IoT sensors that monitor body temperature in real-time and are implemented at a large scale could provide geolocation data that would allow potential quarantine areas to be rapidly identified. Through this, the idea is to shut down emerging viruses before a pandemic could take hold.
IoT security firm WISeKey says it is working on such a solution. “Using the network of billions of interconnected smart IoT sensors, we can detect the spread of viruses by combining the anonymized digital identity with the behaviour of a person,” the firm says in a press release.
Importantly, the company claims its solution can be fully secured and trusted.
A question of privacy
The largest issue when implementing such devices at any mass scale is one of privacy – of location privacy and medical records privacy. How does one monitor individual human behaviour, such as where a person travels, while at the same time secure an individual’s medical dataset across borders and enable rapid device implementation globally, without compromising that privacy?
The solution to these crucial questions is simply to incorporate better, and more robust IoT security, including the use of blockchain and AI, says WISeKey, who have offices in Switzerland, France and Japan.
“The IoT will live up to its promise only if the connected devices, the data they generate, the business applications that control these devices and the services around them, can be fully secured and trusted,” the company says in a statement.
The firm’s idea is to distribute the IoT sensors amongst the public, along with an app called WIShelter. The combo measures human temperature and provides geolocation data. That data would then be analyzed, at scale, and used to identify emerging viral hot spots.
Network World reports that development on these sensors is currently underway, and a device has been built: An “RSL10” and “N34TS108” temperature sensor, which uses the support of a low-power Bluetooth beacon. The device, in turn, is combined with WISeKey’s VaultIC407—an IoT security kit that includes a mounted, Small Outline Integrated Circuit with cryptographic services and algorithms along with password and certificate-based authentication, plus chip attack and tamper resistance to provide complete security and privacy of any information gathered.
Collected data from the devices would be relayed to a local communication gateway at an individual’s home, and then sent on to a Health Delivery Organization (HDO) server, via a 5G network, the company says.
Cryptographic keys will protect the HDO server data, and WISeKey blockchain technology will be used to make the data ubiquitously available, for analysis, through secured distributed ledgers. WISeKey said its VaultC407 module’s technology is already used in national health ID cards in the US.
Other tech entities such as giants IBM, Microsoft, AWS, SAP and others have joined the development as partners. WISeKey’s Foresight IoT Early Warning System, as it’s called.
Questions of how private and how secure these sensors are will no doubt be asked for a good while before and after their installation.
“There is an urgent need to fundamentally rethink the security stack for the IoT cloud. IoT-enabled services and products will generate vast amounts of data which, when well-analyzed, will be very valuable,” WISeKey says.
Edited by Luis Monzon
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