrial equipment and vehicles, are equipped with sensors and other technologies that allow them to communicate with each other and with central systems. On the other hand, the Internet of Everything (IoE) is the intelligent connection between people, processes, data, and things that, combined, create a 'web of things,' the next generation of the internet.
Technological advances and the falling costs of sensors and other components have driven the expansion of IoT. As a result, more and more devices are being connected to the internet and creating vast networks of interconnected devices. When these systems get more and more advanced, they also, as a part of progress, most likely develop into IoE.
One of the main benefits of IoT is that it allows for the automation and optimization of various processes. For example, smart thermostats can learn a homeowner's schedule and adjust the house's temperature accordingly, saving energy and money. In industry, IoT can monitor and control equipment, improving efficiency and reducing downtime.
IoT is also being used in transportation, with connected cars and trucks able to communicate with each other and traffic infrastructure to improve safety and reduce congestion. Similarly, connected devices are used in agriculture to optimize irrigation and increase crop yields.
However, the expansion of IoT also comes with significant security risks and privacy concerns. As more devices connect to the internet, there is an increased risk of cyberattacks, and there are concerns about the collection and use of personal data by companies and governments.
Despite these concerns, the expansion of IoT is expected to continue, with the number of connected devices projected to reach 75 billion in 2025. As technology develops, IoT will significantly impact a wide range of industries and sectors.
The security of IoT devices and the cloud has become a major concern in recent years. Increasing reliance on these technologies has led to a rise in cyberattacks and data breaches.
One major security problem concerning IoT and the cloud is the lack of security measures currently. This is based on the simple fact that many IoT devices are designed with convenience in mind rather than security. As a result, they often lack basic security measures such as strong passwords, encryption, and regular software updates. This makes them vulnerable to hacking and other cyberattacks.
Insufficient authentication is also a vast security problem since IoT devices often rely on simple authentication methods, such as usernames and passwords, which can be easily guessed or compromised and leaves them vulnerable to unauthorized access and data breaches.
When it comes to data privacy concerns, the vast amount of data generated by IoT devices raises concerns about privacy and the potential for misuse of personal information. In addition, the cloud is not immune to data breaches, and companies that store data in the cloud may not have sufficient safeguards to protect it.
There is, on top of all, a problem with the lack of standardization. The proliferation of IoT devices has led to a lack of standardization regarding security protocols and technologies. This makes it challenging to ensure consistent security across all devices and systems, leaving them vulnerable to attacks. At last, users of IoT devices and cloud services often have limited control over how their data is collected, stored, and used, which can leave them vulnerable to third-party misuse of their data.
To address these security issues, it is often pointed out the importance of companies and individuals adopting strong security measures for their IoT devices and cloud systems. This includes using strong passwords and encryption, keeping software and firmware up to date, and implementing robust authentication protocols. What makes this even more complicated is that it is also crucial for companies to be transparent about their data collection and usage practices and to give their users the ability to control their personal data.
With one central point to attack, the cloud where all data is stored, IoT and IoE systems relying on the cloud will never be able to secure themselves against random hacker attacks from cyber terrorists.
One great alternative to centralized cloud storage is the use of blockchains. Blockchains are decentralized digital ledger systems that enable the secure and transparent recording of transactions. They have numerous security benefits that make them popular for various applications, including cryptocurrency, supply chain management, and voting systems.
One of the key security benefits of blockchains is their decentralized nature. Since no central authority controls the network, it is less vulnerable to single points of failure or attacks.
In a traditional centralized system, an attacker could potentially compromise the entire system if they were to gain access to the central server. In a blockchain network, on the other hand, an attacker would need to gain control of a significant number of nodes in the network to have any impact. This makes it much more difficult for an attacker to disrupt the network or manipulate the data stored on it.
Another security benefit of blockchains is their use of cryptographic techniques to ensure the integrity of the data stored on the network. Transactions are verified using complex algorithms that ensure that the data has not been altered or tampered with. This makes it difficult for an attacker to modify the data on the blockchain without being detected.
