Three Critical Reasons to Add Blockchain to Your Cloud Infrastructure
Most businesses have migrated to a digital infrastructure or are well on their way to doing so. The cloud makes businesses nimble, competitive, and responsive to an increasingly digitized world. But the cloud and IoT also leave businesses vulnerable to cyber attacks that can grind critical operations to a halt, cause PR nightmares, and cost millions. Consider the recent ransomware attacks on the US food supply chain and gas pipelines.
Cloud computing appeals to businesses because it provides various online services such as Infrastructure as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Software as a Service. Cloud service providers such as AWS, Google, IBM, and Microsoft allow businesses to access the Cloud services through the Internet. In a pure cloud environment, traditional database structures store data that can be accessed by authorized persons, third parties, and systems. This setup creates single points of failure and can lead to major disruptions even when systems are backed up.
Where does blockchain come in? Unlike the way data is stored in the cloud, blockchain’s structural ledger database stores transactional records known as blocks. This guarantees the prevention of the tampering of data without relying on any third-party trusted centralized authority. While companies won’t want all data on a blockchain for a variety of reasons, there are three critical ways blockchain can help with data Confidentiality, Integrity, and Availability (CIA) if integrated into data access points. Consider the following…
Better Data Confidentiality:
Cryptography is the best solution for data confidentiality. Many companies use strong passwords and two-factor authentication as solutions for cryptography. Passwords are known as symmetric-key cryptography. They create single points of failure and require education and maintenance to work properly. Two factor authentication is an improvement to simply requiring passwords. However this type of encryption is often done in ways that are not user friendly (requires downloading two apps, saving keys and remembering where they are, or answering a phone call). These can add friction to fast-moving parts of the business and cause employees frustration. Finally, symmetric-key cryptography doesn’t support highly distributed cloud infrastructure and IoT very well and can be defeated by identity theft.
Blockchain offers a solution. It is by nature cryptographic, using asymmetric-key algorithms and hash functions to generate data blocks in the chain. This allows a cybersecurity system to be designed in a way that best suits the nature of data in question. Blockchain cryptography can’t be reverse engineered, uses zero-knowledge proof architecture, and supports integration with better forms of authentication, such as biometrics. Minimally, data confidentiality gets a big boost from plugging blockchain in at the user verification level of cloud infrastructure.
Better Data Integrity
Data integrity refers to the practice of preventing data modification, tampering, or unauthorized alterations whether for malicious intent or due to an error. Certain businesses and business activities are particularly reliant on data integrity such as e-Commerce, industry 4.0, supply chain management, and globally businesses with remote and distributed operations. Within these types of businesses, there are many opportunities for data corruption in addition to opportunities for attacks.
As with Confidentiality, blockchain technology offers an answer to data integrity. What’s known as the “avalanche effect” ensures tamper-proofing within a dataset as a slight change in data results in a significantly different output, alerting system owners that anomalies occurred. Additionally, data within a blockchain is structured to ensure uniqueness (every input generates a unique output) and is deterministic (any input passed through the same hash function will always have the same output). So where can blockchain help? It depends on your businesses but here are some ideas:
- Decide whether you want to leverage private, public, or a mix of the two types of blockchains — this will depend on your business preference and requirements.
- Leverage consensus mechanisms for transaction processing and dispute resolution.
- Tailor a blockchain governance model to fit your needs and regulatory requirements.
- Leverage Smart Contracts and Smart Assets to develop a truly intelligent and scalable digital infrastructure designed for tomorrow’s world.
Better Data Availability
In the cybersecurity world, Availability refers to the constant availability of resources and services to authorized parties and systems. This requires the maintenance of hardware to ensure services are supported across the enterprise and customer ecosystems. Measures such as redundancy, data backup, and patching help ensure data availability. With blockchain in integrated database access points to help ensure confidentiality and integrity, businesses may find themselves with fewer challenges related to the availability of the good data across their cloud infrastructure.
We can’t stop the forward momentum of the cloud — nor would most businesses want to, given its clear advantages — but we need nimble methods to secure digital infrastructure once it’s in place. CIA helps companies avoid compliance issues, support business continuity, and protect against reputational harm. We think that’s a pretty good reason to integrate blockchain into your cloud infrastructure.
Learn more about how we can help
HeraSoft’s next generation software offers a variety of products and services to improve enterprise cybersecurity.
- HeraVault™ offers distributed cloud storage with built-in replication, error correction and restoration capabilities.
- HeraFlow™, is an AI-Powered threat analysis system for fast and accurate threat data monitoring perfect for high-volume workloads and enterprise-level SOC’s.
- HeraPass™, with inherently fraud proof design, helps businesses innovate user management in IoT environments by achieving the anonymization and encryption of highly-sensitive data.
- HeraStamp™ proof-stamps mission critical data to permanent data stores and can help with data integrity in, for example, ecommerce settings.
To learn more about our enterprise blockchain solutions and how we can help, click here.