While cryptocurrencies remain vulnerable to a number of cyber security attacks, the underlying blockchain technology is gradually showing all its potential in the cybersecurity industry. As the physical world meets the digital one, data has become a key resource for businesses. Ensuring data safeness, security, privacy, and authenticity have become a priority challenge in the business world but blockchain technology has the potential to provide innovative solutions to reduce these growing cybersecurity risks.
Cybercriminals are using increasingly sophisticated and complex method when trying to steal valuable corporate data. They are using highly profitable strategies such as ransomware and are forcing the disruption of business operations with Distributed Denial of Service (DDOS) attacks.
When applying blockchain technology to protect against data tampering in the real world, common use cases often involve protecting transaction logs, proving the existence of legal documents, and even confirming the creation date of intellectual property work.
With the help of blockchain, businesses are able to authenticate devices and users without the need for a password. This eliminates human intervention from the process of authentication, thereby preventing this process from becoming a potential attack vector. A blockchain cybersecurity system used in an organization can leverage a distributed public key infrastructure for authenticating devices and users. This security system provides each device with a specific SSL certificate instead of a password. Management of certificate data is carried out on the blockchain making this approach virtually impossible for attackers to utilize fake certificates.
Blockchain technology can also be used to have data “stamped” with a digital signature. This digital signature element, called hash, can then be stored on either a public or private blockchain ledger, which is highly immutable, and made available to the blockchain participants to check if data was modified at any given time. As an example, Acronis applies blockchain technology to compute a cryptographic hash, or “fingerprint”, that is unique for each data file it stores. Any change in the input file results in a dramatically different fingerprint. And the process is tamper-proof in the way that it is impossible to determine the original file inputs from the output alone.
Looking at these promising applications, the Russian Ministry of Defense is launching a research lab to analyze how blockchain technology can be used to mitigate cybersecurity attacks. One of the priorities of the lab is the development of an intelligent system to detect and prevent cyber attacks on important databases. Consequently, the use of blockchain-based platforms can make it more difficult for hackers to hide traces of their cyber attack attempts.
The innovative company Altr has also positioned itself on the development of blockchain cybersecurity software. They recently announced a fundraising of $15 million, while cybercrime is predicted to have an $8 trillion impact on the global economy by 2022. The Austin, Texas-based company built its blockchain cybersecurity platform on Altrchain, a high-performance, enterprise-grade blockchain technology for ultra-secure data access and storage. The Altr platform is a data security solution that lets organizations monitor, access, and store critical information. The company’s board of advisors includes a former software executive at tech giants IBM and Microsoft, one of the world’s foremost security experts and former deputy chief of the counterterrorism division at the U.S. Diplomatic Security Service, and the former CTO of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Although there’s no killer app yet, with the exception of Bitcoin, blockchain technology keeps maturing to redefine many industries and their respective business processes. It will certainly play a role in the future of cybersecurity. According to an executive at PwC, “Blockchain is something business leaders should be thinking about now, and it is something that organizations should focus on and begin architecting today.”