Cyber security is a major issue globally. Vulnerabilities are constantly being exploited by individual hackers, organized criminals, and hostile nation-states. Many billions are lost each year due to these attacks. Advancements are now being made in using blockchain technology in cyber security to improve IT security.
Blockchain Technology In Cyber Security
The advantage of using a blockchain to protect data integrity are threefold:
- Blockchains can use the most advanced encryption to secure the data.
- Blockchains can be stored on a peer-to-peer basis in multiple locations by making exact, redundant copies.
- Blockchains, when verified, are permanent records with an embedded audit trail.
Cyber Security Using Blockchain
A clear distinction needs to be made between using blockchains for cyber security and the severe vulnerabilities reported by DataCenter Knowledge about hackers being able to steal from cryptocurrency exchanges. The cryptocurrency losses, in total, already exceed US$1 billion. The fallacy of a cryptocurrency exchange is that the blockchain security is not able to protect any transaction that needs to unencrypt the data to process the transaction. When the data is unencrypted at any point, it is vulnerable to hacking.
For example, when a user buys cryptocurrency the only way to sell or trade it is to have the matched set of a public encryption key with its corresponding private encryption key. On a cryptocurrency exchange, this authority over the paired encryption keys may be given to the exchange. In this case, the owner has completely lost control over the protection provided by the encryption.
When using blockchain technology in cyber security, the encryption stays in place until the owner of the public/private encryption key-pairs decides to review the data or to allow someone else who is authorized to review the data. The security of the key-pairs is more controllable.
Additionally, when identical copies of the blockchains are maintained indifferent data storage systems and secured by different encryption key-pairs, a comparison can be made to verify a legitimate record. Encryption can be used to encrypt the individual transactions and then encryption can be used a second time to encrypt the blockchains. This adds another layer of cyber security by using blockchain technology.
Advantages of Blockchain Technology in Cyber Security
1. Decentralized Data Storage
Blockchains are perfectly designed to be securely stored anywhere on the global cloud storage network. That is one of the key features of blockchain technology. An encrypted blockchain is a small memory unit of data (usually 8 Mb in file size) that can be transmitted and stored as multiple copies in any data storage or computer system in the world.
2. Security for the Internet of Things
The Internet of Things (IoT) is, by its very nature, a linkage of billions of devices. It is a good idea to incorporate blockchain in cyber security during the processing of IoT data. This can push the computational requirements out further to the edges. For example, the facial recognition algorithm and the database of the authorized users for a smart door lock can be stored on the device itself and/or on the cloud as an encrypted blockchain. It is very beneficial to have this data more readily available to the device, rather than having the door lock device need to check in with a centralized computer server every time the door lock is operated.
3. Improved Security for Domain Name Servers
Domain name servers (DNS) maintain records of how-to covert the name of a website into its IP address. They are subject to hacking. Website URLs can be misdirected by unauthorized persons. This DNS system can be improved by using blockchain technology to distribute the DNS records in a more secure, less hackable, fashion.
4. Increased Security for Private Messages
Blockchain technology has applications that create more security for the privacy of instant messages. This is an alternative approach to using end-to-end encryption such as the technology currently used by WhatsApp.
The main advantage of using blockchain technology for making instant messages more private is the possibility of secure intra-messaging exchange between different messaging systems using a standardized API framework.
The applications of blockchain technology far exceed the usefulness of cryptocurrencies. Programmers are now applying new blockchain design protocols in uses that have the potential to disrupt many industry sectors in a beneficial way. One helpful way to keep up with what is happening concerning blockchain technology is to follow the hyperledger open source activities that are sponsored by the Linux Foundation.