The growing importance of identity and access management became more apparent as the Coronavirus pandemic surprised many unprepared organizations with the scale and sophistication of cyberattacks on virtual workforces. With bad actors on the hunt for privileged access credentials that would enable lateral movement across many breached organizations and systems without being noticed for many months, cybersecurity teams worked nonstop in many instances to impellent two-factor authentication. The sheer volume of data breaches reported by major companies is alarming, with some reports estimating that more than 5 billion records were compromised in the last year alone!

Growing Importance of Identity and Access Management

Solving Evolving Challenges

Organizations were not ready for the global pandemic that hit the entire world in 2020. While organizations allowed their employees to work remotely and use personal devices to access cloud systems, bad actors were on the hunt for privileged access credentials because it would allow them to penetrate deep into systems, move around undetected across breached organizations, and execute highly critical transactions including log manipulation. Many organizations were designed to allow their employees to only be able to access corporate resources from tightly controlled computers, mobile devices, and access points, but in sending entire workforces home, they left the company-wide open to cyberattacks.

With less controls and sometimes unknown configurations in place, data breaches continue to skyrocket and even go undetected in some cases which highlights the growing importance of identity and access management. This means adequate authentication, authorization and auditing controls implemented by certified identity experts at Identity Management Institute is even more important than ever before to secure systems.

What is Identity and Access Management?

Identity and access management (IAM) is a set of policies, controlled processes, and technologies put in place to manage access throughout the identity lifecycle. This includes provisioning new user accounts; controlling how users authenticate across all systems including multi-factor authentication; managing privileged accounts, decommissioning departed users and dormant, unassigned or orphan accounts, as well as monitoring and auditing all critical actions performed by users.

Appropriate IAM solutions and adequate IAM controls are critical to secure systems and comply with industry regulations such as HIPAA, GDPR, PCI DSS as well as the authentication requirements of FFIEC.

What are the Benefits of Identity and Access Management?

When adequate levels of identity and access management controls are in place, only authorized people (and devices) can access systems and execute transactions to the extent of their authorized access or capabilities. When users access systems, their identities can be tracked for visibility into who is accessing your data, where it’s going, and what those people do with that information which is why sharing accounts or having orphan accounts is not a good idea in cybersecurity.

IAM solutions can also include user training to minimize the impact of phishing attacks. Without a complete set of IAM policies in place, your organization could be vulnerable to cyberattacks!

Multi-Factor Authentication

Traditional username and password combinations are considered single-factor authentication and weak for our current online world. The risk of system security breach is even higher considering that many people use the same username and password to access multiple online accounts they own.

With two-factor authentication (sometimes called multi-factor), each employee must use more than just the username and password to access systems or even execute a transaction. This added authentication layers is traditionally accomplished with something you know (your password), something you have (a phone, a one-time code generator, or a key card) or even something that you are (Biometric fingerprints, eye, or facial recognition).

This provides a much higher level of security because if someone attempts to access an account without having the second factor, they will not be able to login even if they crack the password.  

Convenience vs. Security

One of the typical user complaints is that security measures are sometimes excessive and lead to lower productivity in the workplace. Company executives also sometimes reject security solutions proposed by cybersecurity experts as too costly and obstacle to reaching business objectives. While these complaints are sometimes legitimate, the cost of a major security breach may be much higher and the investigation burden may prove to be even less productive.

While some IAM policies may be considered inconvenient by many, the benefits of added security layers outweigh any inconvenience employees, executives, and customers may encounter.

Spending on identity and access management (IAM) solutions by responsible and aware organizations continues to grow driven by many organizations’ need to improve cybersecurity and meet regulatory requirements.

What can Happen Without IAM Solutions?

Without IAM policies and solutions in place, organizations could be vulnerable to cyberattacks. Latest data breach cases indicate that some incidents are the result of poor user education to counter phishing attacks and social engineering schemes by bad actors who continue to look for weak targets to steal credentials and access system accounts.

One of the most notable hacks that shut down oil transportation on the east coast for part of 2021 happened when Colonial Pipeline became the victim of a ransomware attacked caused by a compromised password. This incident could have been prevented with adequate identity and access management controls.

