The technology that began as a force behind Bitcoin has taken the world by storm today. From banking to healthcare and beyond, blockchain technology has become an indispensable part of almost all facets of our lives. And cybersecurity is an industry that has been greatly affected by this technology with a lot of potential. Blockchain technology is a decentralized disseminated register system which is used to record data transactions across many computers. The reason why this technology has become hugely popular is that you can place any digital asset or transaction into the blockchain, regardless of the industry. The technology can also be used to avert any type of data breaches, recognize thefts, cyberattacks or foul play in transactions. This ensures that the data remains sequestered and safe.
What Does Blockchain Mean for Cybersecurity?
Cyber security has been a burning issue for the last few years, with the world becoming more sensitive about shielding its data. The concept of a ledger is a case in point. Transactions are logged, bearing in mind transparency and a sign that no phony dealings take place. Nevertheless, correct recording in an archive would mean everything balances out in the end. It also needs no omission, since the ledger would balance itself out with appropriate transactions. This is what lies at the core of Blockchain. It is a digital ledger, shared within a network, using encryption. The name itself comes from the integrally secure form of dealings that occur. Once a block of data is logged on the blockchain ledger, it’s very hard to change or eliminate.
When most of nodes agree that the deal looks binding, the new transaction gets approved and a new block is added to the chain. While any system of encryption and security interference is significant, Blockchain is impressive due to it opposing the requirement for omission, making transactions quicker. According to an expert, with blockchain it could mean outgoings that are much quicker: today global payments can take days, this could take minutes or even seconds. Obviously, nothing is perfect. Critics have underscored that with Blockchain, its global distribution means there’s no typical set of rules to follow. After all, there will be diverse blockchains for dissimilar types of transactions, between different networks.
Transparency is another problem, which works in situations like Bitcoin – where secrecy overcomes – but won’t work when it includes your bank statements. No one wants to show their bank statement to the world. Also, as the “right to be forgotten” becomes key to digital law, the durability of the blockchain makes that problematic. If everything is encoded, there is a possibility that everything could be lost. Moreover, as is evident, nothing is impassable if it’s online. Smart hackers always find a way. Technology will impact everything about the world, from marketing trends to how new technology is developed. With Blockchain, there’s a possibility to change how people involve in transactions, but it must be done carefully before you advance it.
How Does Blockchain Technology Work?
For investors new to the cryptocurrency domain, one of the most overpowering and puzzling facets can be blockchain. Blockchain technology is what influences and supports the digital currency space, and many specialists believe that it comprises many viable applications and uses beyond cryptocurrencies as well. Financial institutions and even conventional companies worldwide beginning to explore ways that they can assimilate blockchain technology into their conventional practices. Beyond that, however, it can be a bit of a mystery as to what blockchain is precisely and as to how it works.
The Three Primary Components of Blockchain
Blockchain can essentially be thought of as the mixture of numerous different current technologies. While these technologies themselves aren’t new, it is the ways in which they are integrated and applied which brought about blockchain. These three constituent technologies are:
- Private key cryptography
- A distributed network that includes a shared ledger
- Means of accounting for the transactions and records related to the network
To demonstrate the technology of private cryptographic keys, it helps envisage two persons who wish to carry out a transaction online. One of these is private and one is public. By integrating the public and private keys, this feature of cryptography enables persons to produce a safe digital identity reference point. This secure identity is a main constituent of blockchain technology. Together, a public and a private key produce a digital signature, which is a valuable tool for confirming and controlling ownership. The digital moniker of the cryptography component is then integrated with the circulated network technology constituent. Blockchain technology serves as a huge network of persons who can act as validators to arrive at an agreement about several things, including transactions. This process is qualified by precise verification and is used to secure the network. By integrating the use of cryptographic keys with a distributed network, blockchain allows for new types of digital connections.
Types of Blockchains
There are primarily three types of Blockchains that have surfaced after Bitcoin introduced Blockchain to the world.
- Public Blockchain
- Private Blockchain
- Consortium or Federated Blockchain
1. Public Blockchain
As the name indicates, a public blockchain is meant for the people only. Anyone can partake in reading/writing/auditing the blockchain. Another thing is that these types of blockchain are exposed and clear, therefore anyone can evaluate anything at a given point of time on a public blockchain. But when no one is in charge here, then how are the decisions taken on these types of the blockchain? The answer is that decision-making occurs by numerous reorganized agreement instruments such as proof of work (POW) and proof of stake (POS) etc.
