Currently, cybersecurity trends tend to focus mainly on preventing external attackers from accessing, destroying, or corrupting sensitive data.
But often than not, an equally devastating type of cybersecurity risks, namely of the internal kind, do not receive the attention they deserve. Internal data leaks are the most common type of data breaches, that usually stems from employees. Although there are occurrences when an employee goes rogue and willfully sabotages the company, most of the time it is purely accidental. Regardless if it was intentional or unintentional, the damage to reputation and profits are the same. In order to mitigate internal data leaks, companies employ strict internal policies, and data access mechanisms to restrict access.
Due to the sum of its beneficial characteristics, and its unique design choice, blockchain emerges as an anti-tamper technology, capable of demonstrating through complex algorithms that the data stored has not been modified by a malicious actor.
Blockchain achieves tamper resistance due to its data storing mechanisms and extensive use of cryptography and hashing functions. Hashing is a process through which data input is passed through a hashing function to obtain a hash digest, also referred to as checksum, a string of characters that acts as a unique identifier. In the world of data security, hashing brings a number of major benefits. Firstly, each input gives a unique hash digest. Even if only one byte is different between two seemingly identical files, the resulting outputs will be completely different. Secondly, it’s impossible to reverse engineer a hash digest, which means that you can’t determine the original input from the hash digest.
Blockchain is considered to be an anti-tamper technology due to its clever use of hashing. When new data is added to a blockchain, it first gets verified by the system, timestamped and embedded into a data container referred to as block, which is cryptographically secured through a hashing function (SHA-256 is the most popular in the blockchain world) that incorporates the hash of the previous block in the new block to seal them together. This process is repeated for every new data insert to produce an interdependent chain of blocks, where the smallest change in a block will render all of the following blocks obsolete, as their hashes will no longer match.