No organization wants to be in the news, especially for a system security breach that resulted in millions of stolen data. Implementing identity and access management controls and systems can help organizations avoid falling victim to the growing threat of cyberattacks that are causing organizations to lose revenue and suffer reputational damage.

How to implement identity and access management controls

For best results, it is important that you regularly audit your policies, systems, and users to ensure policies are complete, systems are properly configured, access is appropriate, and transactions are authorized. In instances where manual processes are cumbersome, technology solutions may be implemented to save time and money by automating certain tasks.

If users are required to take extra steps, they will usually not do so until it becomes a habit. One way to build up healthy habits in your employees is through periodic awareness education and use of technology that enforces the policies automatically, such as automated password resets or two-factor authentication.

Employees should be educated on the importance of MFA and why you are implementing this policy so they understand it’s not just another thing to do but rather a security measure that is meant to keep them and their company safe.

Identity and access management technology can make your organization better prepared for cyberattacks by implementing automated tasks such as periodic forced password change, MFA enforcement, monitoring and auditing, as well as onboarding and offboarding automation.

With identity and access management (IAM) solutions from a trusted provider, you will be able to secure your employees, systems, customers, stakeholders, and organizations.

identity and access management certification

This article lists some considerations for a cloud security and access audit which can be further expanded to create a more comprehensive and detailed audit checklist.

Cloud computing offers an on-demand service that provides a shared pool of configurable computing resources which is typically considered to be more secure than a traditional IT infrastructure.

There are many benefits to using cloud services in your business. You can access your information from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection. But with this great convenience also comes the need for more security and better access management practices.

20 Tips for Cloud Security and Access Audit

Cloud Security and Access Audit Checklist

One of the critical areas of identity and access management is system security and access audit. More importantly, the audit must be frequent or at best continuous in some areas and automated as much as possible to ensure system security is consistently maintained. Below is a list of cloud security and access audit checklist which can be expanded to meet your needs and also applied to other systems outside of cloud environments.

Have a Cloud Security and Access Policy

Having a cloud security policy communicates to employees, contractors, and customers that your company takes cloud security seriously and also lays out the expectations for everyone to collectively ensure secure cloud and access.

Choose Your Cloud Provider Carefully

There are many cloud service providers in the market, and some may be more suitable for your needs than others depending on what you intent to use the cloud services for or what your budget looks like. Consider asking for customer references, product demo, and system documentation. And don’t hesitate to ask your IT audit team for help in selecting a cloud service provider by assessing the provided information.

Maintain an Access Control Matrix

Maintaining an access control matrix, access control list, and access capability table helps with keeping an up-to-date inventory of users and their access permission to applications, data and other devices. This characterizes the rights of each subject with respect to every object in the system. The access control matrix is a table of subjects and objects showing what actions subjects can take vis-à-vis objects. A subject’s access rights are called capabilities and access to an object is called ACL.

Provide Awareness Training

Considering that system users are often the cause of data breach cases, it makes sense to spend some time and resources to educate end-users about why they are considered the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain, what company expectations are, and how they can help secure the cloud applications and data.

Require Strong Passwords

While passwords are still in use, your company security standards must require the selection and use of strong passwords. Some system security features such as passwords are commonly configurable in many systems which can be deigned to force end-users to comply with strong password requirements.

Use MFA When Possible

When two-factor authentication was introduced, many users resisted the extra effort to access systems which is why user awareness and education is important for user collaboration specially from the executives. Multi-factor authentication provides an added layer of security when a password is compromised.

Seek Executive Support

Before cloud security requirements can be imposed on the general population, the executives must be educated to support any cyber-security initiative whether it is a policy for cloud security or system access audit. Often, the first people who complain about the extra security steps or efforts are the executives which does not lead to end-user support for cybersecurity.

