Can The Technology Behind Digital Currencies Boost Your Business’ Cyber Security?

Posted: 18th May 2017 08:01

After the scandal of the NHS cyber-attack, a number of businesses both large and small are taking a closer look at their cyber security and how they can protect their data. There are a number of technologies and software implementations and patches that you could put in place to protect yourself against things like ransomware encryptions and other viruses, but many are looking to the future and what can protect them when viruses become far more intelligent. One of the most interesting developments in technology that could provide a whole new level of security for businesses is what’s known as blockchain technology. Back in 2016, the blockchain was seen as an emerging technology with people unsure of how exactly it was going to fit into every day life. Now, in 2017, blockchain is thriving. Here, we’re taking a closer look at blockchain technology, what it is and how it can be used to help boost your business’ cyber security.

What Is Blockchain Technology Used For?

Blockchain technology is currently used as part of a digital currency technology, with infamous currencies such as the Bitcoin being the main user of this. The Bitcoin can be used for a huge range of transaction purposes, and can also be stored and invested. One of the most popular uses for the Bitcoin is with online Bitcoin gambling and casinos. The blockchain technology provides the Bitcoin with a pseudo-anonymous cover that helps to stop users’ identities being linked to the currency and what they’re doing with it. While the currency itself can be tracked, blockchain technology essentially provides a cover over the user’s identity.
What Security Benefits Does The Blockchain Offer?

The main security benefit of the Blockchain is the anonymity it provides. With online tracking and IP addresses generally monitoring everything that a person does online, even if they are trying to use a proxy to hide this, it can be very easy for people to hack into systems and obtain certain types of data from a user. Whether that is as subtle as knowing what they are currently browsing or even taking hold of their user history, or something far more in-depth such as stealing log in details or personal information from accounts that are set up for e-commerce purposes.

Blockchain trading is much more secure than regular security systems, and it is already being hyped as the potential solution for inefficient information processing systems. The other security benefit of the blockchain is that it is transparent and cannot be changed, meaning it is a dream solution for a number of compliance regulations. The technology is also immutable, because every block is left with a cryptographic signature. With the strict verification procedures that covers any type of transaction, a virus or attack that is obtaining and encrypting data and information is, mathematically, almost impossible – particularly when it comes to stocks.
How Can Blockchain Technology Be Used In Cyber Security?

Cyber security is becoming more important than ever, and there are a number of ways that people can deal with this. Firstly, the blockchain’s alternative approach to storing information and the way it shares it helps it to stay well away from hackers who are looking to enter networks and tamper with data. There are three different ways that Blockchain technology can help to increase security measures for a business’ cyber security. Firstly, it can help to block identity theft, prevent any tampering of data and also help to stop Denial of Service attacks.
How Can Blockchain Protect Identities?

Public Key Infrastructure is a form of public key cryptography, which helps to secure all types of websites, messaging apps and emails. However, they are an easy way for hackers to enter and spoof user identities, which can end up with encrypted communications for any business.  This is because PKI relies solely on centralised, third part Certificate Authorities when it comes to storing key pairs for everyone involved.

Tech research company Pomcor actually published a blockchain-based PKI blueprint, which uses blockchain to help store hashes of issued and revoked certificates, as opposed to removing the central authorities which many people were campaigning against. The approach helps users to verify the authenticity of any type of certificate from a totally decentralised source, as well as allowing key and signature verification of any local copies. This is perfect for IoT devices, and can be implemented in a number of businesses in order to help protect data from hackers aiming to get into the system.

How Can Blockchain Protect Data Integrity?

With the blockchain, you have to sign documents and files with private keys in order to ensure that all of the recipients are verified users. This provides a new way of document signing which helps to make business far more transparent, and almost impossible to manipulate without being caught. There are a number of different start-ups such as the Keyless Signature Structure blockchain project which is working on a new approach to data authentication by storing hashes of original data and files, and verifying any other copies with the help of hashing algorithms.

Data integrity is exceptionally important for all businesses, particularly those who deal with various regulations and compliance requirements. This will stop hackers from entering the system and manipulating any form of data within the system as this will quickly be picked up by the original hash featured on the nodes.
How Can Blockchain Prevent Denial Of Service Attacks?

Protecting critical infrastructure in your business is vital and one of the main reasons hackers are entering the system is through Denial of Service attacks. In October 2016, we saw a major outage of a number of sites including Twitter, Netflix and PayPal for a number of hours which depicted a very serious issue in the internet. All the hackers did was bring down the service that provided Domain Name Services for major websites. A blockchain approach to the way DNS entries are stored really could help to improve security, as it takes away the single point of entry that can attack and compromise the entire system. This is highly important for businesses, particularly larger ones, when it comes to their cyber security as it removes the chance of their websites being taken down.

The Future

While new threats are almost certain to appear in cyber security, the blockchain can act as a powerful tool for businesses to harden and improve their internet security issues against existing threats that weaken their systems dramatically. Blockchain is still in its infancy, but it is already being looked to as the solution of the future for cyber security.