Do you know that the issue of Cyber Security has been actively surfacing the news reports since 2016? Over this period, multiple solutions have been proposed for fighting the evil that is a cyber crime. The use of Blockchain technology is one such technique which can be considered for ensuring as well as managing data security.
The blockchain is a database (a distributed one) which is comprised of blocks that are made up of the list of records. According to Don & Alex Tapscott (authors of Blockchain Revolution which were released in 2016),
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.” That is, the ledger (database created using blockchain) gets encrypted and shared only within the authorized network. The underlying principle here is the fact that changing or removing the data that has been recorded on the blockchain ledger’s block of data, is next to impossible.
In case the existing authorized parties wish to modify this existing data, they can run algorithms for verifying and evaluating the transaction which is being proposed to be modified. The proposed transaction would get approved and the new block would be added after it gets approval from the majority of nodes to do the same.
If you have been reading about cyber crimes and the recently upsurged Ransomware attacks where the attackers seek ransom in the form of Bitcoins, you might already be aware of the term (Bitcoin). Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum use the technology of Blockchain for ensuring secure transactions.
As discussed above, blockchains function on permissions and work among a closed set of trusted participants, unlike bitcoins that work publically. The technology of Blockchain proposes to help the cyber security experts in dealing with blocking the identity thefts, preventing data tampering and for protecting the systems from the denial of service attacks.
In order to protect the systems from identity thefts that occur because of centralized Public Key Infrastructure (PKI), the blockchain technology proposes to publish security keys (like for end-to-end encryption on messaging apps such as Whatsapp) such that, people involved in the communication can validate the user at the other end and fake copies of the keys can be identified. More and more industries are adopting this technology for ensuring identity protection.
In order to protect the integrity of the data, the blockchain technology proposes to replace the standard process of signing documents with private keys with transparency. That is, the security experts can distribute the data to various blockchain nodes which would make it practically impossible for the attackers to manipulate the data without being noticed. Blockchain Company Gem and GuardTime’s Keyless Signature Structure (KSI) are some of the projects that are using the technology of Blockchain. A project named Nebulis is using the concepts of Ethereum Blockchain and Interplanetary Filesystem (IPFS) such that, the critical infrastructure of an organization can be protected from being cyber attacked.
Although the use of blockchain runs a risk of losing data if the key that secures all the encrypted data gets lost, this technology sure proposes an improvised way for ensuring cyber security. With the help of such transparent and distributed DNS systems, tampering with the records by even the most influential parties (like various government bodies) would be next to impossible.