Avoid Being Identity Obese

The term “Identity Obese” was coined by Henry Bagdasarian in his Identity Diet book which introduced the KAOS framework with 8 principles for identity theft protection. When collecting, storing and sharing information, it is important to be mindful of the amount and type of data we unnecessarily collect, process or store in the cloud. Just like eating too much of the wrong foods can lead to health issues, collecting and storing an excessive amount of data that can lead to increased cyber attacks, higher cost of security with lower ROI, and lawsuits can lead to an unmanaged and chaotic business environment.  

Review Connected Applications and Devices

Be aware of the connected resources in your cloud environment. Often unused apps and devices continue to be inter-connected within cloud platforms for months and years exposing the company to real threats. The same goes for data. “If the benefits of collected data do not outweigh the cost of maintaining, securing, or losing the data, then it may be time to forgo that data” says Henry Bagdasarian.

Track Changes in Real-Time

When a security setting is changed, new access is established, or an existing access is changed, it is important to be notified of these changes in real-time in order to review high risk changes immediately.

This will make sure that you are actively aware of every activity related to your cloud access, system security configurations, and safety of your files and data.

Another benefit of real-time activity tracking is the awareness of newly connected devices and apps in the cloud to ensure every resource is authorized.

Ensure Compliance

When we discuss regulatory compliance, we need to focus on two key areas. We need to ask ourselves the following questions: does the platform offer features to allow my company to fully comply with local and international regulations? And, is the cloud provider compliant with regulations?
To ensure systems cover all major regulatory requirements, we need to audit the platform features against our unique requirements and ask vendors to provide third party audit reports regarding their compliance level.

Establish Monitoring and Reporting

Having an audit function within cloud operations with monitoring and reporting capabilities is important to identify gaps and suspicious activities as soon as possible in order to address them before they become a liability for the company.

Block Unauthorized Users

There are many ways for companies to automate user access approval and provisioning including IP tracking and user validation. In addition to cross-referencing users against a validated identity directory, in some cases, unauthorized users may be blocked to access a cloud system if they try to access from an unknown device, or suspicious location and time of the day depending on the user’s role and location.

Keep Secured Logs

Keeping system logs are important for periodic reviews and even more important following a security incident for investigation purposes. There are many types of logs that can be considered. The most common types of audit-related logs include but are not limited to system configuration logs, access logs, and file logs. Log security and access control is also extremely important to prevent unauthorized edits to log data which might occur to cover tracks and avoid detection of unauthorized activities. Log retention period must also be considered depending on your industry and regulatory environment. Consult with your Legal team about the required log retention period.

Audit, Report, and Monitor

Monitoring system access can prove to be very valuable when you notice an increase in a particular type of attack or a sudden spike in failed logins.
Internal audits are also important to discover and address vulnerabilities before they cause any serious damage. This includes audits of systems and applications as well as any activity that doesn’t seem normal. IT audit and security teams can help assess the security and access controls and identify any major gaps that need to be addressed.

Often, cloud and SaaS providers offer independent audit reports which may save time and cost on internal audits which are important before an external audit is requested by a large customer or regulatory body.

Auditing and reporting is further covered in the Certified Identity and Access Manager (CIAM) scope for certification.

Have the Right Tools

Having the right tools in place is necessary to automate and address issues efficiently and cost effectively. Some of these may include artificial intelligence to quickly detect suspicious access and activities as well as anti-malware software, firewalls, and an intrusion detection system. The extent of tools depends largely on your budget and risk appetite. Not every company can afford all the sophisticated tools which makes it even more important to have a discussion with your executives to collectively make the investment decision and accept the risks.

Limit Administrative Privileges

Hackers often target administrator access credential because they offer the highest level of access to all systems. Having a Privileged Access Management (PAM) system is extremely important to closely monitor high risk activities and detect or block suspicious activities.

Ensure All the Sensitive Data Is Encrypted

Ensure your sensitive data is encrypted while in transit or at rest. Consider file encryption to complement whatever encryption service the cloud service already provides. The most common types of information that may need encryption include but are not limited to credit cards, social security numbers (or other identifiers), medical records, financial records and other sensitive The type of data being stored or transmitted as well as regulatory requirements will determine which level of encryption should be used.

