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Second line of defense for cybersecurity : Blockchain

With the fact that cybercrime and cyber security attacks hardly seem to be out of the news these days and the threat is growing globally. Nobody would appear immune to malicious and offensive acts targeting computer networks, infrastructures and personal computer devices. Firms clearly must invest to stay resilient. Gauging the exact size of cybercrime and putting a precise US dollar value on it is nonetheless tricky.

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Second Line of Defense for
Cybersecurity: Blockchain
Prof. Ahmed Banafa
IoT & Blockchain Expert | Faculty | Author | Keynote
Speaker
College of Engineering
San Jose State University
San Jose, CA USA
Prof. Ahmed Banafa has extensive experience in
research, operations and management, with focus
on IoT, Blockchain and AI. He is a reviewer and a
technical contributor for the publication of several
technical books. He served as a faculty several at
well-known universities and colleges, including the
University of California, Berkeley; California State
University-East Bay; San Jose State University; and
University of Massachusetts.
He is the recipient of several awards, including
Distinguished Tenured Staff Award of 2013,
Instructor of the year for 2013, 2014, and Certificate
of Honor for Instructor from the City and County of
San Francisco. He was named as number one tech
voice to follow by LinkedIn in 2016, his researches
featured in many reputable sites and magazines
including Forbes, IEEE and MIT Technology Review,
and Interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox TV
and Radio stations.
• In the first part we covered AI as the first line of defense for
cybersecurity, the goal was to keep the cyber-criminals at bay, but in
case they managed to get-in and infiltrate the network we need to
initiate the second line of defense; #Blockchain.
• With the fact that cybercrime and cyber security attacks hardly seem
to be out of the news these days and the threat is growing globally.
• Nobody would appear immune to malicious and offensive acts
targeting computer networks, infrastructures and personal computer
devices.
• Firms clearly must invest to stay resilient.
• Gauging the exact size of cybercrime and putting a precise US dollar
value on it is nonetheless tricky.
• But one thing we can be sure about is that the number is big and
probably larger than the statistics reveal.
• The global figure for cyber breaches had been put at around $200
billion annually.

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Second line of defense for cybersecurity : Blockchain

