Modern cyberattacks frequently target companies with large data holdings. Last year, Equifax, a credit reporting agency that collects information on nearly 800 million individuals and 88 million businesses worldwide, fell victim to a massive attack that compromised the personal information of 150 million customers. Just earlier this year, GitHub, a major online software development platform, suffered from a DDoS attack that overloaded their servers with simultaneous online traffic of 1.35 TB per second. Attacks such as these are increasingly frequent and are often used to steal valuable customer data from companies. In response to this growing threat, blockchain technology is now being implemented by some companies. Blockchain technology has worked wonders for the financial industry, but is it the ideal solution to combat consumer data theft?
Blockchain utilizes a Distributed Ledger Technology to decentralize and publicize all transactions. A verified transaction is classified as one block and it is connected to the block before it, growing continuously as new blocks are added to the chain.
Once the algorithm is run and a block is added to the chain, it cannot be altered or removed. Any adjustments to be made to previously inputted data will be formatted as a new block and added to the chain without any alteration to the initial blocks, thus forming an incorruptible chain of data recording transactions.
The decentralized, transparent, and secure records of transactions and data versions presented in blockchains make errors simple to detect and has resulting in cybersecurity applications. The decentralized nature of the blocks makes them more difficult to corrupt than other forms of protected data. Without a vulnerable point or break in records, there are few weaknesses for hackers to exploit, unlike conventional database structures.
Similarly, the transparency of blockchain technology has a similar incorruptible nature. The blocks of data are distributed to all nodes rather than the storage of this information in a central database. The transparency and ease of access to these blocks for all parties involved creates accountability as well as efficiency in business.
Blockchain technology has begun to be proliferated throughout the business world with companies such as REMME offering blockchain technology paired with unique SSL certificates to remove passwords and the possibility for human error. REMME is not alone in this industry as other firms such as Civic Technology has introduced their own blockchain identity products as well.
While there hasn’t been news of a breach of blockchains, nothing online stays impenetrable forever and as technology improves, so do hackers.
In addition, blockchain security inherently requires the dispersion of users’ ledgers to other users as well. In the context of cybersecurity—which requires more transparency than, say, Bitcoin exchanges—this diffusion of information removes any sense of anonymity, potentially discouraging some of the blockchains more attention-shy prospective users.
However, these concerns do not take away blockchain’s versatility. Having its roots in cryptocurrency, the use of blockchains has allowed businessesto prevent DDoS attacks, implement encryption protocols in their network,and create accountability. However, as security improves, so do the skills of hackers. Only the future can tell if blockchain will become a truly ubiquitous and transformative technology in the world of cybersecurity.
WCG offers cyber security assessments to organizations to detect threats to their systems, network and application environment. Our cyber security assessmentsconduct real-world testing of an organization’s net¬works, applications, systems and devices to identify vulnera¬ble access points and determine where internal and external threats. We identify security issues that could lead to the compromise of information and recommend steps for mitigating the threats in an action¬able format.
WCG also addresses the human element of cybersecurity by providing a security awareness program and continuous training service to help employees safely utilize information technology. Through this service, employees will understand and apply corporate security policies and procedures and become aware of their personal responsibilities for maintaining good physical, operational and logical security.