The rise of blockchain is one of the most viewed IT trends today. One reason is certainly the fact that the most famous blockchain application today is worth $ 14.5 billion. More important, however, are its unique technical features that carry the potential even greater. These features lead many businesses and organizations to launch a commercial solution based on blockchain technology. Lets look on usability of blockchain in data protection area.
The first blockchain
For the first time, the blockchain was introduced in 2008 in a short text by an anonymous author working under the pseudonym of Satoshi Nakamoto. In his text, the concept of electronic currency was described and mathematically explained, which would go without central authority – all processes necessary for the functioning of the currency would be performed on the users’ computers according to a sophisticated protocol. This protocol today is called a blockchain.
Nakamoto did not stay with theory, and the concept turned into reality. This is the first cryptocurrency in the world, and today the most famous, the largest and most valuable blockchain application – Bitcoin. The year began to talk about the revolution in the world of finance.
Digitalization of currencies and non-cash economy
Today’s cryptocurrencies make it easier, faster, and cheaper to conduct foreign financial transactions than traditional banks. The downside is their greater volatility – even though the Bitcoin course has relatively calmed down over the past year, with up to five per cent leaps in the course still no exception.
The year 2017 is likely to be the year when the first state cryptocurrency will be launched. At the same time, it is likely that the doors of today’s, non-state, decentralized cryptocurrencies will close. The first, pioneering experimental pioneers among countries seem to be Ukraine, Tunisia, India, Russia and, of course, all the traditionally progressive Scandinavian countries.
In the first step, it is planned to link the new cryptocurrencies course to the old, classical, fiat currency rate.
But further development will be more interesting. If the functioning of these state crypts prove to be seamless, there are very few reasons to preserve the cash currencies. Cryptocurrencies are less demanding (print, anti-falsification, transport), prevents anonymous handling of funds, and provides stronger protection against its misuse of criminal or illegal activities (or their financing). The natural ending of the digitization of the currency thus appears to be a complete transition to a cashless economy.
The blockchain principle offers breakthrough data security
Blockchain-based digital currencies are called cryptocurrencies because their integrity is ensured by a sophisticated cryptographic protocol. It basically ensures that individual coins can only be handled by the wallet in which they are stored. In other words, it protects the authenticity of the stored data. Imagine that the protocol will protect the data in your system in the same way – blockchain guarantees that in the enrolled data no one will change the comma if it does not have permission.
Cryptocurrencies are therefore only one of the possible applications of blockchain, and its intensive use is being explored for cloud security and heterogeneous internal systems. Theoretically, almost any data can be secured against unauthorized manipulation. This talks about securing corporate and government critical infrastructure management systems that must be on the network, including US Nuclear Weapons. There seems to be a simple rule: The more sensitive your data is, the more valuable it is for you to implement a blockchain.
The secondary feature of the cryptographic protocol is to record all written changes, creating the possibilities for large databases with a large number of writers. The ever-growing and, in turn, disintegrating world consortia of banking institutions, for example, are trying to figure out how to use the blockchain to simplify interbank settlement systems and to efficiently link registers infused with client information – yet they have failed to agree.
Practical applications of blockchain in data protection
Today’s digital world contains an immense amount of material, the originality and ownership of which is difficult and especially expensive to track and search. Blockchain can solve this problem by providing global authenticity and security for data and transactions of any kind, thereby reducing the cost and complexity of centralized systems while providing resistance to unauthorized manipulation. With blockchain technology, data and transactions can only be updated on the basis of rules agreed between participants in the system, and the newly added data can never be erased.
The unconventional approach to using blockchain technology to address specific data protection issues has been chosen by Acronis, well known for its back-up solutions: it has decided to search for and develop existing specific user experiences and experiences. Based on this approach, Acronis Storage introduced the solution. It is a software-based storage solution with data authentication based on blockchain technology and with universal file, block and object support. It is a versatile software-based storage solution that integrates blocks, files and objects using common hardware.
Another example of a blockchain application is Acronis Notary for blockchain-based authentication. Notary offers certification of the content of any file and verification of content modifications compared to the original version. The unique “fingerprint of a digital file” is stored in a distributed, unchangeable database based on blockchain technology, enabling users to verify the authenticity of the information at any time. This is especially important for valuable documents such as contracts, health records and financial documents.
Third, we can list Acronis ASign, a certification solution for blockchain-protected documents. ASign allows multiple parties to create and certify documents with a secure and publicly auditable signature. Users can protect their backed up documents that are authenticated with Acronis Notary and electronically signed – all within one backup solution.