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Blockchain and security: The weakest link in the chain


Blockchain and security: The weakest link in the chain

Blockchain is changing the way business is conducted and done. It holds enormous promise even beyond what we’ve seen with the internet.

Yes, that is a bold statement, but many advocate looking into it.

This is a real shift in our way of thinking. The old way of storing data was to keep it stored in one central location and guarded very carefully. Today, blockchain uses a distributed ledger (often called DLT, distributed ledger technology), meaning that many nodes (think separate computers) contain an identical copy of the relevant data. If any one of the nodes has something different, it is rejected by the others. This creates an almost impenetrable security system.

However, the greatest threat to security, according to security experts, comes from human beings, the people who hang around your data. Employees and trusted people who interact with your data represent the most diabolical threats as they have access to the passwords and your data.

We like to think that we can trust the people who are with security; however, that is not always wise. Remember that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. People are the weakest link in security, and this is true for blockchain.

Who can you trust?

I remember a time many years ago when I moved to my new condo in Orlando and felt I was in a secure place. We had cameras for protection, gates to enhance security, only one source of entrance, locks on doorways, and more. We also had 24/7 professional security guards.

Well, that didn’t help when I was on an extended business trip and one of those “trusted security guards” entered my condo and made off with a substantial portion of money and valuables. They caught him later, but my money and belongings were long gone by then. All the locks, cameras and other security measures didn’t last against a security guard gone rogue.

Blockchain helps to mitigate and prevent security breaches because trust is not in “reliable” human beings. It is not even in computers. Trust with blockchain is based in mathematics.

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