Is the Blockchain model really the answer for Cyberthreats?
Lack of security in Iot is probably the greatest nightmare of technology users, be they enterprises or individual consumers. Indeed, the vulnerability of information has become a huge concern as hackers seize every single opportunity to have access to secret information or important data. Having access to credit cards information that are already given to an Iot system, to name but a few, is one of the cyberthreats technology users might face in their everyday life. In order to overcome these challenges, blockchain, a decentralized security ledger was developed.
What is Blockchain then? Blockchain, which appeared in 2008 alongside the digital currency Bitcoin and which was developed by an anonymous person who uses Samatoshi Nakamoto as pseudonym, is a technology for storing and transmitting information, transparent, secure, and operating without a central control body. By extension, a blockchain is a database that contains the history of all transactions between its users since its creation. This archive is secure and distributed: it is shared without an intermediary by its different members, which helps anyone to verify the chain's validity.
Blockchain is characterized by its decentralization as the diversity of the servers makes it difficult, if not impossible, for hackers to interfere when transactions are made. Also, the data added cannot be used or even accessed without the network participants agreement and verification. This decentralized nature of the blockchain, coupled with its security and transparency, promises much broader applications than the monetary domain.
Also, the access to Blockchain is public. You may be wondering about how it is possible for Blockchain to block access to data while it is public. Well, it is actually true, all network participants are able to access the history of the common transactions. Yet, this transparency does not in any ways mean that data is exposed to third parties as a key is needed to have access to it. So, Blockchain strikes a balance between transparency and safety.
The use of blockchain can be classified into three categories:
Applications for Asset Transfer monetary use, but not only: securities, votes, shares, bonds, etc.).
Applications of Blockchain as a register: this ensures better product and asset traceability.
Smart contracts: these are stand-alone systems that carry out the terms and conditions of a contract automatically, without requiring human involvement until it has begun.
Even though the great potential it has, Blockchain has also its downsides.
Registers on the Blockchain can get very large over time. The Bitcoin blockchain currently requires around 200 GB of storage. The current growth in the size of the blockchain appears to exceed that of hard drives and the network is at risk of losing nodes if the ledger becomes too large for users to download and store.
Modification of data is also considered one of the main shortcomings of Blockchain as once data has been added to the blockchain, it is very difficult to change it. So, its stability does not always work in favour of the network participants.
It is true that Blockchain has great potential as its features are unique and have several advantages. Yet, it might be not enough as hackers or malicious parties will continually seek new ways to access data and information available in the Iot system.