Backup System and Data

We need to keep in mind that regardless of our efforts, incidents happen and sometimes system and data files are lost or damaged which need to be quickly restored to continue business operations in a secure fashion. Backup and recovery policies help define the requirements and the process must be tested to make sure it works.

Manage Shared Files

Often users share cloud files with other users by sending a link to the file. If the file contains sensitive data and the link continues to be unnecessarily active, it can present a security risk that can be exploited. Having a shared file management process helps reduce the risk by deactivating the file link when it is no longer needed.  Many cloud service providers offer file management features which can assist you with shared file management.


There are many access and security risks that can be mitigated with periodic cloud security and access audits. In essence, a cloud security and access audit can help discover issues before they cause any damage or help detect issues quickly to contain the damage.

A cloud security and access audit can be performed before a cloud service provider is selected and thereafter periodically to make sure the cloud platform, applications and data remain secure at all times.

This high level cloud security and access audit checklist should be a starting point and expanded to meet your special security needs.

The KAOS identity theft protection framework offers 8 principles and a road map for personal identity protection. While it is impossible to eliminate identity thefts risks completely, these principles help individuals reduce their risk of identity theft to acceptable levels. The extent to which consumers adopt these principles largely depends on their awareness of and appetite for identity theft risks. Each person should determine the acceptable risk level based and the consequences of identity fraud in order to take measured actions to prevent, detect, and resolve identity theft. For example, someone may decide to occasionally monitor activities on their credit reports for unauthorized and suspicious transactions instead of subscribing to an automated alert system to be notified immediately when a change occurs.

KAOS Identity Theft Protection Framework

KAOS Identity Theft Protection Framework Benefits

The KAOS identity theft protection framework and its principles were created many years ago by Henry Bagdasarian, Founder of Identity Management Institute which have been incorporated into the Certified Identity Protection Advisor (CIPA)® training course and certification. The 8 identity theft protection principles represented in the KAOS acronym are listed below and offer the following benefits:

  • Reduce the occurrence of identity theft
  • Detect potential misuse of personal information
  • Minimize the damage caused by identity theft

KAOS Framework Principles

1- Know Target Information – We first need to identify our personal data which may be vulnerable to identity theft to protect ourselves from potential identity fraud. It entails listing our credit cards, online accounts, and sensitive documents before thinking about how to protect our identity. Like on the battlefield, you first need to know your opponents, their targets, and methods before taking measures to defend and protect yourself. The first step to protect your identity is creating a list of all your identity items and data which the KAOS framework refers to as “identity components” that are often targets of identity thieves. These may include personal assets such as death and birth certificates, passports, SSN, driver’s license, and credit cards. Bank statements and other valuable documents must be considered for inclusion. As mentioned, not just physical items are listed in the inventory list but also account numbers, passwords and login information.

2- Know Target Location – Locate where each physical item is stored and add them to your list of identity inventory. It could be in the office drawer, briefcase, or wallet. Either way, make sure you know where all your personal information is for quick access and recovery but most importantly to determine the appropriate security measure and level of protection each identity component needs. It is easier to protect your credit cards, bank statements, and passport when you know where they are.

3- Assess Data and Actions – After identifying all your identity components and including them in your inventory list, the next step is assessing the information. Assess whether it is necessary to modify your personal inventory list or not. You also need to assess if your actions to manage and protect your identity are appropriate. Don’t assess your information in a hurry because this is a critical process that will determine the measures that need to be in place to protect your identity. Assessing your identity theft protection data and measures is not a one-time process. Instead, it is an ongoing process that will require time and keen attention to detail.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself when assessing your identity inventory list and actions toward them:

• Are all these online accounts or credit cards necessary? Some of your online accounts and credit cards could be making you more vulnerable to identity theft. Get rid of any accounts that you feel expose you more to identity theft. Consider closing some bank and online accounts or cancelling credit cards, or shredding statements. Be sure to delete all personal information from your profile before deleting an online account.

• Is it necessary to open another account or apply for a loan? Sometimes we may accumulate more items and data that we actually need which the framework refers to as “identity obesity”, however if you do, it is unnecessary to add them to your inventory list. Just remember, the more items you add to your list, the more resources and efforts you need to protect your identity. For example, you need to frequently change the passwords on your major accounts.

