Blockchain acts as a distributed database to record digital transactions. These transactions are then linked and secured using cryptography, making them unalterable. As information is added, each new block of information is similarly verified, recorded and sealed off by encryption, creating a blockchain that is a complete, verified record of all transactions. A blockchain can be public, like with digital currencies such as Bitcoin, or private, only accessible via permission-based platforms.
The promise of blockchain’s cybersecurity implications is obvious. The technology has the ability to provide the data integrity and digital identity verification required to reduce or eliminate a wide swath of cyber-risks, such as identity theft and data tampering. Changes to data can be easily traced, helping ensure your most important data is authentic, and because of the distributed nature of blockchain, you don’t have to worry about a single point of failure.
In the coming years, blockchain will become a foundational technology for securing data like healthcare records, financial transactions, and business data. Just one example of the potential of blockchain can be seen with PCI DSS compliance. According to the 2019 Payments Security Report, just over a third (36.7%) of organizations actively maintain PCI DSS programs even though it's been 15 years since the launch of the payment card data security standard. Blockchain provides the essential components an organization would need to meet their compliance requirements.
While promising, blockchain as a cybersecurity tool is still an emerging use case, which means many cybersecurity experts might not have the blockchain expertise to incorporate the complex technology effectively. Look for proven use cases, such as Machine State Integrity, that are relatively simple to incorporate into your security posture and that can provide immediate measurable security benefits.