The digital evolution is changing the face of our world swiftly. Physical devices are now embedded with sensors, trackers, and software that collect and share data with other devices and systems. This ever-expanding collection of physical devices such as appliances, equipment, systems, wearables, trackers, monitors, and sensors comprise the Internet of Things (IoT) and is changing the way we live. Today, billions of physical devices are connected to the Internet at homes, businesses, industry, transport, healthcare, and across many domains.

The Internet of Things that connects numerous everyday devices now opens the previously closed systems to remote access and control. The rapidly growing world of perpetually connected devices and systems presents proportionally large security risks. Devices and systems often use custom operating systems and communication protocols that are not very secure. IoT security is often not given serious consideration and therefore, it is an area of huge concern as incidents of cyberattacks and malware are rising. 

Industry 4.0

Industry 4.0, also called the Fourth Industrial Revolution, refers to the increasing adoption of automation and data exchange by using modern smart technology in the traditional manufacturing and industrial practices. The machines and systems in factories are augmented with wireless connectivity and sensors to monitor the production process and make autonomous decisions. With the advent of 5G connectivity, this automation will enable faster response times, and near real time communication between systems will be a reality. With the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), machines, devices, sensors, and people can seamlessly connect and communicate. The cyber physical systems can self-configure and self-diagnose and highlight exceptions in the manufacturing process much faster.

With Industry 4.0, there is an emergence of Smart Factories, where operational technology (OT) and information technology (IT) are integrated for better productivity and efficiency. OT involves managing the physical devices in the production chain, and these systems were previously closed. As OT integrates with IT, such closed systems are now being brought online.

The IT and OT convergence has streamlined and optimized operations. Modern information technologies like big data analytics and cloud computing have begun to hit the shop floor. A combination of sensors, connected devices, and information systems is taking manufacturing excellence to a new level.  However, the flip side is that industrial systems that were isolated are now being brought to the fore and can be a weak link if not secured properly. As the number of connected endpoints increase with each passing day, these become easy targets for hackers and cybercriminals to gain access to networks and infrastructure systems. As these networks are connected to machines, production lines, shop floors, or industrial grids; any cyberattack can result in disruption or even destruction through  interference with controls and input/output data.


Challenges in IIoT Security

  • Machines used in industrial facilities using outdated hardware components
  • Systems integrated with old software that have known vulnerabilities
  • Upgrade for machines is expensive and might take a very long time
  • Insecure network services
  • Insecure ecosystem interfaces
  • Lack of secure update mechanism
  • Insufficient privacy protection
  • Insecure data transfer and storage
  • Lack of device management
  • Insecure default settings

The Solution IoT Armour

Block Armour has developed a next gen Zero Trust Cybersecurity solution IOT Armour designed explicitly for connected devices, integrated IoT systems and related communication networks.

IOT Armour harnesses private Blockchain-based digital signatures to identify, authenticate and authorize the connected devices. It thereby comprehensively secures the core IoT systems, the devices, and the IoT communications network and delivers an enhanced Software-Defined Perimeter using private permissioned Blockchain and Transport Layer Security (TLS) technology.

Robust design to ensure all-round protection for your digital assets

IOT Armour is powered by Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) architecture & Blockchain technology. SDP architecture renders core systems and IoT gateways invisible to attackers, while customized agents along with private Blockchain technology delivers a new breed of digital identity and access control for sensors and connected devices.


Authentication and dynamic access based on digital ID

IOT Armour leverages blockchain powered digital signature-based identity and authentication for humans, machines, and data; tightly ring-fencing critical infrastructure and securing connected devices in the Internet of Things. The decentralized architecture ensures that there is no single point of failure while providing a robust, scalable and highly resilient system for large scale distributed IoT networks.

Micro-segmented access for connected devices and associated users

IOT Armour’s architecture complies with the NIST Zero Trust Architecture framework and allows for micro segmentation of connected devices as well as associated users. The platform facilitates fine grained access to resources and comprehensive management of the policy through its intuitive and robust console.


Audit and review all logs

All access logs are stored on the blockchain, making it immutable and tamper-proof, thereby ensuring complete visibility in case an adversary should attempt to access the systems in an unauthorized manner or an administrator enforces an unauthorized change.

Robust, military-grade encryption 

IOT Armour uses strong encryption techniques for secure IIoT communication with connected devices, thereby ensuring that these channels are secure, and communications cannot be intercepted or manipulated.


Building Blocks for IoT Armour

IOT Armour uses the Secure Shield architecture to deliver an end to end Zero Trust based security in a holistic manner, securing the connected devices, the IoT gateway, core systems as well as all communication channels. It provides secure user and device authentication, encrypted communication between the user and server, and protection to servers, gateways and applications not only from known but also unknown vulnerabilities.

1. The Secure Shield controller (Identity and Access validation nodes) has an embedded private permissioned blockchain and stores the following information:
a. Policies that grant access to a resource (application) for a given user and device combination
b. Users and digital IDs
c. Access logs
d. A real-time access map depicting the access policy and resources currently being accessed
e. Dashboards and reports
2. Agents are deployed on OT devices and industrial systems for fortification and authentication. Smaller sensors and devices are protected through an invisible gateway module that sits on the IOT Edge systems. IOT Armour harnesses digital signatures and not just the IP address to identify, authenticate and authorize devices.
3. Agents are deployed on the user devices to authenticate both user and the device. The user agent ascertains that it is indeed a legitimate user who requires access to server, and the device is approved to access the server.
4. Agents are deployed on the application servers on-prem as well on the cloud. The server agent locks down the server to such as extent that the server becomes invisible and only authorized users from authorized devices can access the server.

While a legitimate user is accessing the server, the server continues to remain invisible for the other systems on the network and thus the protection is always maintained. Multi-factor authentication and user device mapping ensures that the user credentials cannot be phished, and the user cannot be impersonated. Thus, IOT Armour ensures that only the approved users can have precise access to applications on-prem or on the cloud from approved devices.


Why choose IoT Armour?

Offers comprehensive Zero Trust security for your IIoT connected devices and communication networks 
Delivers Zero Trust protection in five out of the seven areas  recommended by Forrester’s Zero Trust Framework
Offers a robust Software Defined Perimeter (SDP) architecture 
that renders critical information systems on the cloud invisible to attackers
Delivers a new breed of digital identity and access control for all users and connected devices by means of customized light-weight agents along with Blockchain technology
Featured as one of the top 25 cybersecurity 
innovations by Accenture
Block Armour accelerated by Airbus and is a part of the Microsoft for Startups program