• Where have I kept each piece of information? You should always be aware of where your identity components are. Knowing that your credit cards are in the briefcase or wallet can help locate them faster and better protect your identity.

• Who have I shared any of my personal information with? Be cautious with data sharing as we will cover in another principle. For example, if you have sent any original documents to someone, follow up to ensure you collect them. For example, we sometimes must submit our original documents, such as a birth certificate when we apply for passport.

4- Accumulate Less – You probably heard the saying “less is more”. This statement is true in this case as having less credit cards exposes us to lower risk of identity theft and offers peace of mind. It is better to accumulate less identity component rather than accumulate and manage more items and possibly being forced to eliminate later.

5- Organizing Information – The identity theft protection process doesn’t stop at identifying your identity components and compiling a list of your data. That information will need to be organized and monitored. Categorize each item on your inventory list based on their acceptable risk level and similarities. The risk level assigned to each item will determine measures needed to protect your identity. Be specific when categorizing these items, although you can opt to consolidate categories that are closely related. For example, it makes sense to keep all bank-related information together. Categorizing personal information items come with benefits such as easier access. It will also be easier to determine the risk level to apply for each category. Keeping credit cards separately from other documents may reduce your risk of identity theft and financial loss. Check your credit cards, passports, and birth certificates periodically to ensure they are always in the right place. The sooner you detect the absence of your credit cards, the sooner you can look for them or alert the card issuer and prevent potential financial losses and fraud damages.

6- Observe and Monitor – It is also paramount to review your bank and utility statements periodically for accuracy verification. Check to ensure that all your credit card transactions are authorized. Follow up with your bank if you notice unauthorized or incorrect transactions or don’t receive a transaction notification on time. The same concept applies to all your items in the identity inventory list and your credit reports.

7- Secure Your Information – After defining your information categories, address the level of protection for each category. You may assign the same level of protection measure for similar categories such as brokerage and bank accounts. For example, you can have a cabinet for keeping all statements related to utilities, brokerage accounts, and banks. Establish an extremely confidential documents category for keeping government-issued documents such as your social security card, passports, and credit cards. It would be best if you always kept this category under tight control to prevent confidential information from getting into the wrong hands. You may opt for an fireproof safe box for keeping all your valuable documents and a shredder to discard your sensitive documents.

8- Share with Caution – Finally, be cautious when sharing your personal information. Ask the requestor why they need your information and how it will be used. Seek to know who will have access to your data and how it will be stored and protected. Consumers often use too many credit cards or use them excessively to make small purchases without considering potential risks. It is often unnecessary to use debit and credit cards for frequent transactions such as paying for coffee. Instead store cards can be used to add occasional credits and use that card to make small and frequent purchases like coffee. Identity theft risk increases with each transaction that exposes our data. Finally, when it come to social media, it makes sense to share less and choose your friends carefully. Some people accept every friend request on Facebook and post many personal information daily. This can be detrimental in the long term.

In conclusion, identify what data or document is a high target for identity thieves or may be hard to reproduce if lost or damaged, then apply some security measures and best practices to protect your identity. As a last step, make sure you follow up to report any lost, damaged, or stolen personal data and documents as well as fraud and suspicious activities.

Certified Identity Protection Advisor (CIPA) consumer identity theft certification
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Sharenting risks and best practices must be considered when parents publicize content about their children on internet platforms. 

In our modern-day digital society, children are making an internet debut even before they are born as they feature in their parents’ social media accounts as obscure ultrasound images. Although these children’s awareness of their online identity and digital footprint may come untimely, they remain powerless to assert their rights as parents assume the dual role of publisher and guardian. The scenario breeds conflict, pitting a child’s and parent’s right to privacy and freedom of expression, respectively. It is such misunderstandings that place the child’s upbringing at risk.

Sharenting Risks and Best Practices

What is Sharenting?

