Blockchain is a disruptive technology with a huge application potential and even with great potential to change society thanks to its security feature.
Technology and reliability
When referring to Blockchain and its features, the reliability and security that this technology represents for the processes that use it is always highlighted, more so when it’s mentioned as a system similar to a public ledger where information is recorded, which is distributed in a decentralized manner in blocks that make up a chain.
The encryption process used to place the information and link each block is the most interesting feature of Blockchain and what makes it so different from a conventional database, since it gives the ability to transfer the information from person to person, making one block unable to work without another. Each block is associated with a unique cryptographic fingerprint (hash), which, added to the consensus protocols by means of which all the nodes of the network reach an agreement on the veracity of the information, gives a guarantee of being less vulnerable to hacking.
Hackers operate focusing on locating the information in a single point, since all the information is currently located in one place. This is the reason of the origin of Blockchain, since its creators worked in the search of a method that was safe enough for the evolution of Bitcoin, without being able to imagine the real importance that this creation would have in the evolution of technology.
The information about Blockchain, its operation, its ability to apply, but above all its security offer, which is its main attraction, has led many sectors of the economy, especially the financial sector, to consider the application of this technology and its computer processes. Without flaunting the exaggeration, the fact that Blockchain represents a technological revolution almost similar to that represented by the Internet at the time is undeniable, which even has the ability to take the use of the Internet to another level.
Confidentiality, integrity and availability of information
The most discussed issues regarding computer security refer to the confidentiality, integrity and availability of the information, and although Blockchain does not provide additional benefits in the areas of confidentiality or availability compared to other technologies, its peer- to-peer feature makes it more difficult for the information to be unavailable at any time.
The guarantee of information integrity is the most outstanding feature of Blockchain, in which one of its few risks could arise in case that a blockchain can be edited by a central administrator, a situation that would go against the concept fundamental integrity of this technology, and the integrity approach in such a decentralized model that requires all participating nodes of consensus to share the information.
The basis of security offered by Blockchain is based on decentralization and transparency of information, which is also its main weakness, because anything stored in a chain of blocks could be accessed arbitrarily and without restriction by all the participants, unable to guarantee confidentiality or privacy, so when referring to the security of this technology, we talk more emphatically about the aspect of the integrity of the information.
In search of perfection
Although Blockchain provides an excellent solution for the integrity of information, it is not immune, and although there are advances regarding privacy, there is still no total security regarding this issue. In the search to obtain guarantees in this regard, the encryption algorithms for the storage of information in Blockchain could be increasingly complex, making access to information by those who are not part of the chain of blocks even more difficult, and still for those without authorization to do so, even if they are part of the consensus.
But even with the advanced features of the Blockchain technology and its complicated encryption and operation characteristics, in recent years there have been several attacks in which the cryptocurrencies based on Blockchain have been compromised, which were not related to Blockchain flaws themselves, but in the way it was implemented.
These circumstances have brought as a consequence theories that speak of a risk of specific integrity of Blockchain that could have a potential impact on a large scale, known as the attack of 51%, theory that talks about the possibility that an attacker manages to control the 51 % of the computing power of a whole network of participants, being able to reach a consensus on their own and impact the integrity of the data, which in the case of Blockchain as a backup to a cryptocurrency could allow the attacker to spend the same funds twice.