Keeping An Eye On IoT

Our devices may be able to track our every move, but behind the scenes, experts are working hard to ensure that cyber criminals do not gain access to this information.

The best defense

For customers, it’s not uncommon to forgo security for convenience. Having to generate an original password that involves numbers, symbols, capital letters and your first pet’s name can be a chore even for the best of us, leading to unchanged passwords and vulnerable devices. The burden, therefore, rests on the developers to design devices and networks that are safe and secure without relying on additional efforts from users.

Across Asia, researchers and technology organizations are working to advance IoT security through encryption, blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI)—or a combination of all three.

As IoT devices become more entrenched in our daily lives, these technologies will become more vital than ever in securing our privacy.

Advanced IoT security

  • Encryption

    Just like typing in your password to access a social media account, all encrypted data requires a key that is only known to intended users before information can be decrypted and read.

    In Japan, tech giant NEC has developed a secure, simple and low-power encryption method called TWINE that uses complex algorithms to encrypt and decrypt information in groups known as blocks. When tested, TWINE was twice as efficient as its predecessors and was able to function on much less storage.

  • Blockchain

    With the rise of cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens, blockchain has become a household term. Beyond the worlds of finance and digital art, it can also be used to record and store data safely across industries and government services.

    For instance, researchers from the Green University of Bangladesh and the Bangladesh University of Business and Technology have developed a blockchain-based framework for maintaining vehicle registration and information management across government platforms. Their framework promises better user experience and more transparency compared to traditional paper-based systems.

  • Artificial intelligence

    By learning from example data or past experiences, AI-enabled IoT devices can enhance security with unhackable keys like face recognition or by identifying malicious code and notifying users.

    Singapore-based start-up Yojee harnesses AI to help logistics and supply-chain companies manage and coordinate fleets, tracking, invoicing and more. The data collected from IoT in warehouses and on delivery runs is kept on Yojee’s Cloud Intelligence Platform to be managed and stored safely. Ideally, such advancements can be adapted to other sectors like healthcare and transport.

This article was first published in the July 2021 print version of Asian Scientist Magazine.

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Copyright: Asian Scientist Magazine.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.

Jill Arul graduated with a degree in Communication Studies from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, with a keen interest for science and a passion for storytelling.

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