Sharenting is a term coined from two words: share and parenting. It is a practice where an adult responsible for a child’s wellbeing shares private information about the child through social media platforms and other digital channels. Sharenting comes with many advantages, such as sharing a child’s accomplishments, parental advice, and parenting experiences and challenges. Moreover, it can be a means of economic gain for children and parents through blogging or viral video sessions on platforms like Facebook, YouTube or Twitch. Despite these upsides, when the practice involves sensitive information, it can threaten children’s wellbeing, damage their reputation, and expose them to defamation. The imperishability of online information exacerbates these risks because videos and pictures will be accessible throughout one’s lifetime without consent. Notwithstanding these well-known risks, it is difficult to quantify the impact of the practice because the effects of data permanency and harm caused are not instantaneous.

Child’s Right to Privacy

Sharenting comes with its share of drawbacks – parents share an enormous amount of their children’s sensitive information, which can be exploited for cyberbullying and humiliation and may be used to advance economic objectives and political opinions. The primary concern is that parents build their children’s online identities without consent. Although the child does not use social networks or may be unwilling to share part of the information, their information is already part of these platforms. The scenario mirrors parents who believe they have the right to share their children’s images and videos on social networks.

Parents become proprietors and narrators of their children’s stories when they share that information without their children’s consent. Children’s privacy also means respect and dignity. There will be a possible backlash from the present generation that desire autonomy and are not afraid to question their parents about damaging personas they create without their consent. Arguably, some parents sacrifice the privacy of their children in exchange for an enhanced online presence.

Rights to Freedom of Expression

Weighed against the right to privacy is the right to freedom of expression as enshrined in Article 13 of UNCRC. Parents are the primary custodians of their children and therefore act to safeguard their best interests. However, they must act responsibly and view their children as independent being rather than their attachments. When the child-parent relationship is viewed otherwise, a parent’s desires are likely to subsume or obscure a child’s interests. When parents ignore those interests through poor parenting choices, children’s right to privacy can be in jeopardy. Despite appreciating the value of the family unit’s independence, privacy, and harmony, it aggregates the children’s rights with the parents’. Therefore, it fails to provide them with necessary safeguards.

Safety and Legal Risks

Studies project that by 2030, two-thirds of identity theft cases will be attributable to sharenting. The sharing of children’s information exposes owners to the threat of cyber theft and other fraudulent activities. The economic costs associated with identity theft are tremendous, and it will have a significant impact on future financial outcomes. Some of the harms associated with sharenting include but are not limited to:

• Digital kidnapping, data misuse, and identity theft
• Child’s right violations, including infringement on privacy
• Infringement on the rights to data protection and digital citizenship
• Infliction of mental harms on children that adversely affect their developmental outcomes

Sharenting Consequences

Characteristically, parents play guardianship and supervisory roles over their children’s use and access to online space. Most often, they limit their children’s access to the online world and the information shared. Conversely, children do not have a voice in such decisions, and the ambiguity between private and public space opens the door to multiple forms of online and physical exploitation. Modern-day parents continue to cross the boundary between private and public life, altering the world’s landscape for developing children. While online information sharing presents numerous opportunities to parents, at the same time, it brings up new parenting responsibilities. Children’s interest in privacy is inherent, but parental rights trump it through free speech imperatives.

Sharenting Best Practices

The premature existence of children as online entities impacts the development of their sense of identity and self-awareness. For parents to safeguard their children from the threats associated with sharenting, they should appreciate the risk. Since complete abstinence from sharenting seems impossible, monitoring of privacy settings can mitigate these grave concerns. They should understand who can access and use their information. As responsible parents, they should be well-informed users of social networks, perusing relevant policies on privacy to guarantee they use their maturity to arrive at logical decisions on behalf of their children. Before sharing information, parents should exercise caution and refrain from details that may attract unwarranted attention. Similarly, the inclusion of physical locations could put children at risk of physical harm. Its is always best to not overshare information as stated in the Identity KAOS framework of the CIPA certification course in the first place but there may be some options if child information is already shared online.

