As businesses adopt more devices and the Internet of Things (IoT) grows, the need for security increases. Implementing tighter security measures is and will be part of business-critical strategies in the future. The enterprise IT and technology specialists at IntraLAN explain what blockchain is and why it’s integral for business cybersecurity initiatives.

If you ask the average person what blockchain is, you may get a number of responses. Many people link blockchain with cryptocurrencies and Bitcoin – which is a valid response, but it isn’t the only use for blockchain.

What is blockchain?

Blockchain technology has been around since the very early 1990s. Whilst blockchain has been trending over the last couple of years, that isn’t when it was created. Until 2014, businesses had limited access to blockchain security. Instead, it was limited only to those working with transaction security.

There are plenty of articles explaining the basics of blockchain and this overview presumes you have some understanding of the topic.  

According to IBM, blockchain security is the process of producing structured data that has inherent security properties. Each of the blocks within the chain contains transactions or groups of transactions. Each block connects to the previous and following blocks, making it impervious to tampering from outside forces. The technology used to create blockchain is a combination of cryptography, decentralisation and consensus. It ensures no single point of failure by ensuring no one user can alter transaction records.

What are the different types of blockchain? 

It’s important to note that not all blockchain is created equally, and the security properties differ depending on the type of blockchain.

Public blockchain

Public blockchain allows users to join and participate at any time while keeping their anonymity. If you’ve heard of blockchain associated with Bitcoin, this is the type of blockchain we’re discussing. The public blockchain achieves consensus and transaction validation through a network of internet-connected devices. 

There are a few important aspects of the public blockchain that users should understand: 

  • There are no regulations on the public blockchain 
  • Public blockchain is a distributed network 
  • The public blockchain has full transparency without any possibility of corruption
  • Everyone within the blockchain must maintain the ledger and participate in consensus

Private blockchain

Unlike the public blockchain, the private blockchain has a network administrator. For users to join the private blockchain, they must have permission to participate. With a single overarching point of control, third parties must verify transactions within the blockchain.

Additionally, transactions within private blockchains are private, i.e. they are unable to be viewed by the blockchain’s participants. 

What makes private blockchain different:

  • Private blockchains are fully secure with a primary focus on privacy
  • With less consensus participation because of the privacy element, facilitating faster performance
  • Access is granted through consent, and users are not anonymous
  • Native tokens are unnecessary 
  • Private blockchains are less secure and prone to hacks, risks and manipulation

Consortium blockchain

The consortium blockchain is much like the private blockchain, except there isn’t a single point of control in this instance. Instead, the consortium blockchain is governed by a group. This type of blockchain can include participants from anywhere, including high-trust industries.

How does blockchain increase enterprise security?

Blockchain combines accountability with emerging technology, offering full-scale cybersecurity provisions. It provides exceptional data protection via: 

  • Computer authentication of users prevents identity theft 
  • Fully transparent data allows for the pinpointing of errors and attacks swiftly
  • Every change is tracked and stays within the blockchain forever since records cannot be removed or removed, altered or corrupted
  • Multiple backup instances mean that should data become compromised, there are several other sources of original blockchain coding to ensure the system stays wholly intact

Essentially, implementing blockchain security ensures complete cybersecurity through frameworks, secure coding practices and thorough testing methodologies. As businesses implement all aspects of blockchain security protocols, they implement preventative measures against breaches, cyberattacks and instances of online fraud. 

For many businesses, blockchain could be a game changer. Whilst implementation requires advanced coding skills when building a private blockchain from scratch, there are other methods of implementing this type of security without the need for specialised teams. With dozens of open source blockchain programmes on the market, it’s a type of technology that is open to anyone.

No matter the size of your business, blockchain can help ensure the security of your critical and sensitive data and all assets, including cryptocurrency. By having a partner well versed in this type of technology, you’re ahead of the curve in terms of cybersecurity strategy. 

IntraLAN provides expert advice and implementation of cutting-edge technology that keeps your business ahead of increased cybersecurity threats. For more information, contact our team today.