Blockchain: A Ledger for IoT-Enabled Secure Systems

Blockchain: A Ledger for IoT-Enabled Secure Systems

Ranjana Sikarwar (Amity University, Gwalior, India)
Copyright: © 2021 |Pages: 14
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-6694-7.ch002
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IoT is not the only buzzword proliferating in the technological world nowadays; blockchain, the underlying tech behind Bitcoin cryptocurrency, is also becoming more ubiquitous and mainstream in the world market. Blockchain and IoT are the perfect pair and seem to flourish together as there is an immense need of data security for the enormous data produced by IoT sensors. The integration of two technologies going hand-in-hand can make IoT objects more reliable and secure in the network. Many companies will exploit the integration of blockchain-based IoT systems in the near future as blockchain is more commendable. In the blockchain-based IoT systems, nodes deployed in the blockchain technology are more or less likely the devices connected in the IoT systems network. Blockchain-enabled IoT systems ease business processes and enhance transparency for improved customer experiences.
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1. Introduction

Blockchain and Internet of Things (IoT), has emerged as top cutting-edge technologies (Riya Thakore et al, 2019) and the most captivating concept of the technological era transforming the future of the digital world. IoT enabled objects are smart capable of sharing data and talking online. These devices connect and communicate through internet sends data to the centralized storage like cloud server for exchanging information which may pose threat to the security of the system due to the cyber-attacks and may violate the privacy of the large responsive data produced. So blockchain technology provides a confidential mechanism of exchanging information using a distributed/P2P model (Riya Thakore et al, 2019) in order to accomplish privacy, authentication, and transparency. Blockchain an open, distributed ledger where data is resistant to modification typically managed by a peer-to-peer network using an inter-node communication protocol and validates new blocks in the chain. Blockchain is considered as secure by design. It can reshape and elevate the global infrastructure of the technologies connected with each other through the internet.

Let us first understand the basic concepts of IoT and blockchain before going in to the details of transformation caused by the merging of two most popular technologies.

1.1 What is IoT?

To understand the basics of IoT consider the example of a smart phone which can now be used for many purposes like listening to music online, playing games, watching movies, mobile banking, checking emails, sharing data with peers, online reservation etc. But few years back cell phones were used only for the purpose of making calls and sending text messages. They were not smart because were not connected to the internet. But cell phones have become smart phones because they can send or receive data through internet. This is the indispensable theory how objects or devices can become smarter using internet.

Classification of Internet of things can be done as follows:

  • Devices that collect data and act on it

  • Things like smart cars, connected medical devices, watches, etc that receive data from sensors and act in stimuli to that data.

  • Things that aggregate data and send it

  • For example, sensors for monitoring the temperature, moisture and Gas sensors that detect and respond to changes in an environment.

  • Things that perform both functionalities

Dielectric Soil Moisture Sensors used in IoT farming collect data about moisture levels to know the amount of water required by the crops.

1.2 IoT Architecture

IoT systems need to follow a definite process framework enabling the devices involved in the IOT network to sense the physical environment and respond to the stimuli from the real-world without intervention of humans. Thus, the IoT framework is built for the IoT systems comprising of four stages or layers.

Stage 1(Sensors/Actuators) – Devices involved in the IoT network must be embedded with sensors and actuators has the ability to sense, emit, accept and process signals (Balraj, 2018).

Stage 2(Data Acquisition Systems) - Data Acquisition Systems collect data from the sensors, transform into digital streams for further processing and analysis.

Stage 3(Edge IT/Analytics) – After the IoT data is aggregated, digitized by the Data Acquisition systems it needs further processing and analysis before it is transferred to the data center or cloud. The hardware and the software gateways in the edge IT network pre-process and analyze the data before it enters the data center.

Stage 4(Data Center/Cloud) – Data received from Edge IT center is sent to the cloud for further processing analytics, management, and security control of devices(JR Fuller,2016).

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