Encryption in IoT is a preventive measure to battle one of the vulnerabilities faced by IoT infrastructure. Encryption in IoT is a must, so that the data sent and received is safe from irresponsible parties.
As mentioned in the previous blog post, the rise of the IoT itself also sets up a new set of security challenges. Due to the small size and limited processing power of many IoT devices, encryption standards for the IoT can differ from those for many other device classes.
So, let’s talk about encryption
What is encryption? Encryption itself is a process of converting information into secret code in order to hide the information’s true meanings.
There are two main types of encryptions—which are also used in IoT: symmetric and asymmetric.
- Symmetric Encryption
Symmetric encryption is using the same key is used for both encryption and decryption. The sender and the receiver both have the same secret key that they use to encrypt and decrypt the data. It’s like having a single key to lock and unlock a door.
It is called symmetric because the encryption and decryption operations are essentially the same, just applied in reverse. Symmetric encryption is fast and efficient, making it suitable for encrypting large amounts of data. However, securely sharing the secret key between the sender and receiver can be challenging.
- Asymmetric Encryption
There are two different keys: a public key and a private key. It’s like having a key pair where one key lock the door, and only the other specific key can unlock it. The public key is freely available and is used for encryption, while the private key is kept secret and used for decryption. The public key is shared with anyone who wants to send an encrypted message to the receiver. When the sender wants to send a secure message, they use the receiver’s public key to encrypt it. The receiver, in possession of the corresponding private key, can then decrypt the message.
Asymmetric encryption enables secure communication and digital signatures without the need for sharing a secret key. However, asymmetric encryption is computationally more intensive than symmetric encryption.
Encryption in IoT
In the context of IoT (Internet of Things), encryption plays a crucial role in securing the communication and data exchange between devices. Here are some commonly used encryption techniques in IoT:
1. Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Triple-DES
The Data Encryption Standard (DES) is a symmetric encryption algorithm that was widely used for secure data transmission and storage in the past. DES is a symmetric encryption algorithm that operates on 64-bit blocks of data using a 56-bit secret key. Despite being regarded as the foundation of cryptography, the DES is no longer in use.
Triple-DES is its successor. The Triple-DES overcomes all DES challenges, such as vulnerable meet-in-the-middle attacks, applies three 56-bit keys to every data block, and adds the total key length up to 168-bit.
DES is no longer recommended for use in new cryptographic systems, and more secure algorithms like the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) have replaced it in many applications. And, like its predecessor, the Triple-DES appears to be on its way out. It is expected to be pulled out as an IoT encryption method by 2023.
2. Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)
The Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) is a symmetric encryption algorithm that operates on 128-bit blocks of data and supports key sizes of 128, 192, or 256 bits. AES has a highly structured and well-defined algorithm, making it fast and efficient in both software and hardware implementations.
AES is widely regarded as secure against known attacks when used correctly. AES has become the de facto standard for symmetric encryption and is widely used in various applications, including secure communications, data protection, and encryption of stored data.
3. Rivest–Shamir–Adleman (RSA)
The Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA) is an asymmetric encryption algorithm that uses a public key for encryption and a private key for decryption. It is based on the mathematical difficulty of factoring large prime numbers and is widely used for secure communication, digital signatures, and key exchange.
Many applications require secure communication, and RSA is widely used to guarantee confidentiality, integrity, and authentication. By using the recipient’s public key to encrypt a symmetric encryption key, one party can ensure that only the recipient can decrypt it using their private key, enabling secure key exchange. RSA can also provide digital signatures, allowing the recipient to verify the authenticity and integrity of a message.
4. Elliptical Curve Cryptography (ECC)
Elliptic Curve Cryptography (ECC) is an asymmetric encryption algorithm that offers strong security with relatively shorter key lengths compared to other algorithms. ECC is based on elliptic curve mathematics over finite fields. It makes use of these curves’ properties to provide secure encryption, digital signatures, and key exchange. ECC operates on elliptic curve points using mathematical operations such as point addition and point multiplication. ECC requires a set of elliptic curve parameters, such as the curve equation and the base point.
ECC is efficient, suitable for limited resources devices, and widely used for secure communication, digital signatures, and key exchange. It is also resistant to many known attacks and provides a high level of security when properly implemented.
5. Digital Signature Algorithm (DSA)
The DSA (Digital Signature Algorithm) is an asymmetric encryption algorithm. It sends data using an electronic/digital signature, which makes encryption slower because it involves authentication. Decryption, on the other hand, is faster after successful hash function verification.
DSA provides integrity, authenticity, and non-repudiation for electronic documents, transactions, and communications. It is widely used in various cryptographic applications and is considered secure when using appropriate key lengths.
Blowfish is a symmetric encryption algorithm that operates on fixed-size blocks of data. Blowfish is known for its simplicity, speed, and suitability for various platforms and applications. It has a relatively simple key schedule and efficient encryption and decryption operations.
Blowfish is resistant to known attacks and has undergone extensive testing and analysis. It has been widely used for secure data storage, secure communications, and sensitive information encryption. However, it is regarded as a legacy encryption and has been largely replaced by more secure algorithms in modern cryptographic systems.
Many experts already develop any type of encryption with various algorithms to make sure that the data is safe. The six types of encryptions mentioned above offer different approaches to secure data transmission, storage, and authentication. They provide varying levels of security, efficiency, and suitability for different applications, allowing users to choose the encryption method that best fits their specific needs and requirements.
Visit our blog to get more information about technology. Alternatively, visit our knowledge base page for tutorials on how to use the features in IoT Stadium.