Blockchain, best known for being the technology behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, has gained significant popularity over the last couple of years. Today, however, its value in other applications may be greater than the initial application which popularized the technology.
Known for its efficiency and digital security features, blockchain is an encrypted distributed ledger, managed by a specific network of individuals or organizations with a digital key to that ledger. The ledger maintains a record of transactions in linked (hence the “chain” terminology), chronological order, forming blocks of data. Once data has been recorded to a specific block, that data cannot be altered without also changing all subsequent blocks in the chain. This not only enables faster information exchange, but also helps keep such exchanges traceable and, thus, secure — key factors for the business requirements of nearly every organization today.
When no particular individual or organization has access to a master copy of the entire chain, no one can modify the information contained within the chain. This itself acts as a deterrent to cybercrime, making individuals less likely to engage in unethical or illegal behavior, knowing that their every digital step could easily be traced. This allows users of data within the chain to be more certain the information they see is of appropriate quality and has not been tampered with in any way whatsoever. Hashes of original content are stored on the blockchain itself, enabling security at an individual object level. And when these objects are stored across various encrypted blocks, a breach at a singular level won’t compromise the data, hence posing a greater challenge for cybercriminals.
Because of these few but impactful benefits, blockchain is well-positioned to disrupt multiple industries and help improve cyber defense operations for the companies that operate within those industries. The technology has the ability to detect any signs of numerous cyberthreats and, as a result, prevent fraudulent activities based on the technology’s inherent characteristics of transparency, integrity and resilient decentralization. When something can connect us not only quickly, but also securely, future business success will not only demand it, but rely heavily upon it.
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