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The distributed blockchain ledger has found application in many fields, from cryptocurrency to supply chain. Much of the enthusiasm for the blockchain is due to its reputation for intrinsically safe technology. But can this intrinsic safety be applied to the very field of security?
In an increasing number of cases, the answer is "yes". Security professionals are discovering that the qualities that blockchain brings to a solution are effective for protecting data, networks, identities, critical infrastructures, and more. As with other emerging technologies, the biggest demand is not seen as if the blockchain can be used safely, but in what applications it is best used today.
Blockchain is used in a number of security applications, ranging from record keeping to acting as part of the active data infrastructure, and other options are likely to be on the horizon.
But as excitement grows over the potential for blockchain, it is important to keep this potential in perspective.
One of the frequently made statements about blockchain is that it is a "not hackerable" technology. Although no intrusive intrusion has yet been demonstrated, it is wrong to say that blockchain can not be violated. At the start of 2018, a "51% attack", in which a threat actor managed to gain control over more than half the blockchain's computing power and corrupts the integrity of the ledger, demonstrated that new techniques can be effective. While this particular attack is expensive and difficult, the fact that it is effective means that security professionals should treat blockchain as a useful technology – not a magical answer to all problems.
Here are some ways in which blockchain is used or considered as a security tool.
Curtis Franklin Jr. is a Senior Editor at Dark Reading. In this role it focuses on the coverage of products and technologies for publication. In addition, she works on audio and video programming for Dark Reading and contributes to the activities of Interop ITX, Black Hat, INsecurity and … View full biography
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