A blockchain is a database that stores data in the form of chained blocks. A blockchain can be used in a centralized or decentralized manner. Decentralized blockchains are not owned by a single entity – rather, all users have collective control. Let’s take Bitcoin, for example.
Bitcoin’s network consists of thousands of computers, called nodes, which are operated by individuals or groups of people in different geographic locations. Decentralized blockchains are immutable. This essentially means that data transactions are irreversible. Blockchain technology’s decentralized nature makes it ideal for cybersecurity.
Blockchain technology automates data storage, provides data integrity and is transparent. Let’s explore the potential use cases of blockchain technology for cybersecurity.
Recent Cybersecurity Statistics and Trends
With each coming day, the amount of data that we are generating is increasing exponentially. As we continue to develop sophisticated technologies to ensure security, hackers are devising new techniques and implementing sounder technology to execute cybercrime. All of this has resulted in the culmination of damning cybersecurity statistics and trends:
- 95% of data breaches are caused due to human error.
- In the first half of 2020, data breaches exposed over 35 billion records.
- Of recorded data breaches, 45% featured hacking, 22% involved phishing and 17% involved malware.
- Over 90% of malware is delivered by email.
- Over 200,000 malware samples are produced daily. This number is expected to rise with time.
- It took 34% of businesses hit with malware a week or more to regain data access.
- Cybercrime-related damage is projected to cost $6 trillion annually in 2021.
- Ransomware costs businesses over $75 billion annually.
- Fake invoices are the leading disguise for malware distribution.
- 50% of global data breaches will occur in the United States by 2023.
The Future of Cyber Attacks
With the rolling out of 5G networks, download speeds will increase substantially, in turn creating more opportunities for hackers to expose security inefficiencies. Faster download speeds will encourage larger cyber crimes as well.
The number of globally connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices is projected to amount to 13.8 billion devices in 2021. As there is a huge commercial appetite for IoT, enterprises are coming up with a range of applications, from wearables to smart homes. Patchy security features could be exposed by miscreants.
This is where blockchain technology comes into the picture.
Blockchain’s Role in Cybersecurity
Here is how blockchain technology can strengthen cybersecurity:
- The number of social media platforms that we use is on the rise and most are protected by weak and unreliable passwords. Large quantities of metadata are collected during social media interactions and hackers can create havoc if they gain access to this data.
- Blockchain technology can be used to develop a standard security protocol, as it is a sounder alternative to end-to-end encryption. It can also be used to secure private messaging by forming a unified API framework to enable cross-messenger communication capabilities.
- Through edge devices, hackers have been able to gain access to overall systems in the past. With the current craze for home automation systems, hackers can gain access to smart homes through edge devices like smart switches, if these IoT devices have dodgy security features.
- Blockchain technology can be used to secure such systems or individual devices by decentralizing their administration.
- By decentralizing Domain Name System (DNS) entries, blockchain technology can help prevent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
- With increasingly large quantities of data generated each day, storing data in a centralized manner leaves it potentially exposed, as a single vulnerable point can be exploited by a hacker. By storing data in a decentralized form using blockchain, it will be nearly impossible for miscreants to access data storage systems.
- Blockchain technology can be used to verify activities like patches, installers, and firmware updates.
- Blockchain technology can be used to protect data from unauthorized access while it is in transit, by utilizing encryption.
The inherently decentralized nature of blockchain technology has several applications, of which cybersecurity should be explored. Data on blockchains cannot be tampered with, as network nodes automatically cross-reference each other and pinpoint the node with misrepresented information.
Blockchain technology provides the highest standards of data transparency and integrity. As blockchain technology automates data storage, it eliminates the leading cause of data breaches – human error. Cybercrime is the greatest threat to enterprises and blockchain technology could go a long way in fighting it.