IoT Development
14

Nov

Future of IoT: Make it Secure with Encryption

Introduction

The Internet of Things or IoT is slowly penetrating our daily lives. Smart home applications, wearables, autonomous vehicles, as well as smart cities have led to the creation of a new landscape. There is rapid adoption of IoT in a cluster of industries. Few experts expect that IoT development will connect every device and daily aspect to the internet.

However, Security remains to be the primary concern in the IoT. There have been well-popularized security breaches of devices which include hijacked videos from various wireless baby monitors that got posted on the Internet along with home automation systems which reveal whether a home is pre-occupied or not. A number of various systems have been duly breached only to demonstrate the inherent vulnerabilities in these systems. Less popularized ones are security breaches of various industrial equipment which led to severe consequences. Most of such breaches are rarely made public, well, for the obvious reasons.

IoT Development

At first glance, it actually appears that the present security mechanism for the Internet as well as corporate networks would be an easier solution for IoT security. However, there are a variety of problems with this. The major problem is that IoT application just requires security to be enough for a particular application. You don’t require manual security to safeguard the applications. The level of security for different IoT products is actually based on the requirements of the application. Here, we will discuss how the future of IoT will be dependent on Encryption for the purpose of security.

How to Protect Data?

The most efficient way of data security is essentially Encryption. Here, the information which is to be transferred or communicated is duly encoded or encrypted through an encryption algorithm. The unencrypted data is referred to as plain text. After the encryption process, it is termed as ciphertext. This ciphertext can be decrypted only using a particularly specific key or password which is confidential between the sending as well as receiving parties. Without the process of decryption, you can never actually read the data. Thus, encryption can’t only prevent the data from any type of interception all by itself. However, in case the message is actually intercepted in the cloud or IoT transfer by any unauthorized party, the encryption can prevent any possible leakage of the information. IoT development has to consider encryption as the best possible method of protecting the data.

IoT Security

Encryption of Data

There are two distinct ways of encrypting data transmission through the IoT. One is symmetric while the other is asymmetric. In the particular case of symmetric encryption, the sender, as well as the receiver, use an identical key in order to encode and decode the data. In the case of asymmetric encryption, two different keys are used. One is public that is known to everyone maintained in the global registry of all the public keys, and the other one is private, where the secret key is only known to the particular receiver. In comparison, asymmetric encryption is significantly more secure than the symmetric one. However, there are certain limitations.

People log onto different networks like Gmail, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. on a daily basis. For instance, in the case of Facebook, you are asked for a user ID as well as a password when you need to log in. It is a great example of encryption. The people’s data sitting on the server of Facebook is sent to us via the internet on their request. They receive it in a particular encrypted form. With the assistance of Facebook ID as well as a password, they decrypt the data and are able to access their own account. When it comes to governmental level, the need for data security is much higher owing to the sensitivity as well as the amount of the data that is generated.

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Decryption of Encryption

Encryption is actually based on complex algorithms which are known as ciphers. The major purpose of any particular encryption method is to maintain the sensitive information secret from different people by processing any readable data into an extensively long series of pseudo-random or random ciphers. It is virtually impossible for any person to read the particular ciphertext without actually decoding it through a special decryption key.

Related Article: How Much Does IoT Application Development Costs?

In a much-simplified form, encryption is essentially the process of scrambling all the readable sensitive data into a completely unreadable format. This type of protection of data is considered to be the best possible one that is available at present. Without encryption, any data or message is readable to any person who is able to intercept the particular data in transmission or steal the data that is stored on the servers.

The most commonly used encryption methods are TripleDES, Data Encryption Standard (DES), Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), RSA and Twofish.

 IoT and Data Security

Encryption is present everywhere. Along with software-based data security systems, hardware-based security systems are duly introduced that prevent read as well as write access to the data on the disk. This makes the data even more secure. In the current scenario of the IoT revolution, the aspect of data security continues to have the utmost significance in order to keep the information safe and secure from hackers. IoT app development requires the consideration of data security as its foundation.

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Encryption of IoT Systems

Most of the IoT businesses are currently facing significant security issues owing to the lack of important data protection protocols. At present, there isn’t a good solution to protect all of the IoT systems because most of the devices are currently using different control platforms, connectivity domains, servers, and protocols.

The data is actually stored on the server, and everyone who has given access to the data needs to be controlled in a particular fashion which allows privacy as well as the exclusivity of the data. Both of them need to be guaranteed. Hence, encryption needs to be implemented in order to isolate and protect the data between the users, businesses as well as other people who are involved or have access to the data.

