Wednesday Deep-Dive: The Growing Applications of Blockchain in Cybersecurity
Advancements in technology are taking place at such an unprecedented pace that the security industry is unable to provide solutions to vulnerabilities that rear their heads within these new technologies. Technological improvements in fields such as AI (Artificial Intelligence), Big Data, and IOT (the Internet of Things) have brought about many concerns, including cyber threats, that need to be addressed if the industry is to remain efficient and secure. Moreover, with the growth of the internet, online safety has become a big concern for companies and private individuals worldwide based on how sophisticated and intense hacker activities have lately become.
There are, however, several industry players that are looking into how blockchain and security can merge to create groundbreaking tech that can safeguard the industry.
The Rise of Blockchain Technology
There has been an undeniable amount of hype and media coverage around the world over blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies. While a majority of the coverage in 2017 was devoted to cryptocurrencies, the underlying technology, blockchain, has received a great deal of recognition in 2018 as a disruptive innovation. According to Don and Alex Tapscott, authors of “Blockchain Revolution”:
“The Blockchain is an incorruptible ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
Although blockchain’s original application was in the realm of cryptocurrencies, it appears that no industry is immune to its disruptive powers. From the banking and payments sector to the insurance industry, blockchain is revolutionizing industries across the world. Currently, blockchain is finding far-reaching implications in the security industry with experts highlighting the benefits of combining blockchain and security to find solutions to problems that plague this sector.
Use Cases for Blockchain and Security
1. Boosting Cyber Security
One of the most critical concerns in cybersecurity today is how to transmit information securely. Blockchain technology enables the control of all communications and activities that occur within the blockchain network. It offers organizations and companies advanced data protection capabilities and any suspicious activity within the system, therefore, can be instantly traced, shared within the network, and resolved before it gets out of control.
2. Tamper-Proof Decentralized Storage
The blockchain is created in such a way that there is no centralized control of data, nor is there any centralization of data storage. Every participant on the network plays a part in verifying data on the network and making sure that data is not falsely added or replaced. Therefore, in case a hacker tries to tamper with a block, the system identifies the one block that differs from the rest and excludes it from the chain. Moreover, blockchain can help draw up information instantaneously without time wastage, leading to major savings in terms of efficiency and operating costs.
3. Preventing Data Theft and Fraud
Currently, blockchain provides one of the best platforms for securing data from hackers, preventing fraud, and decreasing the chances of data manipulation on the network. Penetrating a vast decentralized blockchain network is prohibitively complex. Therefore, the probability of the system being attacked by a hacker is infinitely lower than compared to a centralized data network. Blockchain provides an extra layer of complexity that ensures online information remains safe and away from unauthorized access.
Blockchain and Security Projects
While blockchain technology may not necessarily be a blanket cure-all for the security industry’s problems, it has the potential to at least solve some of the challenges that the industry faces. Moreover, some real-life use cases are slowly materializing as various blockchain and security projects are cropping up. Let’s take a closer look at some of them below.
Guardtime is a data security company that has found success in utilizing blockchain and security to keep sensitive data safe. The company does this by taking away the need to use keys for verification through the use of their Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI). Their system works in such a way that it’s always able to detect changes to data while constantly verifying any change made to data. It eliminates any discrete way of tampering with data in the chain, thus keeping data uncompromised. Therefore, institutions and organizations can safely store classified data such as medical or defense records securely.
Levelnet aims at becoming the world’s first decentralized antivirus platform. The way Levelnet works is by each Levelnet user sharing their virus detection data in real time through a secure protocol. All data collected provides full coverage of real-time antiviruses, thereby offering users with protection against zero-day attacks. A zero-day attack is an unexpected attack that exploits unknown security vulnerabilities to conduct a breach. Levelnet intends to provide a one-stop solution to their users from both new as well as unrecognized security threats.
Blockchain technology is already integrating with globally business, governments, and private users, and it is continuously finding innovative uses in other fields beyond cryptocurrencies. The integration of blockchain and security is becoming a reality. As technology continues to develop and production and service operations become more and more digitized, the need for efficient security measures increases commensurately. Through blockchain technology, effective data distribution protocols along with rigorous encryption can be implemented to ensure that data remains intact and away from prying eyes.