A successful cyber-attack might destroy any well-positioned organization. Data breaches result in substantial financial losses, but they are also a huge source of unwanted publicity for the afflicted firm.

Blockchain started as the technology that underpins Bitcoin, but it has matured into a helpful cybersecurity tool.

Firms that rely on digital network platforms face a challenging and stressful period. Cyber-attacks and data breaches are getting more sophisticated and dangerous to online activities. As the nightmare deepens, not just small businesses but even large IT corporations like Siemens, Facebook, Yahoo, Microsoft, and LG, to mention a few, are becoming targets.

Businesses are increasingly facing ransomware attacks and other sorts of data breaches. Recent investigations and statistics demonstrate that even sacrosanct state procedures like Presidential elections are not free from these attacks. This shows that cybersecurity is no longer a worry for corporations; it is now an issue for governments and other organizations.

It would be prudent to research the most recent cyber-attack trends and data to develop long-term cybersecurity prevention measures.

According to Juniper Research, cyber-attack losses totalled $2 trillion in 2019. Businesses continue to increase their investment in cybersecurity despite the considerable cost ramifications. To combat these destructive attacks, it is expected that global cybersecurity investment will reach $2 billion by 2030.

Attention-catching Cybersecurity Trends & Stats

  • Bitcoin is linked to $76 billion worth of unlawful activity.

Bitcoin, unlike other currencies, enables quick transactions while retaining anonymity and security. Legacy official currency rates disrupt the cryptocurrency. This has quickly evolved into the most popular method of anonymity in illegal activities, including cybercrime and drug trafficking. Bitcoin aided $76 billion in unlawful business transactions globally, according to a University of Sydney analysis.

  • Every 14 Seconds, a Ransomware Assault

It is calculated that a ransomware attack happens every 14 seconds. Based on the 2019 Official Annual Cybercrime Report (ACR), the bulk of these attacks goes unreported. Every 15 seconds, a new person joins social media networks, increasing the risk of ransomware infection.

  • Cyber-attacks predominantly target small businesses.

Most small businesses say they are “unlikely” to be attacked by cyber-attacks. Two-thirds of firms, according to Cabinet, have experienced social engineering, phishing, or DDoS episodes in the last three years. Despite accounting for 13% of the cybercrime call, small businesses invest the least in cybersecurity.

  • Costs of a cyber-attack data breach

According to the Security Intelligence Report, the moderate cost of a cyber-attack data breach in 2019 was $3.92 million. On the other hand, hacking is practically free, with cyber-attack tools costing as low as one dollar on the Dark Web and other gratis services. It becomes much more troubling when you know that hacking an IoT device takes, on average, 5 minutes.

The Future of these Cyber-attacks & Malware

Cyber-attacks are becoming more complicated and executable due to the current rate of technological advancement. Hackers will have more opportunities with the rollout of game-changing fifth-generation (5G) networks that deliver ten times faster download speeds. Faster speeds increase the chances of more devices being hacked and larger cyber-attacks being carried out.

The commercial appetite for the Internet of Things is enormous (IoT). From furniture to utility equipment, almost everything is equipped with internet-connected sensors. As per the report by Gartner, by 2021, the number of internet-connected gadgets will increase from 14 billion to 25 billion. The bulk of these new technologies contain security flaws that attract hackers. Additionally, home automation technologies may expose more homes to cyber-attacks by burglars.

Can Blockchain Help In Increasing the Efficiency of Cybersecurity?

Blockchain is a distributed decentralized ledger system that allows transactions to be recorded on several computers. Blockchain started as the technology that underpins bitcoin, but it has matured into a helpful cybersecurity tool.

Notably, human error is still the leading cause of data breaches. Data storage is automated using Blockchain, reducing the need for people in these systems.

Blockchain has developed into one of the most secure dealing systems in the digital network area while not indestructible. The technology has been credited with guaranteeing information integrity as planned and intended. If implemented correctly, it may benefit a variety of businesses.

Blockchain technology has the potential to be beneficial in a variety of situations. One of the most promising uses would be its integrity assurance to build cybersecurity solutions for several technologies. The following are some potential blockchain-based cybersecurity applications:

  • Security private messaging

As the Internet compresses the world into a global village, more people use social media. The number of social networking sites is also increasing. More social applications are being created daily as conversational commerce becomes more popular. Massive amounts of metadata are gathered throughout these exchanges. Most social networking site users utilize weak, untrustworthy passwords to protect their services and data. Most messaging companies look to Blockchain as a better alternative to the end-to-end encryption they now employ to protect user data. Blockchain technology might be used to create a standardized security protocol. Blockchain might be used to provide a unified API architecture that allows for cross-messenger communication.

Several recent cyberattacks have targeted social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Data breaches occurred from these attacks, with millions of accounts hacked and user information slipping into the wrong hands. If correctly implemented into these messaging systems, blockchain technology has the potential to prevent future attacks.

  • IoT Security

Hackers increasingly use edge devices like thermostats and routers to access more extensive networks. With the current interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI), hackers have found it easier to access more extensive systems such as home automation via edge devices such as intelligent switches. In most cases, many of these IoT devices have dubious security features.

