This does not mean blockchain-based products and services should be avoided, but it helps to keep some basic protections in mind. Attackers focus mainly on stealing cryptocurrency because that is where the money is. There have been few reports of attacks on contractual, identity management, intellectual property or other non-cash applications of the technology.
Cryptocurrency is also based on open protocols, and more than 4,000 different versions have been created. Dabbling in little-used digital coins is riskier than using more established currencies like Bitcoin.
Regardless of the application, blockchain and cyber security are subject to good fundamental practices. Individual user accounts are the weakest link in a blockchain network, and attackers use tried-and-true techniques such as phishing emails to trick users into giving up their credentials.
On the other hand, too much blockchain security can be a bad thing. The New York Times recently reported that about $140 billion worth of cryptocurrencies appear to be lost because owners of the personal virtual "wallets" that store the coins have lost or forgotten their passwords.
See how Verizon ID can help you harness distributed ledger technology for identity security.