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Blockchain Expert, Founder of New Edge Soft Sol
Blockchain technology is all about transparency. The notion of a distributed database where all transactions are open to public view is less travelled—and not at all hospitable to cybercriminals.
Any data stored on the blockchain is highly encrypted due to something called cryptography, which provides a higher level of encryption to users, reducing vulnerability and verifying ownership of data effectively. Transactions are stored and recorded across every node in the network, making it impossible for hackers to steal, compromise, or tamper with any given data unless a vulnerability already exists at the platform level.
What makes Blockchain unique is its potential to eliminate malicious actions, anomalies, and false positives without relying on any central authority. Like a common saying : “One pair of eyes can be fooled, but not all of them.”
As the adoption of blockchain grows, so do its applications and use. On the Internet-of-Thing (IoT) front, blockchain will change the devices that we see today. For instance, IoT devices like smart cameras, refrigerators, and TVs, are all working on something called Web2.0, a centralised internet where all your data is being stored, on a cloud-based server. Companies have access to your data and there have been instances where data has been sold to third parties for marketing purposes.
Blockchain technology wants to put an end to this. All of your data will be stored in decentralised storage which means tech companies won’t have access to your data. In short, only you own your data and nobody else does.
Cyber attacks are a common occurrence. Every other day, the data of a company is breached affecting thousands of users. While it is established that Blockchain can make your data secure, what about the outage that occurs because of this. Last month, Spicejet airlines had its servers jammed due to ransomware attacks. This affected passengers, who were stranded at the airport for hours, altogether. Blockchain’s decentralised server can ensure that even if a cyber attack happens, the servers are not affected and still can be running continuously. Notably, DOS attack is generally not possible in Blockchain technology.
Hackers tend to send malicious or fake engineered links, which when opened results in a vulnerability. These links essentially are designed to take control over the authentication page (login), and then seep into the back-end, which ultimately calls for a ‘data breach’. Blockchain-based authentication pages cannot work against any hacker or even ‘brute-force’ attacks.
Another important use case is verifying personal documents. This is possible because Blockchain is immutable—meaning that it cannot be altered or modified. So, once a document is uploaded, there is no chance of the document being edited or tampered with. KYC document verification can be seamless, giving an edge to the companies as well as individuals who are trusting the companies and providing their documents.
Further, governments around the world are recognising the power of blockchain. Recently, the Maharashtra government partnered with a blockchain startup to verify caste certificates, and this is just one use case.
Just to give an example, governments usually store passport data in a centralised server. It should be noted that the data is highly sensitive because it includes your biometric information, your name, contact details, and even your facial recognition data. In a worst-case scenario, if a cyber attack occurs, individual identity and basic details will wash away. If the same information is stored and connected on a blockchain it will only validate and ownership remains with the person.
Interestingly, cyber hackers are also targeting the health care sector. Patients’ data such as their medical history is extremely sensitive. Any chances of a breach could mean the whole data going out in public, which can be used by telemarketers or blackmailers for illicit purposes. Again, storing the aforementioned data on the blockchain is the only feasible solution for the health tech industry.
Despite all these practices, companies should still focus on securing their network through rate limitations, encrypting sensitive configuration files, and continuously weeding out vulnerabilities.
Blockchain is fairly a nascent technology, and we will continue to see its increase in usage. It is worth noting that a lot of tech companies are quickly adopting blockchain to secure their data. These companies are the ones that believe that customer security is paramount. In the near future, the trend will only increase—and this will happen when the end-users realise the potential that their data holds.
In the Indian context, blockchain will only boom. The trend can already be seen. Several startups are now flocking to utilise the potential of blockchain technology. The rise in data thefts and the ongoing awareness will exponentially increase the need for better technology that can handle, store, and give access to data in a safe manner.
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Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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