In the digitalized world we live in today, facing and combating cybercrime is the way of the world. Owing to the massive outpouring of sensitive data on unsafe social media platforms, and cloud computing systems- data has now become a profitable resource that third-parties are all too eager to harvest- that is, at the expense of naive users unable to comprehend the importance of cybersecurity.
Taking into consideration the rampancy of breaches and hacks, with statistics painting a bleak picture of a world where hackers steal 75 records each second– the need for new and improved cybersecurity tools and techniques becomes blatantly obvious.
In the cybersecurity world today, the influence of Artificial Intelligence can be felt everywhere, from malware scanning tools to threat analytics- AI (along with Machine Learning) is quickly turning into the messiah of the cybersecurity world. Having said that, we believe that employing the Blockchain technology in tandem with AI can significantly improve the cybersecurity market as a whole.
But before we can get into that though, we’d like to give our readers a brief rundown of what the blockchain technology is, so that understanding the impact it has on cybersecurity becomes a tad bit easier.
What is Blockchain technology?
Devised by a group of people who go by the pseudonym, Satoshi Nakamoto, the Blockchain technology refers to a network that has no central authority. What this implies is simple- a time-stamped record of data that is managed by a group of computers, with equal authority. The block in blockchain refers to the individual blocks of data, which are tied to each other using cryptographic chains.
The biggest advantage offered by blockchain technology, which comes in particularly handy while dealing with digital currencies, such as Bitcoin- is that the information is visible to everyone on the network, which renders anyone on the network accountable. The three principles that enable blockchain technology to project transparency include decentralization, transparency, and immutability.
How can Blockchain technology help improve cybersecurity?
As we’ve discussed above, unlike Blockchain technology, AI already has an arsenal of applications in cybersecurity, from routine tasks such as monitoring network traffic to more complex tasks such as augmenting and auditing the entire cybersecurity infrastructure.
Blockchain technology, on the other hand, however, has a series of benefits to offer to an individual’s or an enterprise’s security, the most prevalent ones being the decentralization of data storage, and the better ways to combat breaches and hacks.
Some other benefits of employing blockchain technology to work in tandem with the AI-centric tools in use today include the following:
Decentralization of data storage
When it comes to securing the process of data storage, most enterprises fail to hit the cybersecurity mark and instead rely on cloud computing systems for the storage of sensitive data, which includes credit card details, social security numbers, etc.
Although relying on a cloud computing system seems like the easy way out, the technology has had its fair share of loopholes, the most obvious one being the fact that if a hacker breaks into a cloud storage system, they gain access to everything- user credentials, consumer details, financial records and more- all through a single centralized server. Despite the situation sounding as bleak as the plot of a cheesy thriller movie, it actually happened; the 145.5 million victims of the Equifax breach bear witness to that.
Blockchain technology has an easy fix to the threat hackers pose to the data stored on these servers since it removes the notion of a single, ‘main’ server altogether. With the introduction of a decentralized system, the vulnerability gets eradicated altogether, since all sensitive information is stored in several blocks.
Combined with an AI software that continually analyses and assesses the network for any vulnerabilities, the blockchain technology makes it impossible for hackers to gain access to any information that might sabotage an organization completely.
It is also worth mentioning that we’re not the only ones rooting for the implementation of blockchain since startups such as WeatherSV use the tech to store their climate data.
Combatting external threats and attacks
As demonstrated by the grand scope of the Equifax breach, the greatest threat facing enterprises today is the fear that hackers might break-in and steal valuable data. One such type of vulnerability facing companies is DDoS attacks, which are also known as Distributed denial of service attacks.
When an organization faces a DDoS attack, multiple Trojans attack a single server and flood it with internet traffic, which ultimately causes the server to crash and giving cybercriminals the golden opportunity to steal valuable data and insights.
Similarly to the advantages provided by AI-focused tools, introducing blockchain technology into an organization’s cybersecurity infrastructure increases the difficulty that hackers face while launching attacks. The primary reason behind this being that blockchain technology gives rise to systems that are distributed and decentralized, which means that hackers can’t target a single, centralized server.
Furthermore, Blockchain technology gives rise to a sharing culture of sorts, which enables people to share extra bandwidth with other enterprises, which can later be used to provide an added layer of protection to websites and networks.
The combination of any AI software or program with the blockchain-based approach mentioned above allows for the existence of a platform that enables companies to analyze the threats facing them, along with the chance to respond to them immediately.
When it comes to authenticating users, the introduction of risk-based authentication, Face ID and behavioural analytical methods- the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning has advanced the way people interact with passwords.
However, much to our dismay, a lot of naive internet users still rely on passwords such as ‘123456’ and ‘iloveyou,’ which is where the joint powers of AI and blockchain technology come into play.
When we combine the current applications of AI with the Blockchain technology present, enterprises can take user authorization to the next level, by introducing decentralized digital identities. Unlike the conventional method of user authentication, a decentralized identity leaves no room for the interference of any third-party. Once a decentralized identity has been assigned, a user can decide with which service providers they’d like to share their credentials.
If the idea seems far-fetched, you might be surprised to hear that certain enterprises have started introducing to users the option to create an on-chain private identity that they can share with select services, without having to compromise on their privacy.
Furthermore, Blockchain technology also provides users with a secure means to send and receive messages on social media platforms, by applying the same user authentication principle and using Paymail addresses for an additional level of encryption to the message.
In addition to the advantages measured above, Blockchain technology and AI also work together to provide a series of benefits to enterprises keen on Cybersecurity. Taking into consideration the dire threats posed by hackers and Cybercriminals today- technologies such as AI and Blockchain carve a path for a brighter and secure future!