2. Private Blockchain
Private blockchain is a private property of an individual or an organization. In private blockchain, there is an in-charge who is responsible for significant things such as reading and writing or whom to give access to read or vice versa. Here the agreement is reached on the wishes of the fundamental in-charge who can give mining rights to anyone or not give at all. That’s what makes it central again where numerous rights are practiced and entrusted in a dominant party but yet it is cryptographical secured from the company’s viewpoint and more affordable for them. But it is still arguable if such a private thing can be called a ‘Blockchain’ because it basically beats the entire purpose of blockchain that Bitcoin introduced.
3. Consortium or Federated Blockchain
Unlike public blockchain, consortium blockchain or federated blockchain is partly decentralized and is quicker and more scalable. The blockchain seeks to eliminate the sole independence which gets entrusted in just one entity, so instead of one in-charge, there is more than one in-charge. Essentially, you have a group of businesses or representative individuals coming together and making decisions for the best advantage of the entire network. Such groups are also called consortiums or a federation hence the name.
Use Cases of Blockchain In Cybersecurity
From security point of view, 2018 was a rocky year. Big institutions and companies were subjected to elaborate hacks. Business and industry leaders regard blockchain-based solutions as some of the best options. Lately, NASA decided to enforce blockchain technology in order to increase cybersecurity. Evidently, blockchain is proving to be a very feasible technology in terms of safeguarding companies and other institutions from cyber-attacks. Here are some promising use cases.
1. Decentralized Storage Solutions
Data is becoming a more treasured currency, no doubt about that. Your business accrues lots of sensitive data about your customers, which, unfortunately, is also pretty attractive to hackers. And one of the easiest things you do for cyber-thieves is store all of it in one place. Regrettably, when it comes to data, businesses are still using centralized storage. Nevertheless, this seems to be changing gradually, with blockchain-based storage solutions gaining popularity.
2. IoT Security
Hackers often gain access to systems by exploiting vulnerabilities in edge devices, including routers and switches. Now, other devices such as smart thermostats, doorbells, even security cameras are also susceptible. Put simply, the meticulousness is often not applied when ensuring if these IoT devices are safe. Blockchain technology can be used to guard systems, and devices from attacks. The technology can also safeguard all the data exchanges taking place between IoT devices, and can be used to achieve near real-time secure data transmissions. Moreover, blockchain security also ensures is no longer a central authority controlling the network and confirming the data going through it.
3. Safer DNS
DNS is largely centralized, which results in hackers breaking into the linking between website name and IP address, wreaking havoc. They can cash websites, direct people to trick websites, or just make a website unattainable. They can also pair DNS attacks with DDoS attacks to render websites completely ineffectual for lengthy periods of time. The existing most effective solution to such problems is to tail log files and allow real-time alerts for doubtful activities.
4. Implementing Security in Private Messaging
The Blockchain is very similar to the Interne, therefore, the Blockchain is a universal, open infrastructure that allows building other applications and technologies on top of it. Also, just like the Internet, it allows people to sidestep outdated mediators in their dealings with each other, thus eliminating or lowering transaction costs. Most of us think that the Blockchain is only related to financial transactions, such as cryptocurrency. While this fact is partly true, this network has more than what meets the eye. Being a decentralized system, it operates transactions that no one person or company owns or controls, therefore, every user connected to it can access it all together, and all operations are done in a secure and supportable form. For this, it uses methods originally developed in cryptography. And with copies of the blockchain across the whole world, it is now seen as being tamper-proof.
Difference between Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
Blockchain is the platform which fetches cryptocurrencies into play. The blockchain is the technology that acts as the circulated archive that forms the network that produces the means for conducting, and allows transporting of value and information. Cryptocurrencies are the signs used within these systems to send value and pay for these dealings. Blockchains serve as the foundation technology, in which cryptocurrencies are a part of the bionetwork. They go in tandem, and crypto is often essential to manage on a blockchain.
Blockchain in the Real World
It’s swiftly becoming ostensible that blockchain technology is about far more than just Bitcoin. Innovative uses of the technology are come up virtually every day across finance, healthcare, media, government and other fields. Blockchain is a decentralized database, which chronicles data in a chain format, linking one part of data to another in a cryptographically protected way. Decentralization, immutability, consensus, permissions, and smart contracts are some real-life example of blockchain technology.