British Bitcoin companies recently assured parliament that consumers’ cryptocurrency stashes are safe from cyber criminals. While some hackers have been successful in the space, blockchain for the most part has been true to its reputation of enhanced security. That success is inspiring companies around the world to explore and invest in the possibilities of blockchain technology to help them to cyber safety.
Cybercriminals have become increasingly complex, frequently hacking financial data, health records, personal identifiable information and intellectual property on our computers, our mobile devices and on the cloud. They are resorting to strategies that disrupt the overall operations of a business via DDoS attacks, and use advanced ransomware techniques to monetize data access. They’ve been less successful in the blockchain space.
To understand the potential application of blockchain to cyber security, it is helpful to look at why it is so fundamentally different from the modern internet. Blockchain is a decentralized, digitized, distributed public ledger. This means blockchains provide no ‘hackable’ entrance or a central point of failure unlike the various present database-driven transactional structures. Because of this, stealing data involves obtaining access to more than one data base, it requires gaining access to thousands. The risks of a so-called 51% attack, meaning more than half the miners of a blockchain have to act in concert to create a hack, has proven to be very difficult to pull off. One analogy likens it to bank robbery: it would be equivalent to robbing thousands of banks, all at the same time, and not triggering a single alarm. Here are some examples of the use of blockchain that companies are employing now in the battle to secure our data.
- Blockchain is used to protect the security of financial transactions, ensuring that both sides of the transaction are transparent and incorruptible, providing peace of mind throughout the transaction for all the parties involved.
- It can be used to protect the privacy and security of chats and instant messages. This ensures that all personal communication is completely private and free from the wandering eyes of potential hackers and government censors.
- Blockchain can now be used to make passwords obsolete allowing the authentication of any digital device without the use of a password, thanks to the use of private keys.
- Storage of sensitive information like personal data and health records can be secured. The blockchain logs absolutely everything and does not allow for the manipulation of data, at least not without it being absolutely obvious to everyone who hosts it.
We live in an era where all of our personal data is exposed. Therefore, cyber security is more vital than it has ever been. Blockchain is an affordable and efficient solution to help us secure our data and keep online threats to a minimum.