In addition to these security benefits, blockchains also offer transparency and immutability. All transactions on a blockchain are recorded and publicly available for anyone to see, which makes it easier to track and verify the authenticity of the data. Once data is recorded on a blockchain, it is difficult to change or remove, which adds an additional layer of security.
Overall, the security benefits of blockchains make them a viable option for various applications that require secure and transparent data recording. From financial transactions to supply chain management, blockchains offer a secure and decentralized alternative to traditional systems.
Then there is an inherent security problem with most IoT and IoE-systems: total cybersecurity is impossible to achieve when connected to the World Wide Web (WWW). This is because the internet, or the HTTPS-protocol layer used for the WWW, is a constantly evolving and dynamic environment. Therefore, while connected to the WWW, it is virtually impossible to protect against all potential threats. Many factors contribute to this, including the sheer number and variety of threats.
There are many kinds of cyber threats, including viruses, worms, Trojan horses, ransomware, phishing attacks, and more. These threats can come from a wide variety of sources, including hackers, malicious software, and even legitimate websites that have been compromised.
Another considerable problem concerns the complexity of modern systems. Computers, networks, and software are incredibly complex and often have many different vulnerable components. It is difficult to identify and protect against all possible vulnerabilities, especially as these systems every day become more interconnected and dependent on one another.
The difficulty of predicting and preventing attacks in itself is another threat. Cybersecurity is often a game of cat and mouse, with attackers constantly finding new ways to bypass security measures and defenders working to identify and fix vulnerabilities. It is difficult to predict and prevent attacks, especially when they are carried out by skilled and well-funded attackers who can exploit new vulnerabilities as they are discovered.
The inherent vulnerability of the internet (WWW or the HTTPS-protocol, so to speak) lies in some simple facts. The internet is a global network of interconnected systems, and it is virtually impossible to secure all of these systems completely. Even if an individual system is well-secured, it can still be vulnerable to attacks that originate from other systems that are connected to it.
Given these factors, it is clear that total cybersecurity is impossible to achieve when connected to the WWW. However, anyone can take different steps to protect themselves against cyber threats and reduce the risk of attacks by implementing robust security measures and being vigilant about potential threats.
But let's look at an alternative to cybersecurity. Let's talk about security beyond cyber. This springs from the use of blockchains in combination with walled garden technology.
A walled garden is a secure network infrastructure restricting access to authorized devices and users. In the context of IoT and smart city infrastructure, walled gardens can provide four different great benefits:
Security: Walled gardens can help protect against unauthorized access to IoT devices and networks, which can be vulnerable to cyberattacks. This can help prevent data breaches and protect sensitive information, such as personal data and critical infrastructure data.
Reliability: By limiting access to only authorized devices and users, walled gardens can help ensure the reliability and stability of IoT networks. This can be important for maintaining the performance and availability of smart city services, such as traffic management and emergency response.
Control: Walled gardens can give city administrators more control over the devices and users that have access to the IoT network, making it easier to manage and maintain the network.
Performance: By limiting access to only authorized devices and users, walled gardens can help improve the performance of IoT systems by reducing the amount of traffic on the network. This can be important for maintaining the speed and efficiency of smart city services.
Overall, the use of walled gardens can help ensure the security, reliability, control, and performance of smart city IoT infrastructure, which is crucial for the successful implementation and operation of smart city systems.
To round things up. If you intend to build a complex IoT- or IoE-system, don´t forget that using blockchains combined with a walled garden is the best way to make it run smoothly and securely from cyberattacks.
If you’re looking for that kind of solution, already developed and ready to go, even with high sustainability built into it, look no further than to what the value start-up IoE Corp is offering. R&D company IoE Corp is launching their system of walled gardens called Eden. Eden is based on edge computing and decentralized blockchains, and IoE Corp is currently looking for new partners in need of secure sustainable IoT solutions to partner up with. If your company is interested in joining IoE Corp on its road trip to a fully connected and secure future of big data IoE, please apply to be an Eden Planet Partner here.