What Is Blockchain? The Most Disruptive Tech In Decades
Blockchain is poised to change IT in much the same way open-source software did a quarter of a century ago. And in the same way that Linux took more than a decade to become a cornerstone in modern application development, Blockchain will take years to become a lower cost, more efficient way to share information between open and private networks. But the hype around this seemingly new, secure electronic ledger is real. In essence, blockchain represents a new paradigm for the way information is shared and tech vendors and companies are rushing to figure out how they can use the distributed ledger technology to save time and admin costs. Numerous companies this year have been rolling out pilot programs and real-world projects across a variety of industries - everything from financial services to healthcare to mobile payments. It's unlikely to be a wholly disruptive technology that attacks traditional business models with a lower-cost solution that overtakes other networking technology quickly, according to Karim Lakhani, a professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. Instead, Blockchain is a foundational technology, with the potential to create new foundations for economic and social systems, Lakhani said in The Truth About Blockchain , which he co-authored. [ Further reading: The top 5 problems with blockchain ] Blockchain adoption is expected be slow and steady, as the changes it brings gain momentum, according Lakhani, a principal investigator of the Crowd Innovation Lab and NASA Tournament Lab at the Harvard Institute for Quantitative Social Science. "Conceptionally, this is TCP/IP applied to the world of business and transactions," Lakhani said in an interview. "In the '70s and '80s, TCP/IP was not imaginable to be as robust and scalable as it Continue reading >>
Uh Oh: Blockchain May Not Be As Secure As We Thought
Uh Oh: Blockchain May Not Be as Secure as We Thought In an analysis of one million smart contracts, a new analysis tool found that 34,200 had security vulnerabilities. Before we transition to a blockchain-based digital economy, we need to address the flaws in this system. Blockchain has the potential to transform our world. Experts insist the technology is bigger than the internet , but we may want to take a beat before we put everything from our money to our health records on blockchains. According to a new study , the technology isnt nearly as secure as we thought. Back in 2009, Bitcoin set the blockchain revolution in motion giving any two parties, anywhere, a way to quickly and securely transfer money. Some blockchains, most notably Ethereum, take the utility of Bitcoin to the next level by incorporating smart contracts, which automate the process. For example, say you want to buy 10 ether tokens, but only if the price drops below $600 per token. Smart contracts are set up to execute specific actions when they encounter a specific situation, so you could set one up to buy 10 ether when the price drops. Thats not all they can do: while smart contracts can be as simple as the above, they can also be far more complicated. You could also set up a smart contract to buy ether if the cost hits below $600 per token, and you have an account balance above $10,000, and its a Friday. Smart contracts are essential for industries outside of finance that want to take advantage of the blockchain technology. For example, if healthcare systems wanted to put medical records on a blockchain, it could use smart contracts to ensure only medical professionals are granted access to them. While it all sounds good in theory, there is some bad news: a team of computing experts from the Natio Continue reading >>
Wallet - How Secure Is Blockchain.info? - Bitcoin Stack Exchange
Is Blockchain Technology Secure For Your Companys Transactions?
