A blockchain is a database that stores data in the form of chained blocks. A blockchain can be used centrally or decentrally. Decentralized blockchains do not belong to a single entity – rather, all users have joint control. Take Bitcoin, for example.
Bitcoin’s network consists of thousands of computers, called nodes, that are operated by individuals or groups of people in different geographic locations. Decentralized blockchains are immutable. This essentially means that data transactions are irreversible. The decentralized nature of blockchain technology makes it ideal for cybersecurity.
Blockchain technology automates data storage, offers data integrity and is transparent. Let’s examine the potential use cases of blockchain technology for cybersecurity.
Also read: Strengthening IoT Security with Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT)
Latest cybersecurity statistics and trends
With each coming day, the amount of data we generate increases exponentially. As we continue to develop sophisticated technologies to ensure security, hackers develop new techniques and implement better technologies to carry out cybercrime. All of this has culminated in devastating cybersecurity stats and trends:
- 95% of data breaches are caused by human error.
- In the first half of 2020, data breaches exposed over 35 billion records.
- Of the data breaches recorded, 45% were hacking, 22% phishing, and 17% malware.
- Over 90% of malware is delivered via email.
- Over 200,000 malware samples are produced every day. This number is expected to increase over time.
- It took 34% of organizations affected by malware a week or more to regain access to their data.
- Cybercrime damage is expected to cost $ 6 trillion annually in 2021.
- Ransomware costs businesses over $ 75 billion annually.
- Counterfeit invoices are the leading cover for malware spreading.
- By 2023, 50% of the world’s data breaches will occur in the United States.
The future of cyber attacks
With the advent of 5G networks, download speeds will increase significantly, which in turn will give hackers more opportunities to uncover security inefficiencies. Higher download speeds will also encourage greater cybercrime.
The number of globally connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices is estimated at 13.8 billion devices in 2021. As the commercial demand for IoT is high, companies are developing a range of applications from wearables to smart homes. Weak security features could be exposed by villains.
This is where blockchain technology comes in.
Also read: End-to-end encryption in companies is on the rise
The role of blockchain in cybersecurity
How blockchain technology can strengthen cybersecurity:
- The number of social media platforms we use is increasing and most are protected by weak and unreliable passwords. Large amounts of metadata are gathered when you interact with social media, and hackers can have devastating consequences if they gain access to this data.
- Blockchain technology can be used to develop a standard security protocol as it is a more solid alternative to end-to-end encryption. It can also be used to secure private messaging by creating a unified API framework to enable cross-messenger communication capabilities.
- In the past, hackers were able to gain access to entire systems via edge devices. With the current craze for home automation systems, hackers can gain access to smart homes via edge devices such as smart switches if those IoT devices have shady security features.
- Blockchain technology can be used to secure such systems or individual devices by decentralizing their management.
- By decentralizing Domain Name System (DNS) records, blockchain technology can help prevent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks.
- As more and more data is generated every day, the central storage of data can potentially expose it as a single vulnerable point can be exploited by a hacker. The decentralized storage of data using blockchain will make it almost impossible for fraudsters to access data storage systems.
- Blockchain technology can be used to check activities such as patches, installers, and firmware updates.
- Blockchain technology can be used to protect data in transit from unauthorized access by using encryption.
The inherently decentralized nature of blockchain technology has several applications of which cybersecurity should be investigated. Data on blockchains cannot be manipulated, as network nodes automatically reference each other and locate the node with incorrectly displayed information.
Blockchain technology offers the highest standards of data transparency and integrity. As blockchain technology automates data storage, it eliminates the number one cause of data breaches – human error. Cybercrime is the number one threat facing businesses and blockchain technology could go a long way in combating it.
Next read: The changing application landscape poses new challenges for cybersecurity