How Blockchain Could Impact Cybersecurity

Cyber criminals will steal over 30 billion records by 2023, according to Juniper Research, which represents just under a three-fold increase over the 12 billion records swiped last year. The average cost of a data breach amounts to nearly $8 million, which is enough to close many small businesses already operating on a shoestring budget.

While cyber criminals are growing more sophisticated, there are several emerging technologies that could dramatically improve cybersecurity over the coming years. Blockchain is one of these technologies that could revolutionize cybersecurity by storing data in an immutable way and sharing it with others in a secure and verifiable way.

Let's take a look at how blockchain technologies could impact cybersecurity for small businesses by securely storing data and accurately recording transactions.

What is Blockchain?

Blockchain is simply a list of records linked via cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp of the transaction date and the transaction data. The blockchain creates an immutable and distributed ledger capable of recording transactions between two parties in an efficient, verifiable and permanent way.

Blockchains are often associated with cryptocurrencies, but they could be useful for much more. For instance, the technology could improve supply chain transparency by providing a single source of truth. The immutable ledger would make counterfeits impossible, as well as improve regulatory compliance, reduce paperwork and reduce overall costs.

Download our free Checklist of Blockchain Cybersecurity Solutions to consider for your small business.

There are several specific features of blockchain technology that make it compelling from a security standpoint:

  • Decentralized - Blockchain technologies are decentralized and verified by all parties via consensus on the network, which means there's no centralized power in control.

  • Tamper resistant - Transactions on the blockchain are verified with more blocks added to the network, which makes them immutable (unable to change).

  • Zero-proof knowledge - Blockchain enables any party to easily identify themselves with a cryptographic address that's difficult or impossible to impersonate.

The two biggest criticisms of blockchain technology are that it's unproven and resource intensive. The calculations that guarantee the integrity of data blocks can be expensive in terms of computing and power demands, although new proof-of-stake techniques could mitigate these concerns. Blockchain technology is also relatively new with a limited track record.

How It Will Impact Cybersecurity

Blockchain technology could play an important role in cybersecurity by improving the security of many different information technology systems. While widespread adoption of blockchain technologies may still be years away, there are some companies that are already developing innovative solutions for early adopters willing to work through the kinks.

Download our free Checklist of Blockchain Cybersecurity Solutions to consider for your small business.

Some potential applications include:

  • Data storage - Blockchain-based storage solutions could enable users to store data in a distributed environment and ensure that only trusted parties can access it. Hackers would no longer have a single point of entry to direct an attack.

  • Transactions - Blockchain-based transactional platforms wouldn't require a trusted third party that could be compromised to execute contracts. Hackers wouldn't have a way to intervene in or redirect these transactions.

  • Messages - Messaging platforms could ensure that messages are securely transferred between two parties without requiring a third party. Hackers wouldn't be able to intercept these messages using man-in-the-middle attacks.

  • Audits - Blockchain technology could help create an audit trail for any applications that require it. With the audit trail in place, hackers would have a harder time covering their tracks after a crime has been committed.

Beyond these applications, blockchain technology could help secure underlying Internet infrastructure. Public key infrastructure (PKI) that encrypts communications wouldn't have to rely on third-party certificate authorities (as SSL does for the web) and the domain name system (DNS) wouldn't have to be centralized (making DDoS attacks possible).

The application of blockchain to these areas could prevent hackers from using many popular attack vectors. Data breaches, DDoS attacks and man-in-the-middle attacks would become much more difficult or even impossible.

Building a Safer Network

Blockchain technologies could help improve many different information technology systems, but small businesses still need to protect their other assets from attack. For example, there are no technologies that can prevent employees from divulging information via email in spear-phishing attacks or stop criminals from scanning for open ports on a network.

Jungle Disk's cybersecurity suite is designed for small businesses with up to 250 employees. With a simple per-user per-month pricing model, small businesses have access to an extensive cybersecurity suite that includes active network protection, secure backups, password management and email archiving and phishing alerts for business email.

We also recently launched Security Awareness Training services designed to educate employees about cybersecurity risks. Teach them how to defend against phishing, ransomware and other popular attack vectors with simulated attacks to validate training sessions and ensure compliance. This is only available in the Complete Suite during the early access period.

These solutions fill the void between secure information technology solutions and inherent risks in corporate networks. Even better, Jungle Disk charges much less than enterprise cybersecurity solutions that may be unaffordable for small businesses operating on a limited budget.

Sign up today or request a demo to learn more!

The Bottom Line

The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving with new technologies. While cybercriminals have become more sophisticated, emerging technologies could dramatically improve security. Blockchain is an example of one of these technologies that could have significant implications for cybersecurity by improving many areas of security.

While blockchain could help improve the security of various information technology solutions, small businesses should still have security systems in place to protect network infrastructure as well as training to keep employees alert.

Sign up for Jungle Disk today or request a demo to learn more about how to protect your business from attack.

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