These days our money is transferred via virtual bank accounts all while our informational sources are vast and thorough. Heck, even online orders are delivered the very next day. All this expediency is amazing and convenient but does come with a cost, in particular our privacy.
All this information comes with some safety issues that must be addressed, luckily industries are grabbing onto the new technology to improve online security: blockchain.
Blockchain, a Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), is built on creating trust in an otherwise untrusting ecosystem, making it a potentially strong cybersecurity technology.
The ledger system is decentralized; however, information is transparently available to members of the specific blockchain. All members (or nodes) can record, pass and view any transactional data that is encrypted in that said blockchain.
First used as the operational network behind Bitcoin, blockchain is now used in more than 1,000 crypto currencies with a number that is growing steadily.
DLT protects the integrity of cryptos through encryption methods and public information sharing. Legitimate purchases made by individuals with crypto is ensured because traces of the transfer can be called back all the way to the currency’s origins.
The legitimacy of cryptocurrency purchases by individuals is ensured because they can trace the transfer of the currency to its origin. Encryption helps control the amount of cryptocurrencies being created, thus stabilizing value. Companies such as Coinbase, Mobilecoin, Javvy, and Founders Bank use blockchain to safeguard users and their crypto trades that take place on these apps.
Traditional banking is taking a bite out of blockchain as well which is shocking consider, that traditional banking solutions tend to be slow endorsers of new technologies.
Trillions of dollars in cash flow combined with outdated and centralized cybersecurity protocols make the largest banks constant targets of hacking and fraud. Today there are at least 85 serious infiltration a year, with cyber criminals focused on operational risks. In its annual report, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) said stated more sophisticated attacks target employees who have access to credentialed information. Reports suggest multi-layered security protocols to decentralize risk which, hey, blockchain can provide.
Like banking, the healthcare industry tackles a constant barrage of cyber-attacks. In fact, healthcare experiences twice the amount of phishing attacks than any other industry.
Healthcare companies, hospitals, doctors and clinics store patient banking information, they also possess important health records (A hacker’s dream come true for targeted info!). Patient data is important to cyber criminals because it demands much more money on the black market because of the sensitive data stored within it. Exposing the social security numbers, credit card info, full names, weights, heights, prescriptions and medical conditions of millions of patients can be detrimental to any one individuals’ livelihood.
Blockchain could be the badly needed solution to a problem that puts patients and hospitals at severe risk. The DLT’s decentralized state allows only certain individuals to have small amounts of information that, if combined, would comprise a patients entire health chart. The distribution of only certain information to credentialed healthcare professionals ensures that cyber criminals cannot gain access to all the good stuff.
Massachusetts-based Phillips Healthcare is pairing blockchain with AI to create a new healthcare ecosystem that serves a strong security foothold for their patients.
In partnership with hospitals all over the world, the company uses AI to discover and analyze all aspects of the healthcare system, including operational, administrative and medical data. From there, they then implement blockchain to secure the massive amounts of data collected. Philips Healthcare “HealthSuite Insights” platform gives healthcare systems an inside look at key pain points in the current health system and offers AI and blockchain solutions to remediate those issues.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) recently released a public report on the damage on U.S. Government cybersecurity infrastructure, where phrases like “do not have the resources to combat the current threat environment” and “agencies lack visibility into what is occurring on their networks” are just the beginning.
This report goes on to claim that:
- Of the almost 31,000 successful compromises in 2017, 38% never had their methods or attacker identified
- Only 27% of agencies can detect large data compromises
- 84% of all government agencies fail at meeting basic encryption goals
Startling stats indeed, especially the last, can be improved with blockchain. The entire system runs on safe encryption of information, putting a barrier between hackers and identifiable information. Encrypted data, decentralized information storage and ledgers can instill a new set of government cybersecurity priorities. Governmental agencies than, would be able to quickly identify potential hacks and trace the manipulated data to its starting point. These governments and agencies, in attempting to be among the first governmental blockchain adapters, are pioneering ways to implement DLT into everyday cybersecurity practices.
Innovation within the military and defense sectors has led to some pretty huge technological breakthroughs. The internet and GPS were just some technologies the military tried and soon enough became part of our everyday lexicon. Will blockchain be the next breakthrough technology that is promoted by the defense sector?
Accenture states that 86% of defense companies plan to inject blockchain in the protocols within the next three years, cybersecurity to particularly name of. Blockchain is deemed a legitimate data safeguard for military, defense contractors and aerospace companies that house some of the most sensitive information.
The Internet of Things (IoT) is a no longer a growing industry but now an industry here to stay built on creativity and, consequently, well…cybersecurity issues. Nowadays, IoT products can be found in almost every aspect of our lives. From robot dog walkers to bluetooth-enabled bike locks to smart kitchen appliances that are hands-free, wireless tech is everywhere and 5G will only add to those claims.
There have been thousands of reported IoT device hacks over the last few years, a number that will surely increase as there is expected to be 75 billion IoT devices by 2025. One cybersecurity-related report found that hackers were able to bypass the security measures in an implantable cardiac device, which gave the hackers the ability to shut down the device battery and leak incorrect heartbeat information. Even cameras in our homes and at-work can be hacked via hackers gaining hold of key IP addresses and login credentials into networks.
As the IoT device market continues to grow, so too does the need for an enhanced form of cybersecurity. That is where you guessed it! Blockchain can provide a safe infrastructure for the transfer of data from one device to another without the interference of malicious actors. Decentralized control enables IoT devices to create audit trails and tracking methods for registering and using products.
As our world becomes more innovative yet connected, there comes like all other aspects of our lives, the “wrong” side to it all. Luckily, good guys are pioneering every day the best security protocols and tools to enable safety for us and blockchain, is one such innovation.
“Healthcare companies, hospitals, doctors and clinics store patient banking information, they also possess important health records (A hacker’s dream come true for targeted info!).”