Data privacy remains one of the most important aspects of modern internet usage, but also one with the most issues that are accompanying it. For decades now, researchers working for cyber-security companies were in a constant war with those who would steal exposed data and misuse it, or sell it for profit. Whenever a new solution was found, hackers came up with a method of bypassing it, and researches found themselves in front of a new problem.
Now, however, the blockchain technology offers a potentially huge step in resolving this issue. A lot of researchers see the potential of the blockchain, with new use cases constantly appearing. Among them is also Lambda's co-founder, Lucy Wang, who believes that the blockchain might hold the key to finally bringing robust data security to the web.
Wang mentioned this during a recent speech regarding the Marriott Hotel data breach, which was discovered only recently, despite the fact that their systems were allegedly infected for over 4 years.
Data Breaches Are On The Rise
As stated, there is nothing new about data breaches. They were a part of the digital world from the moment it came to be. Nearly every website that is worth hacking has either been hacked already or is successfully fending off attacks.
From time to time, a bigger incident occurs, although many would argue that the time between such incidents is shrinking more and more. The largest such incident in the last several months is the Merriott Hotel data breach, during which over 500 million people were affected.
Hackers managed to steal names, addresses, emails, credit card data, and even passport information. All of this was possible due to the fact that the data was kept on centralized servers. Centralized servers are dangerous due to the fact that they offer many potential points of entry. If only one of them is not properly secured, incidents such as this are unavoidable.
The solution, according to Wang and many others, lies in switching to decentralized services, which is where blockchain comes in.
Why Should We Care About Data Security?
On the internet, data is one of the most important currencies. Internet users' data is of extreme importance to companies that aim to advertise their products and increase sales. It is also important to the governments in terms of surveillance.
Online marketing depends on this data, as our actions during our internet sessions reveal a lot about our interests, needs, and desires. Even when people simply browse an e-commerce platform, there are algorithms working in the background, noting what the user clicks on, how much time they spend on each individual product and other kinds of data. This is all processed and delivered to advertisers, which is why it is not uncommon to see the ads regarding things you were just checking out on different online shops.
However, this data can also be extremely valuable to cybercriminals, who can use it to access your devices, steal your money, or maybe even your identity. What's more, all of that data collected by companies and websites is held on centralized servers, as mentioned earlier. Centralized servers operated by centralized corporate giants can be goldmines of data, and if just one of them gets infected with malware, or a hacker manages to break into it by force, thousands and even millions of people can suffer the consequences.
Blockchain As A Solution
The first thing to be noted is that blockchain technology is not a miracle solution that will solve each and every problem perfectly. It is a young technology that has provided researchers with a new angle when it comes to thinking about solutions to modern problems.
The blockchain appeared at the same time as Bitcoin, although as a concept, it existed for decades at that point. In the last 10 years of its existence, however, it was revealed that it can be used for much more apart from just supporting crypto, and researchers started working on its development. Soon enough, the idea of a decentralized network that would be capable of replacing traditional servers was formed, and it gained more and more support ever since.
It should also be noted that public chains that we have today are relatively ineffective for the purpose of storing user information. There are still a lot of issues that need to be solved, such as cross-chain problems, TPS deficiency, issues regarding app development or governance, and more. As stated, blockchain is not a miracle cure.
However, it even with all of these problems, this technology is of great importance for taking the next step in our technological advancement. While it might take several more years, or maybe even decades before the problems are solved or bypassed, the blockchain development will continue, and the tech will get better.
The possibilities offered by this technology — increased data security, the inability to manipulate stored information, and more — are too valuable to be ignored. Because of that, a lot of cyber-security experts, analysts, and researchers believe that the blockchain is the future. The only problem right now is that it is not evolved enough to be used yet. However, there are constant projects that are helping it advance, and the technology will someday likely be ready for mainstream adoption.