In this case, Blockchain might be used to decentralize administration and protect more extensive systems or devices. The technology will enable the device to make security decisions on its own. Edge devices become more secure by recognising and reacting to questionable requests from unknown networks without relying on a central admin or authority.

Hackers frequently get total control of devices and systems via breaching a device’s central administration. Blockchain makes such attacks more challenging to carry out by decentralizing such device authority systems (if possible).

  • Securing DNS and DDoS

A Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) seizure happens when users of a marked resource, such as a web resource, server, or website, are restricted access or service to the target resource. These attacks cause resource systems to be disrupted or slowed.

On the other hand, a  Domain Name System (DNS) is highly centralized, making it an excellent target for hackers looking to break the link between an IP address and a website’s name. This type of attack renders a website unusable, cashable, and even redirectable to other fraudulent sites.

Fortunately, Blockchain may be utilized to mitigate such attacks by decentralizing DNS records. Blockchain would have eliminated the vulnerable single points exploited by hackers by deploying decentralized solutions.

  • Decentralizing Medium Storage

Hacking and theft of company data are becoming a significant cause of concern for companies. The majority of firms continue to use a centralized storage system. A hacker only has to target one weak area in these systems to access all of the data they hold. An attack of this nature puts sensitive and confidential data in the hands of a criminal, such as business financial information.

Blockchain, which assures a decentralized style of data storage, can protect sensitive data. Hackers would find it more challenging, if not unattainable, to infiltrate data storage systems using this mitigation method. Many storage companies are looking at how Blockchain might protect data from hackers. Apollo Currency Team is one organization that has already used blockchain technology in its operations (The Apollo Data Cloud).

  • The Provenance of Computer Software

To protect software downloads from outside influence, blockchain technology might be employed. Blockchain, like MD5 hashes, may be used to confirm operations like firmware updates, installers, and patches to prevent malicious software from accessing devices. A new software identity is compared against hashes provided on vendor websites in the MD5 scenario. This solution is not entirely foolproof since the hashes given on the provider’s platform may have previously been compromised.

However, in the subject of blockchain technology, the hashes are maintained on the Blockchain indefinitely. Blockchain may be more efficient in confirming software integrity by comparing it to hashes on the Blockchain since the information contained in the technology is neither malleable nor changing.

  • Verification of Cyber-Physical Infrastructures

The integrity of data generated by cyber-physical systems has been affected by data tampering, system misconfiguration, and component failure. On the other hand, the strengths of blockchain technology in information integrity and verification may be utilized to verify the state of any cyber-physical infrastructure. The information generated by Blockchain on infrastructure components can be more dependable for the whole chain of custody.

  • Protecting Data Transmission

Blockchain might be used in the future to prevent unauthorized access to data while it is in transit. The entire encryption feature of the technology may protect data transfer, preventing bad actors, whether individuals or organizations, from accessing it. This technique would boost the overall confidence and integrity of data transmitted across Blockchain. Malicious hackers intercept data in transit to alter or destroy its existence. This leaves a massive void in inefficient communication methods like email.

  • Diminish Human Safety Adversity caused by Cyber Attacks

As a result of current technological advancements, we have witnessed the deployment of unmanned military equipment and public transit. The Internet enables data to be relayed from sensors to remote-control databases, allowing for autonomous cars and armament. On the other hand, Hackers have been working hard to access networks like the Car Area Network (CAN). Hackers have complete control over critical vehicle functions when these networks are hacked. Such occurrences would immediately impact human safety. If all data entering and exiting such systems were verified on Blockchain, many problems might be avoided.

Real-life application examples

The following are some notable examples of Blockchain’s application in cybersecurity:

  • Barclays (London, England), Traditional Banking:

Barclays has filed a patent application to use Blockchain to improve financial transaction security. It plans to stabilize bitcoin transactions via Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT). As a result, Blockchain supports the bank in securely preserving client information.

  • CISCO (San Jose, California), IoT:

Cisco plans to use blockchain technology to protect IoT devices because ledger technology eliminates single points of failure, and encryption improves data security.

  • Coinbase (San Francisco, California), Cryptocurrencies:

Coinbase uses encryption to store wallets and passwords in a secure database. It also performs background checks on employees to ensure that their crypto is secure.

  • Australian Government (Canberra, Australia):

The Australian government plans to establish a blockchain-based cybersecurity network. The government has also teamed up with IBM to develop a blockchain ecosystem to safeguard the storage of essential documents.

  • Philips Healthcare (Andover, Massachusetts), Healthcare:

Philips Healthcare has worked with hospitals worldwide to create a blockchain and artificial intelligence-based healthcare ecosystem. This ecosystem will make finding and analyzing a wide range of operational, administrative, and medical data easier.

  • Chinese Military (Beijing, China), Defense and Military:

China’s government and military attempt to protect sensitive government and military information and intelligence data using blockchain cybersecurity.

Regardless of how blockchain technology is employed, the ability to decentralize is a vital component. This feature removes the sole point of weakness. As a result, breaking into systems or facilities where access control, data storage, and network traffic are no longer all in one place is impossible. As a result, Blockchain might be one of the most effective cyber-threat mitigation options in the following years. Nonetheless, Blockchain faces many startup issues like any other new technology as it navigates the bumpy road to maturity.

Also Read: A Guided Tour of the Latest Cybersecurity Technology