Is blockchain technology secure for your companys transactions? Governments and commercial businesses are proving that blockchain is tamper-proof and scalable. Use commas to separate multiple email addresses Blockchain technology is hard to ignore as practically everybodys talking about it. Thats understandable because its predicted to disrupt the value flows that underpin business transactions and economies as well as create new business models. It has enormous power to solve business problems. But is a blockchain distributed ledger secure? Blockchain is still in its infancy, so company leaders are naturally concerned about whether it can be manipulated. Organizations worldwide are seeking to take advantage of the new opportunities and disruptive power of blockchain organizations that understand the magnitude of potential security issues. It has been rigorously tested in pilots and at scale by many governments, institutions and companies that have found the technology is incredibly secure. Here are some of the most notable entities that have examined blockchain and are now moving to adopt it. Global banks and financial institutions. Everest Groups market research finds more than 60 global banks and financial institutions are researching, experimenting or working on blockchain-enabled applications and use cases. UKs central bank. The Bank of England conducted a proof of concept (POC) to identify blockchains real potential from hype. The bank has since confirmed that an upcoming version of its main interbank payments system will be compatible for settlements in blockchain-distributed ledgers. Qatars commercial bank. Qatars Commercial Bank , together with regional partner banks in Egypt, India, Oman, Turkey and UAE, completed a blockchain pilot for processing internation Continue reading >>
Blockchains Brilliant Approach To Cybersecurity
Blockchains brilliant approach to cybersecurity Hackers can shut down entire networks, tamper with data, lure unwary users into cybertraps, steal and spoof identities, and carry out other devious attacks by leveraging centralized repositories and single points of failure. The blockchains alternative approach to storing and sharing information provides a way out of this security mess. The same technology that has enabled secure transactions with cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum could now serve as a tool to prevent cyberattacks and security incidents. Blockchains can increase security on three fronts: blocking identity theft, preventing data tampering, and stopping Denial of Service attacks. Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) is a popular form of public key cryptography that secures emails, messaging apps, websites, and other forms of communication. However because most implementations of PKI rely on centralized, trusted third party Certificate Authorities (CA) to issue, revoke, and store key pairs for every participant, hackers can compromise them to spoof user identities and crack encrypted communications. For instance, controversy recently broke over the key renegotiation process of WhatsApp , which could possibly be exploited to push false keys and perform man-in-the-middle attacks on one of the most popular and secure messaging apps in the world. Publishing keys on a blockchain instead would eliminate the risk of false key propagation and enable applications to verify the identity of the people you are communicating with. CertCoin is one of the first implementations of blockchain-based PKI. The project, developed at MIT, removes central authorities altogether and uses the blockchain as a distributed ledger of domains and their associated public keys. CertC Continue reading >>
How Blockchain Technology Keeps Data Secure
How blockchain technology keeps data secure Bitcoin may be controversial to some, but the infrastructure that underpins it could be of big use for the banking sector Since first appearing in 2009, bitcoin has sparked much speculation about the future of finance. But while interest in the currency itself has fluctuated widely as its value continues to soar and crash, the database technology underlying bitcoin has steadily been garnering interest from the worlds largest banks and investment firms. Similar to an enormous ledger, the blockchain records and indexes each movement of bitcoin, creating a searchable database of every transaction in the process. However, unlike traditional digital ledgers that record information on a central server, the blockchain stores transaction data across vast networks of computers that constantly check and verify information with each other. Distributed ledger systems that dissipate information in this way overcome a key challenge for financial firms - how can critical data be stored securely? Stringent regulations exist to ensure companies that handle financial data are doing so in accordance to the highest cybersecurity standards. But despite these requirements, instances of financial data breaches are on the rise. Last year, unidentified hackers successfully compromised the servers of Bangladesh Bank and stole $100 million, while in the UK, Tesco Bank was targeted by a cyber-attack that resulted in money being siphoned out of some 20,000 current accounts. Because of the high amount of trust consumers place in banks, cybersecurity breaches like these can be devastating to hard-earned reputations. By storing financial information across a network of computers, the task of compromising data becomes much more difficult for hackers. Instead Continue reading >>
Blockchain Security: What Keeps Your Transaction Data Safe?
