Posted 1 year ago | by Ben Armstrong

Blockchain Makes Sense for Data Security

In 2019, there were almost 8 billion records affected by data breaches. Third-party control over personal data is costing people control over their sensitive information, and there needs to be better options for data security.

Blockchain may be able to help in the data security sector. The technology has become more common, and its ability to securely store data is misunderstood, as many think that using blockchain means complete transparency and zero confidentiality.

However, Blockchain may become an ideal solution for the problems that arise with traditional storage systems. For example, private blockchains provide strictly enforced access to data by using permissions that are difficult to tamper with.

Blockchain Works for Data Security

Data security solutions like homomorphic encryption could be a great way to keep sensitive date out of the hands of bad actors. Homomorphic encryption allows computations to be carried out with encrypted data, without any kind of preliminary decryption.

Homomorphic encryption was used on MIT’s Enigma network. It divides data into pieces, encrypts it, and randomly distributes it over the network in little packets. The network nodes cannot read this data, but users can decrypt it. This would make the data useless to hackers, but usable for the intended parties.

By using this system, security and privacy are preserved, and only users who have decryption keys and proper credentials are granted access. Other cryptographic technologies such as zero-knowledge proofs and zk-SNARKs already use homomorphic encryption. Zcash (ZEC) is also using these safeguards.

Upgrades are Needed

Blockchain technology removes the need for third-parties, which will ensures a higher degree of safety. Decentralized identity control likely help to knock down identity theft, but these technologies aren’t widely used in consumer data security systems.

Vijay Rathour, a partner at the digital forensics and investigations group of Grant Thornton, compared the technology to bank vaults made of glass:

“They’re very secure. They’re one-way vaults — i.e., you can put precious things in them but not take it out. The contents can be seen by the world…Is it (information stored on blockchain) suitably anonymized? Would I want my passport visible to the world in a glass bank vault for the world to see? No. But I would probably enjoy the benefits of an encrypted version of my passport being held on the ‘cloud’ securely in this blockchain.”

Clearly, Grant Thornton and its employees have a low opinion of blockchain when it comes to data security. Unfortunately, Rathour fails to see how poor the current data security situation is for regular people, and how badly personal data is being abused by major companies, and bad actors.

People need better solutions for online privacy, blockchain could be a big part of that solution.