Some experts claim that cybersecurity will be the most challenging threat of the 21st century. Not too long ago, in 2006 TJX Companies were exposed to cybercrime, which resulted in a loss of around 200 million U.S Dollars. The hack is still one of the most deadly of the entire cyber-crimes ever committed. Yahoo was the recipient of the worst onslaught by the breach of cyber-security, back in 2013, where the damages accounted to all of its 3 billion users and a loss of around 350 million USD.
This millennia is dominated by Information Technology. Which definitely makes cyber-security its biggest threat, not that an asteroid crashing in on our planet is any less damaging. It is definitely vital to understand and analyze, that cyber-crime may not, or probably cannot be eliminated. However cyber-security can be made more resilient and robust for the entire humanity, to peacefully thrive on.
A recent phenomenon has taken the world by surprise, a good one (you can rest assured). The blockchain Technology. When it first arrived as an underlying feature to one of the most known and traded cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin, the technological experts did not pay enough heed to the potential of the blockchain technology. With time experts are increasingly viewing blockchain as major revolution to cyber-security.
Blockchain at a glance
Blockchain was introduced to the world as a side component of the most known cryptocurrency, the Bitcoin. In 2008, Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the Bitcoin, a digitally produced medium of exchange. Blockchain is the underlying technology that made accounting for the Bitcoin possible. The blockchain technology is a public ledger that holds and maintains all the information relating to the transaction and the individuals involved in the transaction of a cryptocurrency. Blockchain works as a Distributed Ledger Technology. DLT means that all data pertaining to a peer-to-peer and business-to-business transaction are uploaded and maintain simultaneously on a public server accessible to the public.
The looming cyber-threat
To understand cyber-crime and the consequent cyber-security, we must first understand the cyber-threat of the 21st century. A report by The World Bank indicated that around 50% of the world population has access to the internet. With nearly half of world accessing the internet, the internet in itself has become a spawning ground for the online civilization.
Internet holds about all kinds of data from the data and information about the most crucial and confidential of items and the information available social on media platforms. Naturally confidential information is always under potential threat. Information like personal information, intellectual property and even system that need online connectivity may malfunction, if not secured from cyber-threat.
Although there are companies that work specifically on online security systems, but even as late as 2017 there were major cyber-crimes committed. Cyber security expert ventured into the blockchain technology to find a better cure to this threat.
Cyber-security via blockchain
Due to their decentralized structure, blockchain technology provides eminent cyber-security as compared to a central database structure. We have gather valuable information about the key-features that make the blockchain technology a true promise for the cyber-security.
1. Decentralized system
The data and information on a blockchain is stored on all nodes in the network, simultaneously. Typically in a blockchain system the concept of a centralized database is revolutionized to independent yet collaborative data hosting. This allows that the as soon as the data is published, the entire blockchain system is updated, all the nodes the system included. Hence the chain remains visible to everyone and is verified by everyone present in the blockchain system.
Another feature that comes along the decentralized structure is that the entire information of blockchain is maintained on all the nodes in the system. If a cyber-criminal does intend to alter with a particular block (transactional record), the hacker would need to tamper the information on all the nodes at the same time. This is because any altered block on the blockchain would not be able to make it to blockchain system, unless verified and cross-checked by all the nodes.
2. Authentication protocols
In the blockchain system every node and every device has a unique id and password. This robust system eliminates human intervention in authentication process, thus drastically reducing the chance of cyber-security breach.
The process of authentication on a typical blockchain is done with the help of SSL certificate. The management of the SSL certificate is done on the blockchain network. This allows companies to use this a security system. By using the SSL certificate to authenticate devices and user, blockchain provides integrity and non-repudiation to the companies. This system also makes it highly improbable to breach a security system implemented with blockchain technology.
All the transaction on a blockchain, either public or private, have to be digitally signed and time-stamped. This allows companies to view a particular transaction conducted in any period and also trace-out the corresponding party on the other side of the transaction.
Any new transaction that makes it to the public ledger changes the entire global ledger. With any iteration on an existent blockchain ledger, a new global ledger would be created and the previous ledger would be maintained for historical reference and record-tracing.
The structure of a de-centralized system, increases the audit capability of the entire system. The hefty audit trail available on any blockchain re-assures companies that the data available on the blockchain is not tampered with and is therefore authentic.
4. Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS)
The currently prevalent system, Domain Name System (DNA), is a not entirely a de-centralized system. Hence it is highly prone to cyber-attacks. Companies like Spotify, Twitter and SoundCloud made it to headlines due to the DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks. In a centralized system DDoS cannot be prevented, because the central server can be attacked and thus the processes may be jeopardized.
The blockchain technology, being a completely de-centralized system, distribute all the database to the millions of the nodes available on the system, hence eliminating the cyber-threat of DDoS entirely. Editing rights in a blockchain system are only granted to authorize devices, thus the chances of data alteration is significantly reduced. In this scenario a DDoS attack can only be effective if all the nodes in the blockchain system are simultaneously hacked and altered, which is near to impossible.