It is never prudent to underestimate the ability of a hacker. One hacker or a small group of hackers can shut down an entire system, lure the unwary into cyber traps, steal millions worth in data and even topple down governments by leaking classified information online.
Blockchains alternative approach to storing and sharing information provides a way out of this security mess. The technology that can secure transactions with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum can also serve as a tool to prevent cyberattacks.
How will blockchain increase security?
1. Protecting identities: Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a form of public key cryptography that secures emails, messaging apps, websites and other forms of communication. But PKI relies on third-party Certificate Authorities (CA) to issue, revoke and store key pieces of information. Information that can be duplicated by hackers who can spoof identities that can get them through an encrypted system.
CertCoin is one of the first implementations of blockchain-based PKI, which removes central authority’s altogether and uses blockchain as a distributed ledger of domains and their associated public keys. CertCoin provides a public and auditable PKI that does not have a single point of failure.
This approach gives users a means to verify the authenticity of certificates with a decentralized and transparent source. It also has the side benefit of optimizing network access by performing key and signature verification on local copies of blockchain.
2. Protecting data integrity: Blockchain replaces secrets with transparency, distributing evidence across many blockchain nodes making it practically impossible to manipulate data without being caught.
Keyles Signature Structure (KSI) is a blockchain project that aims to replace key-based authentication. KSI stores hashes of original data and files on blockchain and verifies copies by running hashing algorithms and comparing the results with what is stored on the blockchain network. Any manipulated data will be quickly discovered because the original hash exists on millions of nodes.
3. Protecting critical infrastructure: The massive ransomware attack of May 2017 is a painful reminder of easy it has become for hackers to hold an entire infrastructure hostage. A blockchain approach to storing DNS entries could, improve security by removing the single target that hackers can attack to compromise the entire system.
A transparent, distributed DNS where domain records are under their owners control will also make it virtually impossible for any single entity,
including governments, to manipulate entries at their whim.
4.Homomorphic Encryption: The essence of Homomorphic encryption is to enable for computations on encrypted data before its actual decryption. Currently, data privacy and transactions is upheld since computations may be done on the data but only those with the decryption key may access its contents.
Homomorphic encryption occurs in two main processes that are full and semi-complete arithmetic processes.
Fully Homopheric encryption schemes are said to be Turing-complete since they allow for both addition and subtraction operations on the ciphered messages. On the contrary, Semi homomorphic schemes like RSA only support operation on the ciphered text.
5. Zero Knowledge Proofs: An essential interaction for a blockchain can be through Zero Knowledge Proofs, cryptographic techniques that require two transacting parties, an authenticator and a verifier, to prove some propositions about the transactions without having to be true having to reveal all its information.
As the tech world evolves, so too the myriad of threats that come along with the march of evolution. Blockchain is not exactly a silver bullet that will fix everything wrong with the internet. Nevertheless it is a powerful tool that will help cyber security experts in stemming the oncoming onslaught of cyber attacks. It will also be a tool which will help them leverage their systems to be prepared for any attack of this manner.
The Blockchain revolution has just begun. No matter what you think about the potential of this technology, you need to keep yourself abreast with what the world is doing related to its application. An important part of this process is an exchange of ideas between the bright minds. Since the concept of Blockchain came into light, everybody is trying to find its use in different industries. Some countries are more inclined towards working to implement it in Banking, some in supply-chain and so on. They can learn from each other’s approach.
World Blockchain Summit organised by Trescon is a platform, where experts around the globe meet to exchange ideas on Blockchain use cases and it is happening on 24 – 25 October 2017 in Dubai. To book tickets or to explore sponsorship opportunities go here.