Last year personal data company Equifax was the subject one of the largest data breaches to date when hackers stole data belonging to over 147.9 Americans. Never before had this kind of data breach been seen, and it highlights that much is still to be done to protect individuals from having their personal data and information stolen and shared without their permission.

Many other data breaches have occurred before and since the one that hit Equifax, and with data security being a huge concern is there anything that can be done to try and mitigate the risks of another breach of the size of the one suffered by Equifax happening again?

The Answer is in the Chain

Many organizations have looked to the cloud to provide secure data storage solutions, but since they are often centralized they can be bigger targets for unscrupulous hackers. In addition, many organizations will not trust their data to be stored by a third-party cloud provider which is not practical or necessary, and in many cases the legalities of storing data in this way often come into question.

There is a feasible alternative. Blockchain is everywhere today, and few organizations have not heard of this innovative technology. The first blockchain application was Bitcoin and put simply, this allows networks of users to conduct financial transactions independently of a third party or of anyone who happens to be on the network where the transaction is taking place. Full encryption is available and the Blockchain is as secure as it can be because if something goes wrong with it every user will be able to see this straightaway. This is a notable example of a cryptocurrency system that works and works well. These cryptocurrency systems are used not just for trading but for buying and selling, as well as just having a safe and secure place to store Bitcoins.

How can Blockchain be used for Data Storage?

Blockchain has many uses for data storage and security, and therefore this makes it an attractive way of storing sensitive data. Data can be broken up into smaller chunks and stored, with encryption across it so that only users who have access to it know how to break the encryption. Files can also be distributed across a secure network and even if the network fails to work or is unstable they can still be accessed.

A cryptographic signature on a portion of a document or file can also be used on a Blockchain, and this gives users a fool-proof way of ensuring that files are intact without needing to save the entire file on the Blockchain. Blockchains can also be used to host smart contracts, which ensure that transactions only occur when certain key conditions are met, thus ensuring they are entirely secure.

What are the Advantages of Using Blockchain for Data Security?

There are many advantages to using Blockchain for data security – from fast download speeds via peer to peer networks, to you not having to worry about key data being accessed by anyone else other than who you give access to and you always know that files are unaltered and accurate via Blockchain due to its unchallengeable structure.

Storing files via Blockchain technology is also extremely cost effective, and it can be as low as $2 per terabyte of storage space a month. Companies have even been known to make money by “renting” out free space that isn’t being used for data storage.

The Future of Blockchain for Data Security

Although Blockchain for data security is a relatively new and emerging technology, it is one that many in the data and analytics industry is watching closely as a more robust way of storing files and data that contains sensitive information. As Blockchain grows and becomes more widespread, it could become more mainstream as a viable way of ensuring files are transmitted safely, securely and most importantly, with a foolproof way of ensuring they are not tampered with in transit.

Join the Debate in our LinkedIn Group

What do you think of Blockchain as a way of storing and transmitting data that contains sensitive information? Is this innovative technology one that will take off and become mainstream? Join the debate in our LinkedIn group.