Posted on December 12, 2018
Originally developed in 2008 by Satoshi Nakamoto to underpin the cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, blockchain is a technology that has been bubbling away quietly in the background for years. Whilst it isn’t a new technology it has grown in popularity due to the rise in the price of cryptocurrency bitcoin, and more recently for the potential solutions it may hold to revolutionise cybersecurity.
Cybersecurity breaches continue to be a constant problem for businesses and with news of another breach occurring on a weekly basis, businesses are desperate for a solution. Blockchain technology may hold the key. David Schatsky, Managing Director at Deloitte U.S. “the technology provides a way of recording transactions or any digital interaction in a way that is secure, transparent, highly resistant to outages, auditable, and efficient”.
What is blockchain technology and how does it work?
Blockchain technology stores information in blocks, these blocks are secured using cryptography. A blockchain is an encrypted distributed database (or distributed ledger) that maintains a continuously growing list of ordered records called blocks. The nature of blockchain keeps information extremely secure without the need for a central authority. Blockchain encryption cannot be removed, altered or omitted. Blockchains create trust between multiple untrusted parties by providing real-time processing of transactions by multiple parties.
What are the benefits of blockchain technology?
As more and more businesses rely on digital technology for everyday functions the risk of a cyber-attack increase. The amount of information that is available to cybercriminals has increased and is often not as secure as people may think. Malware such as ransomware and DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks are never far from the news, with cybercriminals aiming to steal valuable data such as health records, financial information and personal identifiable information (PII).
With cyber-attacks becoming increasingly more sophisticated the chances of business not falling victim to an attack are getting smaller and smaller. The majority of cyber-attacks are after valuable data often held in a central database. The fact that it is traditionally stored in a central location makes it an easy target for attackers to penetrate. Using blockchain technology, however, can minimise this risk as the databases that information is stored upon are duplicated and stored across a network of computers. The other benefit of blockchain technology is that the information stored on blocks is continually reconciled, there is no central location which makes it difficult for the information to be corrupted or hacked. Cybercriminals would have to obtain access to every copy of a database simultaneously for a breach to be successful.
How will blockchain technology be used in 2019?
2019 will see blockchain technology integrate with more industries than ever before. It has captured public interest over the past year, with experts predicting blockchain will revolutionise many business processes.
A report from PWC predicts that it will not just be the financial industry that adopts blockchain technology. ‘The technology is moving from hype to reality and we will likely see business use cases becoming more common.’ The banking industry are expected to utilise blockchain to reduce excessive bureaucracy, improve transactions and also use it to launch new cryptocurrencies.
We are also expecting to see blockchain technology integrate within government agencies to improve data management and to increase the security of holding and sharing the public’s personal information with different government bodies. A report from IBM report states that nine in ten government organisations plan to invest in blockchain for use in financial transaction management, asset management, contract management and regulatory compliance.
Blockchain technology will continue to be a hot topic for 2019. There will no doubt be several challenges to overcome before we see a widespread adoption across many industries. The increase in adoption of blockchain will also create a huge demand for experts within the field and it will take time for many industries to develop new processes to incorporate blockchain into their business. However, the benefits that the technology can provide will far outweigh this implementation phase.
If you would like to find out more about blockchain technology and see how it may help your business then please get in touch with us today.