Encryption methods certainly go a long way towards the building of trusting relationships between the businesses and the users. It is certainly needed when it comes to mutually agreed sharing of sensitive information between them. Hence, encryption needs to be at the core of each and every IoT device to reach a particular state where the data is duly encrypted in transmission and storage alike. Security is the basic fundamental key for mobile app development to succeed in the coming future and to fulfill its inherent potential.

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You need to consider the encryption of the data for network transfers as an instance of why any existing security mechanism doesn’t work for the IoT. Encryption standards generally target applications which require a high level of security like financial transactions or national security communications. These distinct encryption standards are certainly overkilling for most of the IoT applications, and they pose significant problems for small IoT devices. An encryption algorithm may require significant code space which is much more than what suitable microcontrollers actually have. Most of the encryption standards often rely on multiple steps of encryption. The entire time that is taken to perform the encryption can be a bit longer than the time taken by the microcontrollers. For IoT devices, the execution time, as well as added network traffic, can easily take a lot of vital battery capacity which increases the size as well as the cost of the product. The high level of security that is offered by these various encryption algorithms lead to large code size, longer execution times and heavier message overhead which makes the quite inappropriate for most of the IoT applications. Hardware encryption actually addresses the entire code size and the issues of execution time. However, it does suffer from heavy message overhead.

Another major problem with present security mechanisms is that the IoT developers don’t have the necessary network security experience. There exists a certain mindset as well as expertise that is required for IoT development and completely different expertise required for security. The time needed to develop a particular security mechanism within the company can certainly take more time than the time taken for basic product development. Several businesses have recognized this particular problem, and they have recently introduced various security framework products that need to be incorporated into the IoT devices. Best end-to-end security needs much more than data encryption and password and these distinct framework products actually address the other requirements such as key management as well as protection against most common network attacks. These different security frameworks might be the future of security of IoT, but in order to be widely adopted, they need to be right-sized for different IoT devices.

Encryption of IoT Systems

When it comes to choosing a wireless technology to be used on an IoT product, things such as distance, cost, bandwidth, and physical size need to be considered. Light-weight and streamlined are the terms that need to be considered whenever assessing a particular security solution for the IoT products. A feature-rich and fully functional security framework product can be quite appealing. However, they can’t afford the memory space as well as execution time overhead that is imposed by various unneeded features. If future IoT products are duly based on any security framework, it is hardly any possibility of a solution that one-size-fits-all. Security of IoT products needs to be right-sized for the available hardware resources as well as the application requirements. IoT app development has to take this account for right product development.

Machine Learning and IoT Encryption

The biggest threat to the entire future of IoT application development is data protection. This is logical considering that the IoT actually generates a huge amount of data from various physical objects and people. The data is often analyzed with machine learning tools as well as other algorithms to find the right pattern, advertise and conduct research etc. However, if all of this data is actually in a readable format, then it is vulnerable to a security breach.

Encryption of the data is quite effective in this particular area since machine learning algorithms have the inherent ability to go through the entire large sets of data while the data remains fully encrypted and isn’t readable to anyone.

IoT will certainly witness a huge boost in this area since it actually means that the data isn’t exposed in any readable format but can be used in the same way, whether it is used or even sold to any third party, as long as this data is encrypted.

Wearables and IoT Encryption

We have witnessed that smartwatches and different other types of wearable devices are becoming very popular. The companies which are behind these gadgets are gathering a large amount of user data which includes daily activities, blood pressure, heart rate, calories etc. of the users. At this particular point, the industry is among the biggest sources of all of the health-related data and this particular data can be effectively used in different industries, especially in the healthcare industry. The data can easily be used in the prediction as well as prevention of the diseases, illnesses as well as for research. This data can also be used to boost the productivity of users which can lead to IoT app development of productivity apps.

Wearable IoT

However, there are certain parties who are still criticizing the current state of this smart wearable app industry as there is a certain lack of privacy protection and user data protection. But these problems also lead to more innovation and solutions that can be judged by the growing number of various companies investing heavily on blockchain-technology based method of encryption into these various IoT devices to improve the protection of the entire sensitive user data.

The actual implementation of the encryption into these various devices actually means that the user data won’t be readable to anyone who has access to the data and the users will be given control over their own data that allows them to decide who is actually allowed to access their data easily.

Conclusion

In the future, IoT solution providers will have to provide better data security. The users of IoT devices will increase as they will know that their data is completely safe and encrypted. Encryption is key to the rise of IoT application development, and the future of IoT is dependent on the protection of data through encryption.

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