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Blockchains: Their Limitations and Potential

Blockchains: Their Limitations and Potential

blockchain technology
October 5, 2017 | Eva Hanscom

It’s been nearly a month since Equifax revealed it was the victim of a data breach that involved the loss of over 140 million customer records.

Since the initial announcement, security experts have offered their thoughts on the attack. How could such a massive amount of data be stolen without Equifax noticing? What can organizations do to protect themselves from similar incidents?

Many commentators have wondered if new cryptographic technologies, like blockchain, could have prevented the Equifax breach. However even though many industries are positively giddy about the potential for blockchain to redefine almost every core business process, the answer to this question is not entirely clear.

A blockchain is typically governed by a peer-to-peer network that collectively manages the protocol for validating new blocks with an agreed-on set of algorithms. This is one of the most appealing aspects of blockchain, and it’s also one of the most challenging. Here’s why:

Blockchains rely on the use of public/private key pairs to identify participants in transactions or contracts. The key pairs serve as machine identities. Secure management of the key pairs that comprise machine identities is absolutely essential to blockchain security.

The problem is that most organizations don’t currently have the tools or technology to manage cryptographic keys effectively.

Organizations will soon rely on thousands, or even millions, of machine identities participating in a broad set of blockchain applications. How well the integrity of these chains is preserved will be directly correlated to the security and protection of their corresponding machine identities.

Is your organization ready to embrace and secure blockchains?

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About the author

Eva Hanscom
Eva Hanscom

Eva is Public Relations Manager at Venafi. She is passionate about educating the global marketplace about infosec and machine-identity issues, and in 2018 grew Venafi's global coverage by 45%.

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