The Importance of Security Within the Blockchain

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Cyber-criminals are ever increasing their methodologies in stealing valuable/sensitive data such as financial data, health records, personal identifiable information and intellectual property. They are also resorting to other highly profitable strategies such as DDoS attacks, or holding data ransom using encryption techniques.

Blockchain has the potential to greatly improve everything from data integrity and digital identities to enabling safer IoT devices to prevent DDoS attacks. Blockchain may even play across the ‘CIA triad’ of confidentiality, integrity and availability, offering greater resilience, encryption, auditing and transparency.

A blockchain, as implied is a chain of digital “blocks” containing records of transactions. Each block is connected to all the blocks before and after it. This makes it difficult to tamper with a single record because a hacker would need to change the block containing that record as well as those linked to it to avoid detection. This alone might not seem like much of a deterrence, but blockchain has some other inherent characteristics that provide additional means of security.

To aid in thwarting those ambitious hackers blockchains are decentralised and defined over peer-to-peer networks which are updated continuously to ensure they are kept in sync with one another. Because they are not within a central location the single point of failure exploitability factor is overcome as it would require vast amounts of computing power to access every instance of a certain blockchain transaction and alter every single one at the same time. There is some debate about whether this means smaller blockchain networks could be susceptible to attack, however the overall consensus is the larger the network the more resistant it is to exploitation.

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