Social media platforms have the option to select an audience for all information shared. Therefore, parents should consider hiding information from search algorithms and set notifications to aid monitoring. Most importantly, they should recognize children’s rights as they grow and grant them the freedom to exercise those rights. What might seem appropriate to post today about our children may be inappropriate in the future. As sharing is a new phenomenon, parents need to protect their children as policymakers establish ways to control and regulate the practice. They must accord children the privacy and respect they deserve and protect their best interests at all times. Sharenting is an opportunity but, at the same time, also a threat to children’s privacy. Consequently, parents should exercise caution and restraint when handling content about their children because their lives may be at stake.

Certified Identity Protection Advisor (CIPA) consumer identity theft certification
Become a Certified Identity Protection Advisor (CIPA)

Blockchain will transform cybersecurity in many ways and play an essential role in system security, data protection, and privacy. Blockchain technology will contribute to confidentiality, integrity, accountability and non-repudiation which will elevate cyber and data security to unprecedented levels. Many businesses will start to leverage many of the blockchain characteristics such as smart contracts and decentralized data storage to improve their transactions and keep system access and data safe.

Blockchain will Transform Cybersecurity

How Blockchain Technology Came into Existence

Blockchain became known when cryptocurrency was first introduced. In 2008, there was an article that introduced Bitcoin to the world. The article also mentioned the blockchain technology as the backbone of the cryptocurrency technology.

The article introduced Blockchain technology as a medium used in Bitcoin storage and transfer. Many tech experts saw the revolutionary technology as an opportunity to change the world. They built concepts that gave blockchain technology new use cases such as self-sovereign identity, privacy, data tracking, and security. Blockchain has the potential to transform cybersecurity as the experts will find ways to improve and exploit the technology in many areas of the business world to improve system and data security.

How Blockchain Will Transform Cybersecurity

The main aspects of blockchain are its decentralized nature and encryption. Each user has a private key to add a block and make a change as well as a public key to allow others to access the database to view the revisions. Because blockchain is a distributed system, hacking a user’s credentials to access systems is much more difficult if not impossible and, to remove an entire blockchain, every single and separate node in the blockchain must be removed.

As experts explore various use cases for blockchain technology, we can already foresee the areas that cybersecurity will greatly benefit:

  • Improve identity and access management – While we are fully aware that employee error is the primary cause of credential theft which are centrally stored and managed, the technology can store credentials on the blockchain in a decentralized manner reducing system intrusion risks and access fraud as hackers will have to attack multiple points of entry to access the data.
  • Track changes – Blockchain can help ensure that data is not changed without authorization or stolen. If you change any part of the blockchain, it is permanent, and you can’t remove it from the database. Furthermore, changes or new data will not remove or replace old data but rather will be recorded at the top of the blockchain with ownership and a time stamp which makes it trackable in case of an attack to trace back to the source.
  • Ensure redundancy – A blockchain is distributed and omni-present. Because various computers store a copy of the blockchain data, in case of accidental and intentional tampering, you can find the original information in other sources.
  • Prevent cyberattacks – DDoS attacks are common cyberattacks which aim to bring business systems down and make them unavailable by flooding requests. DDoS attacks are easy because parts of the domain name system (DNS) is store centrally and is susceptible to attacks and theft which can be used to bring systems down. Decentralized blockchain will prevent DNS theft and prevent DDoS attacks. Also, since any block change in the blockchain must be verified with the remaining of the blocks, attacks will be detected quickly and contained by keeping bad data out of the system.

Blockchain Limitations and Conclusion

Decentralization and distributed nature of blockchain are its strength. Anytime, a data is centrally processed or stored, it offers an opportunity for error or unauthorize access and change. For example, as mentioned earlier, in a centralized environment, DDoS attacks can be difficult to prevent because the Domain Name System is only partially decentralized. It is easy for hackers to target the centralized part which stores the bulk of the data. Decentralized nature of blockchain makes it difficult to tamper or steal data.

While blockchain offers many benefits for cybersecurity, it may not be fully secure or offer complete cybersecurity. While your organization may consider a blockchain model such as private, public, or consortium blockchain model, you must be aware of the benefits and risks of using blockchain for cybersecurity and keep an eye on the evolving technology.

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