Blockchain poses potential security risks, cybersecurity professionals can do a lot to mitigate these risks. IT professionals with carefully honed analytical and technical skills will be well-positioned to deploy blockchain in the most secure manner possible.
Encryption is an important step for cybersecurity professionals to take. Cybersecurity professionals can help mitigate some of the inherent threats by further encrypting data transmitted via blockchain technology.
Cyber security professionals can use their communication skills to clearly communicate potential risks to their clients. This could be as simple as advising a company to thoroughly vet vendors and raise cyber security concerns before adopting a new blockchain platform. A cyber security professional may also advise on some common-sense information security practices, such as the use of pseudonyms in online transactions.
𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐨𝐫𝐭𝐚𝐧𝐜𝐞 𝐨𝐟 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐧
Perhaps the best place to start is to explain what blockchain is. “Blockchain is simply a collection of digital information (“blocks”) that are stored in a public database (the “chain”) and linked using cryptography. One of the reasons blockchain exists is to prevent “double spending,” which means that blockchain makes it nearly impossible to use the same currency in two separate transactions, though cybercriminals have attempted to find ways around this.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐈𝐬 𝐔𝐬𝐞𝐝
Blockchain was created to be used in the trading of cryptocurrencies like bitcoin. Each bitcoin or other cryptocurrency transaction is assigned a blockchain record that is publicly accessible. Individual users can also sync their computers with a specific blockchain, receiving updates as new transactions occur.
5 𝐁𝐥𝐨𝐜𝐤𝐜𝐡𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐒𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐭𝐲 𝐈𝐬𝐬𝐮𝐞𝐬
Here are five of the most pressing blockchain-related security concerns.
𝗩𝘂𝗹𝗻𝗲𝗿𝗮𝗯𝗶𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝗕𝗹𝗼𝗰𝗸𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗶𝗻 𝗘𝗻𝗱𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁𝘀
While blockchain has been marketed as virtually “unhackable,” it’s important to remember that the majority of blockchain transactions have far less secure endpoints.
Several third-party providers can be brought in to facilitate blockchain transactions. Examples include payment processors, smart contracts, and blockchain payment platforms. These third-party blockchain providers often have relatively weak security on their own apps and websites, which can open doors for hackers.
Current blockchains are the largest ever built, and as the technology gains popularity, blockchains will only grow larger. Some experts are concerned because these large-scale blockchains have not been thoroughly tested. Common concerns center on the possibility that as the blockchain ecosystem grows, more vulnerabilities will be discovered and exploited, or that the tech infrastructure that supports blockchain will become more prone to simple mistakes.
Another issue with blockchain security is the lack of clear regulatory standards. Due to the lack of standardization in the blockchain world, developers have a difficult time learning from the mistakes of others.
Blockchain has traditionally been used for cryptocurrency trades, it is increasingly being used in other fields. The issue is that the coding used in non-cryptocurrency applications is frequently untested and highly experimental, which means that hackers may be able to discover and exploit vulnerabilities.