Using Blockchain Technology to Boost Cyber Security

SteelKiwi Inc.
Aug 17, 2017 · 8 min read

Navigating the online world safely has become a real concern over the last few years and, looking at how intense and sophisticated some of the recent hacker attacks around the world have been, it seems like things are bound to only get worse.

Even though hackers are getting better at hacking, the ways to combat them are also improving very fast. In fact, we already have a nearly impenetrable technology, known as blockchain, which can be used to protect our data from cyber attacks and improve cybersecurity across industries.

This article provides an overview of how blockchains can improve the online security of any business, ensuring that data cannot be damaged, stolen, or lost.

Blockchain technology 101

What is a blockchain?

How do blockchains get formed?

How can data be updated?

Decentralized storage, recordkeeping, and peer-to-peer sharing

Blockchain technology is designed in such a way that there is no central authority or storage location. Every user on the network plays a part in storing some or all of the blockchain. Everyone is responsible for verifying the data that is stored and/or shared to make sure false data cannot be added and existing data cannot be removed.

Preventing fraud and data theft

In order to destroy or corrupt a blockchain, a hacker would have to destroy the data stored on every user’s computer in the global network. This could be millions of computers, with each one storing a copy of some or all the data. Unless the hacker could simultaneously bring down an entire network (which is near impossible), undamaged computers, also known as “nodes”, would continue running to verify and keep record of all the data on the network. The impossibility of a task like taking down a whole chain increases along with the amount of users on a network. Bigger blockchain networks with more users have an infinitely lower risk of getting attacked by hackers because of the complexity required to penetrate such a network.

This complex structure provides blockchain technology with the ability to be the most secure form of storing and sharing information online that we’ve discovered so far. That’s why innovators have begun applying the technology in different sectors to prevent fraud and increase protection of data.

How guardtime uses blockchain technology to safeguard data

The company takes away the need to use keys for verification. Instead, they distribute every piece of data to nodes throughout the system. If someone tries to alter the data, the system analyses the whole mass of chains, compares them to the metadata packet and then excludes any that don’t match up.

This means that the only way to wipe the entire blockchain out is to destroy every single separate node. If just one node remains running with the correct data, the whole system can be restored, even if all of the other nodes are compromised.

Guardtime’s system works in such a way that it’s always able to detect when a change has been made to the data and is constantly verifying the changes. This ensures that there is no discrete way to tamper with blocks in the chain and the data remains uncompromised.

Preventing distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks

The current difficulty in preventing DDoS attacks comes from the existing Domain Name System (DNS). DNS is a partially decentralized one-to-one mapping of IP addresses to domain names and works much like a phone book for the Internet. This system is responsible for resolving human-readable domain names (like steelkiwi.com) into machine-readable IP addresses (made up of numbers).

The fact that it is only partially decentralized means that it is still vulnerable to hackers because they are able to target the centralized part of DNS (the one which stores the main bulk of data) and continue crashing one website after another.

Using blockchaines to prevent DDoS attacks

Some companies are already implementing blockchain in this area to prevent DDoS attacks from occurring. For instance, Blockstack provides a fully decentralized option for DNS. The concept behind the company is to make the entire worldwide web decentralized by removing all third parties from managing web servers, ID systems, and databases.

If current DNS would operate on blockchain, users would still be able to register domain names, but only authorized owners would be able to make changes to their domains. Since the data would be stored on many different nodes and every other user on the network would have a copy of the entire data on the blockchain, it would be virtually impossible to hack or destroy it completely.

MaidSafe is a similar company based in the UK. Their goal is also to decentralize the web and create something like an alternative Internet where users are able to run apps, store data, and do everything else they normally do online, but in a more secure environment. When signing up for this service, users can choose how much of their personal storage space they want to dedicate to the network. The system then provides safecoin, a cryptocurrency, to compensate users for the value (space) they offer the network. Every file placed onto the MaidSafe network is encrypted, fragmented, and shared among users. The only person that can make the data readable again is its owner, ensuring that the data is not accessible by anyone other than the authorized owner.

Innovative uses for blockchain technology

Innovative uses for blockchain technology are already becoming a part of other fields beyond cryptocurrencies and can be especially useful to boost cybersecurity. By implementing rigorous encryption and data distribution protocols on a network, any business can ensure that their information will remain safely intact and out of the reach of hackers.

If we’ve managed to captivate your interest with the ambitious prospects of the blockchain’s future in cyber security, please feel free to contact one of our sales representatives and ask them about the ways to implement this technology into your own business, thus making its benefits a part of your own life.

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SteelKiwi Inc.

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#Web and #mobile development for b2b and b2c sectors, including secure enterprise solutions and #MVP-development for #startups. Website: https://steelkiwi.com

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