Cloud Robotics and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are two emerging technologies, contributing in automation of computation intensive applications. Due to their mobility and distribution, the network architectures of both are based on wireless data communications. This demands for reliable and secure transmission of data by avoiding hackers or malicious attacks. In this post, the usual challenges of providing security for data, computation, and access control, in addition to applied solutions are investigated.

Concerns and Challenges. As the online data may include mapping, video, images, industries’ process data, or business and marketing information, it is very important that this data is not accessible by anyone without permission. The privacy and security concerns include data breaches, data loss/ leakage, account password/ key cracking, insecure APIs, malicious access, etc [1][2].

Due to the cloud robotics and IIoT special applications, the employment of the security and privacy policies brings up implementation challenges as well. As an instance, multiple solutions already exist to prevent malicious attacks; however, due to the nature of the cloud robotics and IIoT, the implementation shall not impose great complexity on the user side as the usual robots and sensors are not able to afford the requested complexity and computations. Moreover, With the growth of robotics applications, there comes the massive number of sensors and the flow of huge acquired data. Dealing with this large-scale and distributed data sets imposes another burden on the security and privacy procedures based on tracking and monitoring of data. [2]

Security of Data. One primary target of cloud robotics is to employ huge cloud infrastructures as means of data storage in Big Data schemes. Hence, the security of data is critical in providing privacy and reliable operations. Although the cloud frameworks are much more reliable and stronger than local servers; yet, due to the need to transfer data to the external cloud infrastructures, there exist internal and external security and privacy threats. One simple and available way to protect data privacy, to avoid undesirable access, would be data encryption. However, data encryption limits the ease of use of cloud databases and basic functions such as search or queries over databases, as one needs to download and decrypt locally each time he wants to access to data! ‎[3] Not only it is impractical, it is even more unrealistic in case of cloud robotics and IIOT applications with not-necessarily-intelligent end users.

Security of Computation. Considering the on-line computation capacity of clouds, off-loading the intensive computations to clouds is another major use-case. However, computations on sensitive information such as business financial records, mapping, and locating data raise security concerns such as outsider attacks, in addition to software bugs and hardware failures. ‎[3] Moreover, due to the nature of cloud robotics and IIoT systems, it is necessary that the applied security means do not impose heavy computations on the user side of robots or sensors.

Access Control. The level of user’s access to databases and resources is usually well defined in server based applications to secure the privacy-sensitive data and computations. This is applicable in local servers. Likewise, clouds as external servers require employing access control policies to manage user’s access. ‎[3]

Solutions. Following are the three main means of security to be considered in cloud robotics and IIoT applications. C2RO has devised these factors in data security, computation security and access control.

  • The low-level but ever-present solutions to protect security and privacy of centralized databases include passwords and access authentications. These require the user to submit two or more authentication factors like user name, password, PIN code, or even a biometric recognition such as face recognition, fingerprint, etc. 
  • More advanced techniques include encryption of data, so that access to data and information is only limited to authorized users who have the “key” to unlock the encrypted code.
  • The most efficient and reliable method is to use virtual barriers, to restrict the access to the data or computation results as they move through the network. Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) and Transport Layer Security (TLS) technologies are used which enable network connections to communicate secure point-to-point connection by avoiding malicious eavesdropping and “man in the middle” attacks. They use both asymmetric and symmetric public and private key pair encryption, and that’s how they provide the incredible security. They follow a very a complex system, but this complexity is largely hidden from consumers which make them perfect for cloud robotics and IIoT applications.

In a nutshell. It is critical to provide reliable and secure means of communications and data storage in cloud robotics and IIoT applications. This imposes huge implementation challenges due to the nature of these distributed, mobile systems with massive large-scale data sets. In this post, we provided the existing challenges in addition to security-sensitive aspects of cloud computing. Finally, the means of providing security and privacy in cloud computation applied by C2RO were presented.

References:

  1. Ren, et al., “Security challenges for the public cloud,” in IEEE Internet Comput., vol. 16, no. 1, pp. 69–73, 2012
  2. Schmitt et al., “Security and privacy in the era of big data,” 2014. [On-line]. Available: http://www.renci.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/0313WhitePaper-iRODS.pdf
  3. H. Weber, “Internet of things-new security and privacy challenges,” in Comput. Law Security Rev., vol. 26, no. 1, pp. 23–30, 2010.
  4. Online Link: https://www.digicert.com/ssl-cryptography.htm

Build Smarter Robots

Join the beta by entering your email address

Thank you for signing up for the C2RO Beta program. Within 24-48 hours you'll be contacted with next steps for joining.

Build Smarter Robots with C2RO

Join the beta with your email address

Thank you for signing up for the C2RO Beta. Within 24-48 hours you'll be contacted with next steps for joining.