With most of the world now living their lives online, it has raised a number of concerns that have not been a part of conversations even a decade ago. With the increasing complexity and intricacy of the online world, navigating the World Wide Web is growing to be a challenge. The recent bout of hacker attacks across the world and industries has raised security concerns exponentially. The bad piece of news for most companies is that hackers are getting stronger and more sinister with each passing day. However, the good forces are also working diligently to ensure that systems to combat them are in place. The biggest innovation in the field of cyber security remains the nearly impenetrable technology that is known as blockchain. The potential of blockchain as a cyber security tool is immense; and most importantly applicable to multiple industries.
What is Blockchain?
Blockchain is the culmination of decades’ worth of research and breakthroughs in cryptography, cyber security, and concern regarding safe data storage. The technology has been around for just about a decade. World’s first introduction to the maze of blockchain was as a platform to store and transact information online. One of the most famous early use of blockchain was in the form of the first every cryptocurrency created — Bitcoin. Nevertheless, with the changing landscape and continued innovation, the blockchain technology grew out of the realms of cryptocurrency and found its use across varied industries.
The technology of blockchain works on the basis of distributed networks. These networks can have millions of users who operate the system from distinct corners of the world. Each of these users can add information to the blockchain network. Every set of information added to the blockchain is secured through complex cryptography. Members of the blockchain are responsible for verifying that the data that is being added to the blockchain in reliable and validated. The validation process is based on a system of three keys — private, public, and receiver’s key — that allows the members to check the validity of the information as well as confirm the source from where it originates.
A verified set of information forms the basic unit of this network — a block. This block is then added to other such sets of information to create a chain of blocks — or a blockchain. In order to connect these blocks together, users have to use their keys that would initiate a powerful computing systems that run algorithms to solve extremely complex mathematical problems. Upon solving a the problem, the block is successfully connected to the chain — allowing that set of information to live on the network for ever without any possibility of it being changed, altered, or removed from that point in time.
Any upgradation to a particular set of data can only be done if the owner of that data adds a new block on the top of the existing block; creating a very specific chain of codes. Every change made, thus, lead to such specific codes that would impact the entire chain. Therefore, no change or alteration can remain untraceable with no data ever being deleted or lost — changes would simply result in newer versions of the chain with the older versions still available to all users. This thorough from of record-keeping makes it easier to prevent data loss, unverified data alterations, and data damage.
Preventing Data Manipulation and Fraud
One of the most important characteristics of blockchain is its immutability. The use of sequential hashing and cryptography, combined with the decentralized structure, make it virtually impossible for any party to unilaterally alter data on the ledger. Thus, organisations can use blockchain to create a system that infallible in handling sensitive information. Blockchain would allow organisations to maintain integrity of the data and prevent any form of tampering that would compromise the reliability of the information sets.
Instead of relying on secret passcodes like present day security protocols, blockchain based security is centred around of idea of distributing the evidence among as many users as possible in order to make it impossible for the anyone to manipulate data without being detected.
If one intends to destroy or corrupt a blockchain, they would have to destroy the data set stored on every user’s computer in the global network of the blockchain. This could be millions of computers across continents with users having saved at least a part of original chain onto their systems. Unless the hacker can achieve the nearly impossible feat of simultaneously bringing down an entire network; undamaged computers — called nodes in the blockchain network — wold continue running and verifying every change that is made on the blockchain network. The impossibility of bringing down an entire network is directly proportional to the number of users on the network — higher the number of users on a network, more difficult it would be to hack. Thus, bigger blockchain networks have an infinitesimal chances of getting hacked or buckling down under a cyber attack because of the sheer complexity required to penetrate such an intricate network.
As the World Wide Web gets bigger and technology continues to develop more data will get produced, and more hackers will attempt to steal or corrupt data. The technology of blockchain has been proved to be extremely versatile and incredibly useful in the future scheme of things on the internet. The consequent ability that users achieve to secure their data is unmatched.
Innovative uses of blockchain are already a potent field of research across industries and fields beyond cryptocurrencies. The implementation of rigorous encryption and data distribution protocols on a network will lend a robust security system for any organisation and keep hackers at bay.
About Fusion Informatics
Cyber security is a concern that is only increasing with every passing day. We recognise that companies are rightfully worried about the security of their data as we move into a world that largely transacts online. We, at Fusion Informatics, assure our clients that our experts would design security systems that employ blockchain in a manner that is effective and stress-free to operate. Blockchain is not a mainstream conversation for many and we recognise the enigma that shrouds it, but we are determined to make blockchain accessible to every enterprise irrespective of their size and scope. Technology is changing and our way of handling it should also reflect the progress.