Blockchain Unleashed: IBM Blockchain Blog Blockchain security: What keeps your transaction data safe? December 12, 2017 | Written by: Curtis Miles Categorized: Blockchain Identity | High Security Business Network | Identity Management Proponents of the distributed ledger technology known as blockchain consider it to be one of the best ways to secure transactions. I dont know about you, but hearing that anything is the best immediately makes me skeptical. How exactly does blockchain provide more security than traditional transaction processes? Lets take a look. A blockchain, as the name implies, is a chain of digital blocks that contain 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. The records on a blockchain are secured through cryptography. Network participants have their own private keys that are assigned to the transactions they make and act as a personal digital signature. If a record is altered, the signature will become invalid and the peer network will know right away that something has happened. Early notification is crucial to preventing further damage. Unfortunately for those ambitious hackers, blockchains are decentralized and distributed across peer-to-peer networks that are continually updated and kept in sync. Because they arent contained in a central location, blockchains dont have a single point of failure and cannot be changed from a single computer. It would require massive amounts of comp Continue reading >>
How Secure Is Cryptocurrency & Blockchain Technology? - Business Insider
Cryptocurrencies are digital financial assetsthat are designed with the purpose of acting as a medium of exchange using the science of cryptography to secure transactions, create global currencies, eliminate government control and exchange rate issues, and control the creation of additional units of the currency. Cryptocurrencies were introduced as a disruptive financial technology (fintech), which would make global transactions easier, faster, and more secure, putting control directly in the hands of the concerned parties. This could also eliminate banks and money transfer services. The digital currencies claim to make storing, spending, and transferring "digital money" secure, super-fast, and unaffected by any fees, exchange rates, or governmental regulations. The purpose of cryptocurrency and its underlying technology, however, is not limited to financial institutions, currencies, and transactions. Securitizing data, identity protection, creation of a decentralized economy, and storing personal data securely are a few of the initial purposes for which the blockchain technology was brought to life. Although the uses of the blockchain technology behind cryptocurrencies is multifold, blockchain identity use cases are what is gainingthe most traction from technology aficionados and enthusiasts worldwide. Blockchain technology now can be used to identify applications in areas such as digital identities, passports, e-residency, birth certificates, wedding certificates, and other IDs. A blockchain is a series of blocks that records data in hash functions with timestamps so that the data cannot be changed or tampered with. As data cannot be overwritten, data manipulation is extremely impractical, thus securing data and eliminating centralized pointsthatcybercriminals often Continue reading >>
How Blockchain Can Be Used To Secure Sensitive Data Storage
How Blockchain Can be Used to Secure Sensitive Data Storage Click to learn more about author Mary Ann Callahan. Data Security is no longer a luxury or an afterthought. With so much of our private, personal, and sensitive information being stored and transmitted online, tight security and privacy are now necessities for everyone. But, just as more of our lives are going online, we are hearing about more data breaches and hacks than ever. Here were going to take a look at how Blockchain technology can improve on current, centralized data security solutions, and help keep us safe and in control. Data is quickly becoming one of the most valuable resources in the world. The list of the top 10 companies by market capitalization is now dominated by data-centric companies like Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon. That value means your data, especially your sensitive data, is now a prime target for cyber criminals, and you probably arent as protected as you think. Even giant companies like Anthem , Target Corp, and Home Depot have had major data breaches over the last few years affecting hundreds of millions of people. Clearly, current solutions arent good enough to keep us safe. Cloud services often arent the solution either. As hugely centralized systems, they are more valuable targets still. You also need to trust a 3rd party to store your sensitive data for you, which for many companies often isnt desirable or even legal. A new solution is needed. Blockchain technology has been one of the major technological breakthroughs of this century. Bitcoin, the first Blockchain application, allows a network of users to perform transactions without requiring the trust of anyone on the network, or a third party. Everything is encrypted, and nobody can tamper with the Block Continue reading >>
How Safe Are Blockchains? It Depends.
