The blockchain is a technology that has really taken off in the past couple of years, with many people asking if the same technology behind cryptocurrencies can be applied to other uses and applications. Let’s consider how the blockchain might be used outside of cryptocurrency and in various industries—particularly for security—in the future.
What is the Blockchain?
Also known as distributed ledger technology, the blockchain is a way of sharing data via peer-to-peer networks and computer systems. This might encompass thousands of computers in total, all working to share data to each other. The really interesting part, however, is that each process or transaction amongst these computers is recorded in a ledger. This effectively builds a decentralized and trustworthy chain of records.
This is important for security, as you can’t go back to change one record without changing every single other record following it.
Decentralization is Key Here for Security
The basic idea is this: many organizations use centralized servers, so hackers have one easy target to strike to bring down an infrastructure through, say, a Distributed Denial of Service attack.
If the theoretical defender were to be using blockchain technology for security, however, the attack would not be so easy to pull off. Instead of targeting one server, the attacker would now have to target the entire blockchain to pull off the same attack. Otherwise, the rest of the blockchain would reject the attack, seeing there would be a change in one of the attacked nodes and rejecting that change in kind.
This might be a bit of an oversimplification, but it doesn’t need to be a complex description in order to see the value in this kind of innovation.
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