  • 1. Second Line of Defense for Cybersecurity: Blockchain Prof. Ahmed Banafa IoT & Blockchain Expert | Faculty | Author | Keynote Speaker College of Engineering San Jose State University San Jose, CA USA
  • 2. Prof. Ahmed Banafa has extensive experience in research, operations and management, with focus on IoT, Blockchain and AI. He is a reviewer and a technical contributor for the publication of several technical books. He served as a faculty several at well-known universities and colleges, including the University of California, Berkeley; California State University-East Bay; San Jose State University; and University of Massachusetts. He is the recipient of several awards, including Distinguished Tenured Staff Award of 2013, Instructor of the year for 2013, 2014, and Certificate of Honor for Instructor from the City and County of San Francisco. He was named as number one tech voice to follow by LinkedIn in 2016, his researches featured in many reputable sites and magazines including Forbes, IEEE and MIT Technology Review, and Interviewed by ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox TV and Radio stations.
  • 3. • In the first part we covered AI as the first line of defense for cybersecurity, the goal was to keep the cyber-criminals at bay, but in case they managed to get-in and infiltrate the network we need to initiate the second line of defense; #Blockchain.
  • 4. • With the fact that cybercrime and cyber security attacks hardly seem to be out of the news these days and the threat is growing globally. • Nobody would appear immune to malicious and offensive acts targeting computer networks, infrastructures and personal computer devices.
  • 5. • Firms clearly must invest to stay resilient. • Gauging the exact size of cybercrime and putting a precise US dollar value on it is nonetheless tricky.
  • 6. • But one thing we can be sure about is that the number is big and probably larger than the statistics reveal. • The global figure for cyber breaches had been put at around $200 billion annually.
  • 7. • New Blockchain platforms are stepping up to address security concerns in the face of recent breaches. • Since these platforms are not controlled by a singular entity, they can help ease the concerns created by a spree of recent breach disclosures. • Services built on top of Blockchain have the potential to inspire renewed trust due to the transparency built into the technology.
  • 8. • Developments in Blockchain have expanded beyond recordkeeping and cryptocurrencies. • The integration of smart contract development in Blockchain platforms has ushered in a wider set of applications, including cybersecurity.
  • 9. • By using Blockchain, transaction details are kept both transparent and secure. • Blockchain’s decentralized and distributed network also helps businesses to avoid a single point of failure, making it difficult for malicious parties to steal or tamper with business data.
  • 10. • Transactions in the Blockchain can be audited and traced. • In addition, public Blockchain's rely on distributed network to run, thus eliminating a single point of control. • For attackers, it is much more difficult to attack a large number of peers distributed globally as opposed to a centralized data center.
  • 11. Implementing Blockchain in Cybersecurity • Since a Blockchain system is protected with the help of ledgers and cryptographic keys, attacking and manipulating it becomes extremely difficult. • Blockchain decentralizes the systems by distributing ledger data on several systems rather than storing them on one single network.
  • 12. • This allows the technology to focus on gathering data rather than worrying about any data being stolen. • Thus, decentralization has led to an improved efficiency in Blockchain- operated systems.
  • 13. • For a Blockchain system to be penetrated, the attacker must intrude into every system on the network to manipulate the data that is stored on the network. • The number of systems stored on every network can be in millions. • Since domain editing rights are only given to those who require them, the hacker won’t get the right to edit and manipulate the data even after hacking a million of systems. • Since such manipulation of data on the network has never taken place on the Blockchain, it is not an easy task for any attacker.
  • 14. • While we store our data on a Blockchain system, the threat of a possible hack gets eliminated. • Every time our data is stored or inserted into Blockchain ledgers, a new block is created. • This block further stores a key that is cryptographically created. • This key becomes the unlocking key for the next record that is to be stored onto the ledger. In this manner, the data is extremely secure.
  • 15. • Furthermore, the hashing feature of Blockchain technology is one of its underlying qualities that makes it such a prominent technology. • Using cryptography and the hashing algorithm, Blockchain technology converts the data stored in our ledgers.
  • 17. Advantages of Using Blockchain in Cybersecurity • Decentralization Thanks to the peer-to-peer network, there’s no need for third-party verification, as any user can see network transactions. • Tracking and tracing All transactions in Blockchain's are digitally signed and time-stamped, so network users can easily trace the history of transactions and track accounts at any historical moment. This feature also allows a company to have valid information about assets or product distribution.
  • 18. • Confidentiality The confidentiality of network members is high due to the public-key cryptography that authenticates users and encrypts their transactions. • Fraud security In the event of a hack, it’s easy to define malicious behavior due to the peer-to-peer connections and distributed consensus. As of today, Blockchain's are considered technically ‘unhackable’, as attackers can impact a network only by getting control of 51% of the network nodes.
  • 19. • Sustainability Blockchain technology has no single point of failure, which means that even in the case of DDoS attacks, the system will operate as normal thanks to multiple copies of the ledger.
  • 20. • Integrity The distributed ledger ensures the protection of data against modification or destruction. Besides, the technology ensures the authenticity and irreversibility of completed transactions. Encrypted blocks contain immutable data that is resistant to hacking. • Resilience The peer-to-peer nature of the technology ensures that the network will operate round-the-clock even if some nodes are offline or under attack. In the event of an attack, a company can make certain nodes redundant and operate as usual.
  • 21. • Data quality Blockchain technology can’t improve the quality of your data, but it can guarantee the accuracy and quality of data after it’s encrypted in the Blockchain. • Smart contracts Software programs that are based on the ledger. These programs ensure the execution of contract terms and verify parties. Blockchain technology can significantly increase the security standards for smart contracts, as it minimizes the risks of cyber-attacks and bugs.
  • 22. • Availability There’s no need to store your sensitive data in one place, as Blockchain technology allows you to have multiple copies of your data that are always available to network users. • Increase customer trust Your clients will trust you more if you can ensure a high level of data security. Moreover, Blockchain technology allows you to provide your clients with information about your products and services instantly.
  • 24. Disadvantages of Using Blockchain in Cybersecurity • Risk of cyberattacks Though the technology greatly reduces the risk of malicious intervention, it’s still not a panacea to all cyber threats. If attackers manage to exploit the majority of your network, you may lose your entire database. Adaptability challenges • Though Blockchain technology can be applied to almost any business, companies may face difficulties integrating it. Blockchain applications can also require complete replacement of existing systems, so companies should consider this before implementing the blockchain technology.
  • 25. • High operation costs Running Blockchain technology requires substantial computing power, which may lead to high marginal costs in comparison with existing systems. • Blockchain literacy There are still not enough developers with experience in blockchain technology and with deep knowledge of cryptography.
  • 26. • Irreversibility There’s a risk that encrypted data may be unrecoverable in case a user loses or forgets the private key necessary to decrypt it. • Storage limits Each block can contain no more than 1 Mb of data, and a Blockchain can handle only 7 transactions per second in average.
  • 27. Conclusion • Blockchain’s decentralized approach to cybersecurity can be seen as a fresh take on the issues that the industry faces today. The market could only use more solutions to combat the threats of cyberattacks. And, the use of Blockchain may yet address the vulnerabilities and limitations of current security approaches and solutions.
  • 28. • Throwing constant pots of money at the problem and knee-jerk reactions is not the answer. Firms need to sort out their governance, awareness, organizational culture and critically look at the business purpose and processes before they invest in systems to combat cybercrime.
  • 29. • The roster of these new services provided by Blockchain may be limited for now and of course they face incumbent players in the cybersecurity space. • But this only offers further opportunity for other ventures to cover other key areas of cybersecurity. • Blockchain also transcends borders and nationalities, which should inspire trust in users. • And, with the growth of these new solutions, the industry may yet restore some of the public’s trust they may have lost in the midst of all these issues.
  • 30. • Overall, Blockchain technology is a breakthrough in cyber security, as it can ensure the highest level of data confidentiality, availability, and security. However, the complexity of the technology may cause difficulties with development and real-world use.
  • 31. • Implementation of Blockchain applications requires comprehensive, enterprise- and risk-based approaches that capitalize on cybersecurity risk frameworks, best practices, and cybersecurity assurance services to mitigate risks. In addition, cyber intelligence capabilities, such as cognitive security, threat modeling, and artificial intelligence, can help proactively predict cyber threats to create counter measures, that’s why AI considered as the first line of defense while Blockchain is the second line.