Cybersecurity has become one of the largest security threats to the United States, European Union, Russia, China and pretty much any other nation. Properly executed large-scale cyber attacks can simultaneously disrupt communication, ground military jets, or attack civil infrastructures such as hospitals, power plants and major cities’ communication.
Adeolu Fadele, President and Founder Cryptography Development Initiative of Nigeria (CDIN), says:
“It is now generally believed that the next wars will be fought online, that is why nation-state attacks are now common. For a nation to become or retain world power status in the digital age of today, such nations have to possess exceptional sophistication in cyber defense and attack.”
Perimeter security is unreliable
Existing cybersecurity systems have been vulnerable. In October 2016, A massive Distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack took several high-profile websites such as Twitter, Amazon, the New York Times, offline. This attack didn’t target any of these companies directly, but rather Dyn, the company that provides DNS services for each of those sites.
Fadele tells Cointelegraph that the inherent vulnerabilities in our present day systems are the major reason why perimeter defense has become a standard practice. Now that the traditional perimeter fences can no longer hold the fire posed by the Advance Persistent Threat (APT) type of attacks, the need for an attack resistant distributed ledger technology like Bitcoin Blockchain has become inevitable.
Better chances to survive
According to Grant Blaisdell of Coinfirm Blockchain Lab, Blockchain technologies could greatly decrease potential damage due to the simple fact that attackers would have to attack an entire mesh of systems instead of a central point. Moreover, there is a big chance that even if attacked the majority of infrastructure will be unaffected.
“When it comes to IT "perimeter security" is not the best strategy as it leaves targets vulnerable and isolated during cyber attacks. A distributed network with Blockchain-based decisions within it provide better communication and ability to counteract threats,” says Blaisdell.
Governments afraid of losing control
Considering why governments may be reluctant towards embracing the disruptive technology, Blaisdell says that such could be due to the irrational fear of losing control. For decades (or even centuries) all governments and public administrations centralize decision-making and crucial infrastructures but such a strategy is being proven inefficient and insecure with thousands of incidents like email leaks or data thefts. A Blockchain-based unified system for administration, security and even the military would drastically decrease the risk of attack and potential damage.
Fadele provides Bitcoin Blockchain as an example of a distributed ledger system which has survived on the public internet for seven years now without the protection of a traditional perimeter security. “It is today that $14 bln bounties are left out there for anyone to hack.”
He points out the following properties of Bitcoin Blockchain that gives it a better security defense than the traditional perimeter defense:
- Public, Decentralized and distributed transaction records
- Tamper proof and Immutable transaction records
- Real-time audit effects
- Attack resistance
- Censorship resistance
However, Fadele identifies the present challenges that may be slowing down the mainstream adoption of Bitcoin and Blockchain as:
- New and evolving
- Technical complexity
- Bitcoin Regulatory Uncertainty
- Bitcoin Abuse By Criminals e.g. Ransomware
- Scalability Limitations
- KYC/AML gaps
The second generation of digital revolution
The digital revolution that started decades ago is still disrupting existing systems and structures. The first generation of the digital revolution representing the Internet of information has disrupted institutions such as the printing press, post office, library and commutations. Now another round of the digital revolution is here to give us the Internet of value that will change the world of finance and the global economy.