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.
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.