How Blockchain Technology Can Secure Your IoT Systems


Tech Insights for ProfessionalsThe latest thought leadership for IT pros

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Blockchain is the technology to bridge the security gap in the Internet of Things system, which connects billions of devices worldwide.

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How Blockchain Technology Can Secure Your IoT Systems
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The entire basis for the Internet of Things (IoT) is that devices are digitally connected for enhanced functionality. That fundamental principle can leave it vulnerable to cyberattacks with connected devices being used to facilitate malicious activity. Can blockchain technology resolve security issues in IoT and inspire confidence to scale IoT to its full potential?

How blockchain can be used in IoT

Blockchain acts as a distributed ledger, which records every deletion or modification as it’s made. The more entries that are added, the greater the number of blocks and the longer the chain of events becomes. Every transaction is assigned a digital signature that can’t be changed or deleted and the decentralized nature of blockchain means it can’t push false information. This prevents vulnerable devices from being able to disrupt the network environment, safeguarding everything from homes to factories.

Blockchain for IoT security and privacy

Blockchain technology can be put to use to track billions of connected devices, facilitating transactions and coordinated processes. Not only could this lead to significant savings to manufacturers within the IoT industry, but also eliminate many single points of failure. This can result in a more resilient ecosystem with the cryptographic algorithms that are utilized in blockchain providing more privacy around consumer data.

How to integrate IoT with blockchain

There are two ways you can go about your blockchain and IoT integration:

  1. Set up your connected devices to transmit data and then attach a blockchain network. This will enable the smart devices to complete a number of processes safely. These include the exchange of messages, placing orders and managing transactions.
  2. The integration process is automated through the use of a smart contract, which comes in the form of a computer program or transaction protocol. It’ll be efficient and result in safe exchanges between devices.

Potential gains when IoT is integrated with blockchain

As mentioned in Deloitte’s IoT Powered by Blockchain report, the potential for IoT and blockchain when combined is immense:

“As the added value of blockchain platforms increases exponentially with the amount of participants, first-movers will embrace the challenge of stakeholder management. This challenge is the deciding factor in the decision-making process on building such a platform and determines who can fully take advantage of this opportunity. Potential gains are not limited to increased transparency, security and efficiency.”


Instead, the connectivity of each physical object has the ability to turn it into a marketplace that empowers it with new business potential. Industries and companies will have to establish where they stand within this new ecosystem and adapt to embrace the new challenges and opportunities or find themselves slipping behind the competition.

Blockchain to enable self-healing for compromised devices

Despite the numerous security benefits of blockchain for IoT, it’s not completely infallible. That means a process for self-healing must be incorporated into the system to ensure any breaches don’t have long-lasting effects. Blockchain can facilitate this, protecting the RIM of the operating system and applications, ensuring the integrity of all devices is ensured.

Using blockchain allows the history of firmware to be accurately traced, meaning the ‘known-to-be-good’ approach to replacing corrupted code can be carried out. Under this arrangement, when compromised firmware is detected, it’ll automatically be rolled back to a previous version that’s safe.

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