Atonomi: Tokenised IoT Security Ecosystem built on Ethereum

March 2018
By CeAnn Simpson
Posted: Updated:
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Atonomi provides a new security protocol and infrastructure network to enable billions of IoT devices to have trusted interoperability for both data and commerce. The key innovation of Atonomi is the combination of their patented security features and blockchain-based immutable ledger to verify the identity and reputation of IoT devices.

Atonomi intends to create an incentivised ecosystem of participants to maintain decentralised consensus for IoT devices and their transactions. Combining on-chain and off-chain resources, Atonomi is a project that leverages the established patented technology of its parent company, CENTRI Technology. This is a ‘REAL’ business ICO which is designed to secure the internet of things.

The Opportunity

Diverse new applications for device-to-device interactions are being built by vertically focused IoT companies, ranging from healthcare and home automation systems to smart-city infrastructure to industrial sensors and controllers. This vast and every growing realm of IoT devices represent a huge attack surface for criminals and bad actors; as most exist outside of corporate firewalls or security architecture.  The limited memory and processing capacity of IoT devices have made the application of standard security protocols impossible.  This potential security threat will affect us all from homeowners to businesses as it is projected the IoT devices will reach 20.4 billion globally by 2020.

With the emergence of autonomous device-to-device commercial transactions and micro-transactions, the scale of the potential security threat will only grow.  Denial of service attacks which we have seen through IoT devices in the past few years will only be the tip of a much greater iceberg.

The Solution

Since the inception of blockchain technology, developers have recognised the potential ledger technology has to protect IoT; however, the issue has always been validating the identities and reputation of devices.  Atonomi will create a secure ecosystem for IoT device interaction and commerce – essential to supporting billions of IoT devices engaging in trillions of transactions in the future.

Atonomi is being developed by CENTRI Technology, creators of IoTAS – Internet of Things Advanced Security. CENTRI’s software-only solution is embedded from chip to cloud to secure and compress all data in motion and at rest, to protect data privacy and eliminate the risk of launching IoT products. CENTRI’s core technology is integrated into the Atonomi services stack and includes ten patents.  Below is an illustration of the technical services stack:

The Atonomi services layer includes:

  • Secure Communication Services – a lightweight communications protocol able to create a secure session in 3 milliseconds on average.
  • Multi-layer crypto key management – a scalable crypto key management methodology that enables decentralisation of encrypted data with centralised key management.
  • Fast indexing and searching of encrypted data – their method of searching and retrieving decentralised, encrypted data are enabled without knowledge of the data storage.

These technologies provide Autonomi with advance data security capabilities to protect decentralised data and enable the scale and transaction speeds necessary for IoT to add value to businesses.  Atonomi’s network will have the following unique features:

  • Service to Establish Identity.Trusted identity allows IoT devices to exchange information, enable actions and transact products and services securely. Once registered, the device is trusted by the network and ready for activation by the device owner when placed in service.
  • Protocol and System to Manage Reputation.For secure interoperability to exist, the reputation of devices must be managed and verified. A device’s reputation consists of its unique behavioural signature represented by varying degrees of security, commercial and service quality measurements. Atonomi’s reputation protocol enables trusted devices to interact securely and autonomously.
  • Extensible Architecture for Developers: The Identity Registry and Transaction Ledger enables devices from different manufacturers to inter-operate without complex custom API development or the security risks associated with open communications between unknown devices.  This architecture allows for open development to work for everyone across the network from device manufacturers, distributors, device owners, auditor to users.

The network is fuelled by the Atonomi Token.  Their token will be used within the security protocol for device registration, activation, reputation management and commerce transactions, as illustrated below:

 Opinion

 The future of IoT requires not only secure data (CENTRI’s current services) but also secure devices with immutable verifiable identity.  I think this project could herald the emergence of IoT 2.0.  I love ICOs built on real businesses and their IP technology.  IoT devices are a great idea in principle, but I struggle with why – if you cannot articulate what your business is trying to achieve through deployment.  The cost of devices and system implementations are an initial cost outlay to be covered, so the return has to be clearly defined.  For me, there is added value in IoT through automation of manual tasks, and IoT devices providing security, reliability and efficient data collection without constant surveillance or servicing by humans. IoT should enable better data collection and help us to make better decisions based on data insight.

I know what you are thinking – Ethereum and billions of transactions?  How will that work?  Atonomi does acknowledge the issue of scalability within the Ethereum Network but will wait and see if Ethereum can develop to meet their needs as they build their network.  Atonomi is realistic about what their project is trying to achieve and has IP to build applications around transactions as the ecosystem matures.  This project is worth investing in as IoT is still in its infancy and there will be huge growth over the next 3 to 5 years.   Securing devices from bad actors using them is the first step in creating new markets through IoT devices and their transactional capabilities.

Now IF ONLY Atonomi had a strategic partner who could address IoT devices’ data storage and access without a centralised data silo and utilise data to provide business insight (think IBM Watson); real innovations built around IoT would not only be possible but achievable.

By CeAnn Simpson

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