Blockchain, the distributed ledger technology underlying bitcoin, may prove to be far more valuable than the currency it supports. But its only as valuable as it is secure. As we begin to put distributed ledger technology into practice, its important to make sure that the initial conditions were setting up arent setting us up for security issues later on. To understand the inherent security risks in blockchain technology, its important to understand the difference between public and private blockchains. Here are five basic principles underlying the technology. Each party on a blockchain has access to the entire database and its complete history. No single party controls the data or the information. Every party can verify the records of its transaction partners directly, without an intermediary. Communication occurs directly between peers instead of through a central node. Each node stores and forwards information to all other nodes. Every transaction and its associated value are visible to anyone with access to the system. Each node, or user, on a blockchain has a unique 30-plus-character alphanumeric address that identifies it. Users can choose to remain anonymous or provide proof of their identity to others. Transactions occur between blockchain addresses. Once a transaction is entered in the database and the accounts are updated, the records cannot be altered, because theyre linked to every transaction record that came before them (hence the term chain). Various computational algorithms and approaches are deployed to ensure that the recording on the database is permanent, chronologically ordered, and available to all others on the network. The digital nature of the ledger means that blockchain transactions can be tied to computational logic and in essence programmed Continue reading >>
Just How Secure Is Blockchain Technology?
Just How Secure is Blockchain Technology? Blockchain technology is best known for both its security and immutability. In a blockchain ledger, blocks act as a living record of transactional flow and are secured through heavily incentivized consensus mechanisms. These consensus mechanisms are incentivized due to the distributed nature of the system and anonymous participants. Its underpinnings have been around for several years but it wasnt until the creation of bitcoin that the first example of a successful implementation of a decentralized ledger was deployed in a secure fashion. The Bitcoin network relies on whats called public key cryptography, where both a public key and a private key are used to transact. A public key is the equivalent of your address, or rather, where you will receive cryptocurrency. In the case of bitcoin, when transacting, ownership rights of the bitcoin in question are signed off on by using a private key to do so. For example, lets say Alice wants to send Bob one bitcoin. Alice will create a transaction to be sent to Bobs address, and in doing so, she is giving Bob the right to transfer that bitcoin. Both her transaction and Bobs future transactions involve proving ownership using their keys. The public key acts as ownership proof on the network while the private key exists to sign off on transactions. It is important to remember that private keys should never be given out, as it is what keeps your funds secure. Giving away your private key is the equivalent of giving away access to your bank account you wouldnt want it falling into anyones hands. However, a public key must be given to any party wishing to send funds to your wallet. A recommended security practice to protect ones privacy is to never reuse public keys and to instead generate a Continue reading >>
6 Use Cases For Blockchain In Security
Blockchain has the potential to improve encryption and authentication, and that could be good news for IoT security and DDoS protection. Use commas to separate multiple email addresses Sign up now and get FREE access tohundreds of Insider articles, guides, reviews, interviews, blogs, and other premium content. Learn more . Blockchain is a decentralized, distributed electronic ledger built on the model of offering absolute security and trust. Using cryptography, transactions are recorded chronologically and publicly, each one time-stamped and linked to the previous one. Critically, these digital blocks can only be updated through the consensus of all participants, with data interception, modification and deletion near impossible. [ Email encryption review: HPE/Voltage Secure Email vs. Virtru Pro vs. Inky vs. Zix Gateway vs, Symantec Email Security.cloud | Get the latest from CSO by signing up for our newsletters . ] As a result, since hitting Gartners fabled "peak of the hype cycle" in 2016 , Blockchain has become something of a priority for industry leaders, especially in financial services, energy and manufacturing. Authenticating Bitcoin payments has perhaps become the most cited use case, but this technology can extend to applications like content delivery networks and smart grid systems too. How does blockchain apply to cyber security? Blockchain has the potential to improve everything from improving data integrity and digital identities to enabling safer IoT devices to prevent DDoS attacks . Indeed, blockchain might play across the CIA triad of confidentiality, integrity and availability, offering improved resilience, encryption, auditing and transparency. Blockchain plugs the gaps that we have left with our poor implementation of security and lack of trustworthin Continue reading >>
How Secure Is The Future Of Blockchain Technology?
