In a new e-book on blockchain technology and integrity assurance, you can explore how the Internet of Things (IoT) needs trust to be successful, as well as case studies of how blockchain technology is being used today.
Imagine in the near future a healthcare provider with several million patients is hacked. In their database someone changes the blood type of a patient going into an operation, and they die. As well as the personal tragedy, this company has a huge problem on their hands – was it just one patient’s data that was changed? Were any other records tampered with? Can they trust their data?
The IoT needs truth
This is one of the great challenges to the opportunity behind the Internet of Things (IoT). Billions of devices will work to improve our world and our lives. However they will depend on truth in their software, data and infrastructure.
In areas like power grids, communications networks, autonomous cars, healthcare, or even just smart homes, we will want to defer more capabilities to machines. But to do this we need to be sure that we can trust those systems.
At every stage you need to be able to answer the questions: Where is my data? Has it been changed? Who is accessing it? Has an attack happened? Can I be sure of the integrity of my infrastructure?
Are you secure? And can you prove it?
Much of the time security is seen as a question of availability, as well as confidentiality. People worry about hackers disabling systems or stealing data. But integrity violations are at least as damaging. We had the healthcare example above. But a machine tool supplier that suspects their control software has been tampered with is an equally good example. Or a car company that needs to assure its customers their driving data is being kept secure.
This last one is a question of compliance. Companies are often asked to demonstrate they meet some external requirement from auditors or regulators, or even just their customers. Typically, this is going to involve a complex manual validation process. Wouldn’t it be so much better if it could be done automatically?
Can blockchains help?
Blockchain technology offers a way to get this type of end-to-end integrity assurance. And it can do so in a way that can meet all the needs of global infrastructure with billions of end points generating petabytes of data every second.
At its heart a blockchain is a distributed database, with a historical record of all the changes and data stored in it. The dispersed nature, and the consensus way that it is managed gives a blockchain the ability to provide a tamperproof record of transactions or data.
This is a unique method for providing a secure, scalable approach to assuring the integrity of infrastructure, software, and data. And this can be done continuously, in real time, at massive scale in a way that can be verified by a third party, be they a customer, auditor or regulator.
This is something that is possible now, and is in operation with real users today.
Industrialized blockchain and data integrity
So how do we get to this world of absolute data integrity? Ericsson has published an e-book on blockchain technology and the integrity assurance that explains how.
In this book, we explore the following topics:
- What is blockchain technology, and how is it typically used today?
- Why does the Internet of Things (IoT) need trust and integrity assurance to be successful?
- How can you use blockchains for integrity assurance?
- What are some other examples of how blockchain technology is being used?
- How is Ericsson using blockchain technology to help its customers add value to their services?
Please download the e-book and to help deepen your understand how blockchains can bring integrity assurance to the IoT.