Tampered IoT Data – The “fake news” of the Industrial IoT

by | Aug 18, 2020 | Data Assets

The rising amount of collected IoT data, the trend towards data-based decision-making and new data services increase the risk of being vulnerable to manipulation. Therefore, companies should implement countermeasures to prevent IoT data form being tampered and build their data services and IoT platform on a trustable foundation. Tributech offers a data notary service that eliminates the risk of tampered IoT data and can be easily integrated in your data service or platform.

The term “fake news” has been around quite a while and describes the conscious misinformation to influence decision-making and beliefs of people.

In both our professional and personal lives, we make decisions all the time and of course we make mistakes. History shows us that even the best leaders sometimes make the wrong decisions. With the rise of fake news, however, there is a risk that the number of wrong decisions being made will reach unprecedented levels. This is because fake news goes far further than being a way to manipulate elections or sometimes expose unwitting consumers to hidden advertising messages.

As the global amount of information increases at an exponential scale, the access to enormous amounts of information makes it hard for people to verify sources and critically interact with the provided content. This is the reason why digital platforms are strongly criticized due to their global outreach, lack of validation and reference checks of posted content.

Due to the rise of technological opportunities within the Industrial IoT, the amount of available information is also increasing exponentially, and more and more companies are moving towards data-based decision-making to manage their business.

Data-Driven Business at Risk

Therefore, companies should be aware of the trend of conscious misinformation and the possible impact it can have when it begins to target IoT data. Tampered IoT data can cause tremendous harm to businesses as it is used for interpretations, decisions or actions triggered within a company – it may even put the safety of people at risk when security mechanisms are triggered by data inputs.

So, every company who already has established a data service or an IoT platform or is planning to do so, should be aware of these risks. We offer an out-of-the-box solution for ensuring origin and integrity of IoT data, even across company’s boundaries. This creates trust form sensor to consumer and provides an additional layer of IoT security.

Tamper-Proof IoT Data enabling Trust from Sensor to Consumer

In order to keep conscious misinformation out of your IoT-platform or data service you need an independent party at the data source that verifies origin and integrity of the data. The principle is equal to a notary in the physical world: A notary is an independent instance that verifies documents for your company.
As part of our DataSpace Kit, the DataSpace Agent operates as a data notary service that is located directly at the data source and verifies the origin and integrity. Hereby the DataSpace Agent creates cryptographic proofs of the data which are securely stored in a blockchain-based trust layer. This approach enables the verification of origin and integrity across systems and companies at any time – even of high-frequency data streams.

Why is this relevant for your IoT-platform, data service or new business model? Let’s say you have two connected machines – one is located at your supplier’s site and the other one in your factory. One machine is welding two pieces of metal together and the other one is supplying the metal sheets. The assembling machine used relevant input about the quality from the welding machine, for specific adjustments during the assembly process. If the welding machine provides wrong information about the quality of the welded parts, it might have an impact on the final product and its strength class. The production stop and the increase in rejects or claims would have tremendous consequences for the business. Now imagine the impact in a fully automated factory. Therefore, it is necessary to implement a data notary service into your system that verifies the origin and integrity of data in order to profit from the benefits of data services.


Working on a data service, new business model or IoT platform? Contact us for a first discussion as it might be at risk.

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