The Internet of Things (IoT), while the future of our world, has failed in terms of security. When it comes down to web blackouts, spam, phishing, and the broken internet, it’s usually when someone managed to hack a smart device.
Now, with the fast rise of the smart products, something bad is bound to happen to the web unless IoT becomes significantly more secure than it is today. At the moment, IoT has seen the same extensive encryption method the web has at is disposal, but this could change.
MIT is Working on Something Big
Here’s the thing, the researchers at MIT are working on a new chip that is designed to deliver secure encryption to IoT products. This chip could use 1/400 as much power when compared to a software solution. Additionally, the chip tends to use 1/10 as much memory and manages to process data 500 times faster.
To get to this level, MIT researchers had to use a technique known as elliptic-curve encryption, which depends on mathematical functions to protect transactions.
These new chips differ to others because they can handle any type of elliptic curve, and because of their low-power consumption and the ability to process data quickly, they are definitely perfect for use as an encryption solution for IoT products.
“Cryptographers are coming up with curves with different properties, and they use different primes,” said lead author Utsav Banerjee in a statement. “There is a lot of debate regarding which curve is secure and which curve to use, and there are multiple governments with different standards coming up that talk about different curves. With this chip, we can support all of them, and hopefully, when new curves come along in the future, we can support them as well.”
This MIT chip sounds exciting, but the team has not spoken about the possibilities of ever using it for real-world purposes in the years to come. Chances are if this IoT encryption chip design is ever used, most consumers will have no idea.
The likely scenario is that a major tech giant will acquire the technology from MIT and incorporate it into their own offerings. AMD and Qualcomm are the likely candidates since Intel has already developed a similar product in the form of its Hardware-Assisted Security initiative.
At the end of the day, this MIT chip is important to moving the IoT industry forward because change is happening fast. The more security options are out there, the more difficult it is for hackers to break the Internet through smart devices.