With IoT becoming the “thing” of the recent times, getting reminders to refill your refrigerator or buying groceries is nothing sort of impossible. Even the smart houses or smart cars have become a reality. Healthcare, logistics, fin-tech, telecom are a few of the many industries that IoT has been revolutionizing.
But how secure is the data that gets exchanged during this process? Given the fact that IoT runs on the concept of command being sent out from one device to another, which are often unencrypted, there are high chances of the devices being hacked or the commands being manipulated. This would mean an easy access to all the data traffic of IoT devices to hacker who can not only monitor them but manipulate the data, leading to severe damages.
Though scientists have figured out ways to deal with the same and make the network more secure, there are several lacunae that need to be addressed. The usual methodology which is used in these cases are encryption, but it fails to draw same result in case of huge IoT connections as it needs humongous computation and consumption of power is also way too high.
However, there might now be an end to it as the scientists from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) at IIT Kharagpur have come up with an indigenous solution that can secure these networks.
Called ‘Physically Unclonable Functions’ (PUF), they have been reportedly shown to secure the unencrypted network more efficiently while also consuming very less power and can be installed in any IoT device, given its light weight.
How it works?
The PUFs ensure data security as they have fingerprint generator circuits for electronic objects that can uniquely identify each object. It also helps in authenticating the commands sent to connected devices, which are read by the receiving devices and hence verify the authenticity of the sender. The device would operate only when the sender authenticity has been ensured.
The research effort which was led by Rajat Subhra Chakraborty along with Debdeep Mukhopadhyay, promises to ensure security protocol for device authentication along with light-weight key exchange and secure communication.
The prototype which has already been developed by the team is currently being tested on commercially available devices at IoT lab. The team is also working on designing and fabricating a PUF based integrated circuit, which would be brought to use by commercial IoTs.
Funding for the project:
The project promises to take off really well amidst the masses and has already been vouched upon by Wipro who has funded the project for an undisclosed amount.
Reportedly the testing has already been successfully completed for wireless smart lighting system and wireless IP CCTV camera and the team has applied for a patent under the Indian Patent Office. We hope to see it implemented soon in the various IoT facilities.