Blockchain: Empowering Security by Resisting Changes of Recorded Database

3rd June 2019 | By Mouseworld Now Correspondent |

By Dr. Malay Ranjan Tripathy, Professor, Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering, Amity University

 

 

Blockchain refers to a growing list of records, called blocks, which are linked using cryptography. Today,  Blockchain has become a buzzword in the realm of technology, economy, culture and society.  In the distributed database systems blockchain has empowered the security by resisting the changes of recorded database subsequently. The successful implementation of this technology is evident in the success of cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Besides, blockchain has come to see considerable application in many other critical technology areas today.

Taking these into account, the future of this technology looks quite promising. The technology reserves wider scope of application cutting across industry verticals. It is likely to see application in areas as diverse as credit management, identity management, supply chain managements, medical records, smart contracts and in several other distributed/public/shared ledger applications.
Blockchain offers an infrastructure of transparency, cryptography and event tracking with the improved security features in the network and data sharing. Blockchain integrated with the systems will enhance reliability to handle sensitive data with capabilities in controlling IoT and the ubiquitous mobile devices. It will also support vendors to exercise control over their enterprise networks with better access to tackle weak spots in security protocols.
Blockchain is categorized into three distinct types of technologies: public blockchain, consortium blockchain and private blockchain. In case of public blockchain, everyone can participate in the process of transaction and verification of information. Bitcoin and Etherium are best examples of this. As different to this, consortium blockchain has one authority node which is chosen in advance. But the data in blockchain is open or private. Hyperledger and R3CEV come in the categories of consortium blockchain. Contrary to the first two categories, private blockchain has strict authority management on data access. Everyone cannot participate in blockchain.

Since blockchain is fast becoming an attractive proposition to apply in different areas, it has started perceiving threats from various agents. One of these threats is the Majority Attack. In general, the probability of mining the block is done by the person who works on it. If group of people joins in the process and mine their blocks, that leads to the formation of a mining pool. This is where maximum computing power is required. In such cases, if it holds more that 51% computing power, then it gains monopoly over the network. It can control the blockchain and can create security issues. Multiple scenarios can also be expected. One of these can be double spending attack which occurs through modification of transaction data. Other one can be stopping the verification of transactions of block. Or, it can be stopping miner to mine available block.

Fork problem is becoming an issue in the blockchain. It is related to decentralized node version, agreement when the software upgrade. In blockchain two types of nodes are seen such as new
node and old node at the time of new version of software publication. These nodes may agree and disagree on the consensus rules. This leads to the problem in blockchain. On the basis of these issues fork problems are divided into two types such as hard fork and soft fork. In case of hard fork, the blockchain will break into two chains when new version of software is published.
Old nodes will disagree on new sets of consensus rules compatible with new nodes or vice versa.
But soft fork works differently. Even if there is disagreement among old nodes and new nodes during the new version software upgradation, both nodes continue to work in the same.

Undoubtedly, blockchain technologies are not just going stay but are also well poised to greatly influence various applications in the coming years. It also throws many challenges in the way which need to get resolved for its efficient and effective implementation.

Considering these, the government needs to formulate new laws to facilitate the use of these technologies in commercial organizations. Despite the element of excitement around experiencing new technologies like these, we ought to be careful about the security threats which may create hurdles for the success of these applications.

(Author Bio: Dr Malay Ranjan Tripathy is a Professor in the Department of Electronics and Communication Engineering at Amity School of Engineering and Technology, Amity University, NOIDA

, UP, India. He can be contacted at

 malay@srb.org.in)

DISCLAIMER: The views expressed here solely belongs to the author and not necessarily reflect that of Mouseworld Now. Mouseworld Now does not own responsibility for the views expressed here.

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