WORRIED ABOUT DATA SECURITY?
According to IT Governance recent list of data breaches and cyber attacks a total of 925,633,824 million records leaked in September.
This report published on September 27, 2018. The next day Facebook announced the exposure of almost 50 million accounts due to a “security issue.”
These are big numbers, and so the question becomes what individuals and institutions can do to protect sensitive information? And how by design, blockchain technology provides a viable solution.
These are the questions I address in this article and in doing so offer a sense of hope for a data-secure future.
Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution, describes blockchain like this:
“The blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”
It became evident that blockchain technology, created as part of Bitcoin, had many applications outside of the cryptocurrency world.
If you would like an in-depth explanation of blockchain technology, I recommend you read this article by blockgeeks.
Imagine a giant ledger that:
- Exists in the cloud
- Contains a searchable, detailed history of every transaction
- Is simultaneously hosted by millions of computers worldwide
- Is continually updated and kept in synch
- Is accessible at any time to anyone with internet access
The information on the blockchain exists as a shared and continually reconciled database — think google docs.
The internet evolved into the centralized database it is today. And this centralization provides a single point of entry for people with nefarious intentions to access and alter data.
For a detailed explanation of the evolution of the internet from a decentralized into a centralized database check out this article from Hackernoon.
With blockchain technology, digital information gets distributed. There is no centralized location for information to exist meaning there is no single place for a hacker to access the data.
“a blockchain network has never been hacked, and it’s not likely to happen in the future”
This decentralized nature of blockchain technology promises to redefine everything from money to social media, to the broader financial sector, the healthcare industry and beyond.
Decentralization puts users in control of their data, driving individual responsibility.
From personal identity to contractual assets to cryptocurrency, data protection for both individuals and institutions will be crucial to a successful future of this technology.
A recent study by Doug Galen of the Stanford Graduate School of Business points to 4 key characteristics that make blockchain technology a promising solution:
- Enables information transparency
- Ensures data is tamperproof
- Reduces counter-party risk in transactions
- Efficiently creates and manages digital identities
The bottom line is that a database not stored in any single location and is continually syncing makes it complicated for someone to hack.
“To date, however, a blockchain network has never been hacked, and it’s not likely to happen in the future.”
And good thing because security breaches are catastrophic. IBM Security’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study: Global Overview reports $3.86 million as the average cost of a data breach and $148 as the average cost per lost or stolen record.
If you take Facebooks recent security issue affecting 50 million accounts and apply IBM’s average cost per record of $148 you get $7.4 billion-Catastrophic for sure.
To say there is a need for a solution that keeps data secure is an understatement. The good news is that with the rise of blockchain technology and companies using it to develop data security solutions (like Goldilock-for whom I work), individuals and institutions will have a way to protect sensitive information.