Sick of passwords? Here’s how blockchain can help

Published August 2, 2018   |   

It seems that now more than ever, credit agencies, financial institutions and businesses both big and small are reporting more and more breaches of cyber security. There is also a shortage of skilled cyber security experts needed to mount sufficient defenses against the incursions of cyber criminals. Consequently, individual consumers need to start taking measures into their own hands when it comes to ensuring the safety of their personal and financial details. The answer might be at hand, however, in the form of blockchain technology.

Words Don’t Suffice

Blockchain technology is useful because they offer enhanced protection for the data of individual users. It’s one of the technology’s major selling points, and helps account for the rise in its popularity, as blockchain becomes set to revolutionise many aspects of the digital world with potential applications across a broad spectrum of industries. With a blockchain ledger, the data is sacrosanct from hacking, as all nodes in a particular blockchain have to validate any attempts to alter the data. When it comes to authenticating identity and enabling access in the manner that has traditionally been based on passwords, a unique SSL/TLS certificate can be generated to serve the purposes of a myriad of different manually entered passwords in one fell swoop.

Under Block and Key

This is the premise of a new service offered by that uses Hyperledger Sawtooth as its foundation based on public key infrastructure and bolstered by further access management apps to help safeguard the user’s details. Put basically, Hyperledger Sawtooth offers completely secured authentication by way of secure sockets layer data stored within a blockchain, meaning there’s no longer the need for a database or authentication server that could contain vulnerabilities for illicit access and data manipulation.

A Host of Applications

Another service aimed at employing blockchain technology to thwart cyber criminals is Gladius, which aims to subvert the ability of hackers to cripple sites with distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks. These attacks work by flooding a server with empty traffic from a series of different sources to the point at which the server’s bandwidth capacity is overwhelmed and the server crashes. A single attack can last for days, and for the companies whose infrastructure is crippled, the costs in terms of lost business can be in the millions of dollars. The solution proposed by Gladius entails using blockchain technology to create a user network who can contribute bandwidth and processing resources to any user in the network who is suffering a DDoS attack. This can help also increase a website’s loading time by deploying a broad network of caching devices, and the pooled bandwidth can help absorb the deluge of dead traffic and keep downtime at bay. Users who participate in this network and provide their resources to a member under attack will then be awarded crypto tokens. It’s a novel and innovative means of combating the threat of DDoS attacks and clever way of incentivising resource sharing.

Industrial Revolution

Although cyber crime is on the rise, the good news is that the cybersecurity industry is being forced to grow and develop new means of countering digital threats. People working to thwart the criminals are known as white hat hackers, and are frequently ex-cyber criminals themselves who have decided to pledge their talents to the side of law and order. One such group of like-minded white hats is Hacken, who are aiming to grow an ethical cyber security network capable of pooling their knowledge and skills in a blockchain ledger available for future reference. It’s an approach that can help foster relationships in the cyber security community and give the industry an opportunity to grow in addition to aiding the fight against cyber crime.

Safe and Secure

The blockchain looks to be heralding an exciting time in the development of information technology, so it seems fitting that it will become one of the most formidable weapons in the fight against cyber crime. While the potential applications haven’t yet become fully realised, the uses that have already emerged suggest that it’s a force for good that will rock the world of cyber security to its foundations and blacken the eyes of more than a few in the cyber criminal community.