ArticlesHow secure is the future of blockchain technology? Explore other articles and discussions on this topic. How secure is the future of blockchain technology? In 2017 we saw a growing frequency of news about Bitcoin millionaires, lost Bitcoin tragedies, Bitcoin scandals, and various Bitcoin exchanges being hacked and shut down. How secure is the future of blockchain technology? Thanks to Bitcoin, its fair to say that blockchain is a buzzword at the moment. To some people, Bitcoin is a spoof currency trapped in a speculative bubble. To others, it and its alt-coin brethren are the future of financial exchange. In 2017 we saw a growing frequency of news about Bitcoin millionaires, lost Bitcoin tragedies, Bitcoin scandals, and various Bitcoin exchanges being hacked and shut down. For themillions who have invested (or are considering investing) in cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and the ever-growing list of alt-coins, little has been mentioned about the software and the infrastructure on which these cryptocurrencies are based. With all early adoption of technology, there is risk, so theres a natural inclination to question the security of blockchain and the potential for cyber attack against it. Given that Bitcoins current market cap is approximately $230 billion, it is a certainty that hackers are working around the clock on ways to dismantle this techand yet it has stood its ground so far. In our latest blog post , were examining blockchain from a security perspective and looking at its history, its successes and failures, and what we can do to keep our eyes wide open on the roller coaster ride of cryptocurrency investing. What do you hope to see as blockchain security evolves? Continue reading >>
3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity
3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. The second quarter of 2017 was a wild one for blockchain companies and investors, with nearly 60 initial coin offerings (ICOs) closed in the quarter for more than $750 million, and it looks like this is just the beginning . It seems that blockchain is about to have an impact on nearly every industry. While banking, finance and real estate are the so-called usual suspects by being ahead of the curve, even industries like education, social media and security are being disrupted by blockchain-powered startups. Blockchain tech has an inherent connection to cybersecurity. Blockchain technologies are, after all, the culmination of decades of research and breakthroughs in cryptography and security. It offers a totally different approach to storing information, making transactions, performing functions, and establishing trust, which makes it especially suitable for environments with high security requirements and mutually unknown actors. Thus, while cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin sometimes experience rocky fluctuations in value, its blockchain underpinnings have so far successfully withstood cyber-attacks for more than 8 years. This is the reason the some of the largest corporations like Lockheed Martin had decided to bet on blockchain for cybersecurity. Other innovative companies have also been exploring the advantages of blockchain tech in solving the pressing security issues of our time: Guardtime detects and mitigates cyberattacks in real-time Guardtime , founded by Estonian cryptographer Ahto Buldas, is a data security startup that has been around since 2007. It is now placing its bets on blockchain technology to secure sensitive records. The companyhas already used Continue reading >>
How Blockchain Technology Can Transform The Security Industry
How blockchain technology can transform the security industry Implemented correctly, the blockchain may provide the enterprise with more trust in their security systems. The blockchain not only has a place in cryptocurrency exchanges but could also be used to improve security solutions, experts claim. According to Travis Biehn, technical strategist at enterprise software and solutions firm Synopsys , the blockchain is "no silver bullet" for security, but the technology holds promise as a way not only to record financial transactions but also as a means to control network communication, as well as Internet of Things (IoT) devices and supply chains. Originally designed to facilitate the exchange of virtual currency such as Bitcoin, the blockchain is an electronic ledger system which is decentralized by nature. There is no central holding system that stores data relating to transactions, trades, sources, and activity, but rather information is distributed throughout the world by computers, also known as nodes, which carry the record of the chain with them. "The decentralized systems that can be built with blockchain are exciting and applicable across cybersecurity topics -- with promising areas like addressing hardware sourcing supply-chain problems, and software supply-chain problems," Biehn told ZDNet. "The increased transparency afforded by blockchain technology definitely lends itself to solving a lot of tricky cybersecurity problems." It is not always software vulnerabilities which can lead to a security problem such as a data breach or a network compromise -- the supply chain can also be at fault. When human error comes into play or an insider manipulates information or systems in the supply chain, the blockchain could resolve issues by automatically sharing any sus Continue reading >>