If you’ve followed technology trends recently, mainly regarding finance, banking, investment, and cryptocurrencies, you’ve also heard the term Blockchain.
Technology experts continue to provide development on data and information security in the digital era as it is today, one of which is the development of the Blockchain. Blockchain is known as one of the best ways to secure the transactions we make.
Intro to Blockchain
As discussed in the article Getting to Know What Blockchain is Popularly Discussed, we can say that blockchain is a data storage technology that uses cryptographic principles.
It is a technology that underlines cryptocurrencies. It includes Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and various other crypto assets.
Technically, blockchain is often defined as a digital ledger that is decentralized and immutable. It is called that because this digital technology mimics the method of recording transaction data in a catalogue.
Like a book, this technology is used to record transactions and track assets in business networks. Assets here can be tangible assets (e.g. houses, cars, cash, and land) or intangible assets (e.g. intellectual property assets, patents, branding, and medical records).
To understand it more easily, imagine a notebook (notebook) that we often use daily.
A block on the blockchain can be analogous to a page in a notebook. Data is stored in blocks like we write notes on notebook pages. This technology uses a distributed computer network to store information or transaction data.
We can put any information or data not limited to financial transaction data. This blockchain notebook is powerful because all its pages are chained and chronologically consistent.
Information from each block or page is embedded on the next page, so we cannot change or delete it carelessly. This mechanism aims to prevent invalid transactions.
A Closer Look: Blockchain Security
Blockchain security refers to the measures taken to protect the integrity and authenticity of data stored on a blockchain network. This includes protecting the network from unauthorized access and ensuring that the data stored on the blockchain cannot be tampered with.
This is achieved through a combination of cryptographic techniques, consensus mechanisms, and network architecture.
The decentralized nature of blockchain technology also adds an additional layer of security, as there is no central point of control that can be targeted by attackers.
Blockchain Security Challenges
Blockchain technology, while considered secure, is not immune to attacks from cybercriminals. Hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in blockchain networks through various methods, such as routing attacks, 51% attacks, Sybil attacks, and phishing attacks.
1. Routing Attacks
Routing attacks involve intercepting data transfers on their way to ISPs, which can go unnoticed by blockchain users.
2. 51% Attacks
In 51% attacks, a group of unethical miners gain control of a ledger by acquiring more than 50% of a blockchain network’s mining power. This type of attack is particularly dangerous for public blockchains, but less likely to happen on private blockchains.
3. Sybil Attacks
Sybil attacks are named after a book that deals with multiple personality disorder, in this case, it’s a type of attack where hackers flood the target network with an overwhelming amount of false identities, crashing the system.
4. Phising Attack
Phishing attacks are a classic tactic used by hackers, it works by sending false but convincing-looking emails to wallet owners, asking for their credentials. This can be done by disguising as a reputable company, and tricking the users to give away their private information.
Blockchain security is a complex and constantly evolving field, it’s important for blockchain users to stay informed about the latest threats and best practices for protecting their assets.
This can include using multi-signature wallets, hardware wallets, and keeping software up-to-date. Additionally, it’s important to be aware of phishing attempts and to only trust reputable sources for information and transactions.
Blockchain Security Applications
1. Mobile Coin
Mobilecoin, a California-based cryptocurrency company, aims to provide a secure and user-friendly option for businesses that may not have the resources to implement their own ledger security measures.
Their cryptocurrency solution replaces the need for third-party transaction vendors, and keeps all transaction data encrypted at both ends.
Additionally, it can be integrated with popular messaging platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Signal, making it easy for businesses to use.
2. Coin Base
Coinbase is a California-based cryptocurrency company that operates as an exchange for buying and selling digital currency. The platform is built with a strong emphasis on security, utilizing encryption throughout the system to protect user information.
This includes storing wallets and passwords in a secure database that is inaccessible to unauthorized parties. To further ensure the safety of users’ cryptocurrency, Coinbase has a rigorous background check process for all employees.
This ensures that only trustworthy individuals with a clean history have access to sensitive information. Overall, Coinbase prioritizes security and aims to provide a safe and reliable platform for buying and selling digital currency.
3. J.P Morgan
J.P. Morgan, one of the largest and most well-known financial institutions in the United States, has developed an enterprise-focused version of Ethereum called Quorum.
This blockchain-based platform is designed to process private transactions, utilizing smart contracts to create transparent and secure transactions.
The use of blockchain technology and smart contracts allows J.P. Morgan to create a system that is both transparent and cryptographically assured, ensuring the integrity and confidentiality of transactions.
Quorum is designed for business use and allows for private and permissioned transactions. This allows for the use of blockchain technology in a secure and controlled environment, meeting the needs of business and financial institutions.
4. Lockheed Martin
Lockheed Martin, a US-based defense contractor, has become the first company of its kind to implement blockchain security.
They are working with the cybersecurity firm Guardtime Federal to introduce blockchain-based cybersecurity protocols across various aspects of their operations, including engineering systems, software development, and supply chain risk management.
The ultimate goal of this partnership is to use blockchain technology to secure every step of Lockheed Martin’s weapon development systems, ensuring the protection of sensitive information and the integrity of the development process.
This move highlights the growing interest in using blockchain technology as a means of enhancing security in various industries, including defense and aerospace.
California-based tech giant believes that blockchain technology is well-suited for the Internet of Things (IoT) due to its ability to eliminate single points of failure and secure private data through encryption.
This is a significant development as the Internet of Things continues to grow in popularity. If blockchain becomes the preferred network for IoT, it will increase the visibility and use of blockchain technology.
Additionally, having a major player in the IoT industry supporting blockchain technology can provide a significant boost to its adoption and growth.
This company’s belief in the potential of blockchain for the IoT highlights the growing recognition of the potential for this technology to transform various industries and create new opportunities.
6. Hashed Health
Hashed Health, a healthcare innovation firm based in Tennessee, aims to assist the healthcare industry in utilizing blockchain technology.
The company is made up of three entities: Hashed Collective, Hashed Enterprise, and Hashed Labs, each focusing on various aspects of blockchain.
They have joined forces with various hospitals and healthcare companies to create secure blockchain networks for sharing patient information and confidential internal communication.