If you like to keep up with tech news and read articles or blog posts that explore the relationship between innovative technology and the business sector you may have often stumbled on statements like “data is the new gold”, “data is akin to crude oil” or more general ones like “data is the most valuable resource of the digital age”. For the uninitiated, these affirmations may seem like overstatements that aim to boost the image of tech companies and increase the visibility of their products or services. But the fact of the matter is that we live in a world governed by data. Everything ranging from traffic lights to digital billboards, medical equipment and air traffic control relies on data to be efficient and accurate.
We constantly carry around with us a small glowing brick that enables us to effortlessly access whatever information or service we may need. At the same time, whenever we access a platform or a website, we also leave behind a small trace of data about ourselves and our activities which is collected, stored and processed by companies. This is why data has become the cornerstone for many business decisions. It enables companies to detect consumer patterns and preferences which facilitate the development of products and services purposely tailored to answer the needs of a larger spectrum of people.
As our world is steadily becoming more digitized, our relationship with data is slowly changing. Many statistics companies and publications point out that we are currently generating more data than at any point in our history. Beyond improving a wide range of businesses, services and unlocking a new venue of opportunities both at a macro and a micro level, the colossal amount of data we generate at a global level raises some security concerns. Seeing that the value of data has spiked in recent decades, data has become a prime target for malicious actors who want to make a quick and easy profit by hijacking valuable information to extract a ransom or by selling the data on the dark web to the highest bidder.
Modex delivers trust, the new currency of the digital world
Modex has created its trademark Blockchain Database (BCDB) solution, a technological layer that fuses a blockchain layer with a database system, a technology that is already deeply ingrained in every business and industry sector that makes frequent use of large data pools, to create a hybrid software product that delivers high levels of data availability, integrity immutability, enhanced encryption as well as a data reconstruction function to safeguard sensitive information.
Designed as a middleware software solution, Modex BCDB combines the functionality and familiarity of traditional database systems with blockchain, a technology designed to deliver a slew of disruptive features such as data integrity, immutability, traceability, distribution and decentralization that can help companies consolidate their data storage systems. Packaged as an Infrastructure as a Service offering, Modex BCDB is devised to act as a building block that companies can use to build an infrastructure tailored to their specific business requirements. What makes the Modex technological layer stand out is the fact that it incorporates a blockchain component that unlocks a series of powerful features and functionalities without requiring any prior knowledge of blockchain development. Furthermore, companies can use the Blockchain Database solution to build a new infrastructure for their business or complement their existing IT framework to unlock a slew of data-related benefits.
Available on the Microsoft Azure Marketplace, Modex BCDB can be easily deployed in cloud environments as well as on on-prem infrastructures. With a modular and agnostic approach to its two core components, the database engine and blockchain framework, companies can utilize what blockchain and what database is best suited to answer their data-related needs.
The evolving data landscape
An exponential data increase between 2010 and 2020
According to Forbes, the creation, capturing, copying, and consumption of data in the world increased from 1.2 trillion gigabytes to 59 trillion gigabytes. This increase represents an approximate growth of 5000% in just one decade. A significant portion of this number can be attributed to the COVID outbreak that forced many companies to shift to a work from home environment.
For 2020, Domo calculated that the average person generated roughly 1,7 megabytes per second which would mean that every person on the planet generated 146,880 GB a day. Given the fact that the world’s population will soon pass the 8 billion mark, it’s safe to say that in the near future the amount of data we will produce will rise exponentially.
Statista predicts that by 2025 data creation will be over 180 zettabytes, about 118,8 zettabytes more than in 2020. For further clarification, data is measured in bits and bytes. One bit contains a value of 0 or 1. Eight bits make a byte. Then we have kilobytes (1,000 bytes), megabytes (1000² bytes), gigabytes (1000³ bytes), terabytes (1000⁴ bytes), petabytes (1000⁵ bytes), exabytes (1000⁶ bytes) and zettabytes (1000⁷ bytes).
Google is the undisputed search engine champion
Internet Live Stats reports that Google is processing an average of over 40,000 search queries every second which translates to over 3.5 billion searches per day and 1.2 trillion searches per year worldwide. Add to this the fact that the American multinational company owned by Alphabet Inc. holds over 87% of the global search engine market share as of 2021, it becomes safe to assume that Google will remain in the pole position of the search engine race. An interesting fact about Google is that 16% to 20% of searches made every day have never been asked before. So, Google generates new sets of data daily, instead of repeating the same set of information. Another interesting fact, a Google search uses approximately 1000 computers in 0,2 seconds to retrieve an answer.
WhatsApp is the top choice of people and businesses
With a user base of over 2 billion people, WhatsApp is the most downloaded and popular messaging app. Available in 180 countries and 60 different languages worldwide, the messaging app is actively used by 5 million businesses to connect to their customers. Approximately 65 billion messages are exchanged daily on WhatsApp.
The current enterprise landscape has evolved to a point where it requires collecting and storing vast amounts of data for analysis. This significant increase in the pace of data collection has given rise in the early 2000s to the concept of big data that describes a massive collection of both structured and unstructured data that is so large that it becomes difficult to process through traditional database mechanisms. The increased shift towards big data owes largely in part to its ability to enhance and enable more accurate intelligent decisions and strategic business moves. Most people view big data as strictly a quantitative measurement, but this is not the case, as it also encompasses the range of technologies used to process, organize and store all the information. As with traditional database systems, when the volume of data spikes, security concerns increase in complexity.
In this context, big data security has emerged as a term that encompasses all the strategies, measures, and tools employed by companies to safeguard both the data (in the cloud and on-premise) and the analytics processes from external attacks, theft and malicious tampering that could lead to financial and operational loss, decrease in customer trust, lawsuits, and fines.
A large portion of the tools employed in big data and smart analytics are open source. Due to their open-source nature, they are characterized by high levels of availability and customization, but as they were not designed with security in mind, they come with some drawbacks, which can lead to more security issues.
Modex BCDB helps businesses and enterprises to enhance the security of their big data systems. Blockchain technology has proven itself an ideal data storage medium when implemented correctly because it unlocks a series of features and functionalities capable of ensuring a secure data infrastructure: decentralization, transparency, real-time backup, data immutability, and integrity, in-depth information tracking.
Big data and the cloud, a match made in heaven
ZDNet predicts that half of all new Big Data workloads will eventually run in the cloud. According to one of their data surveys, that scenario is already underway as roughly 45% of respondents report running at least some Big Data workloads in the cloud which suggests compatibility between the two technologies as well as the opportunity to unlock new business momentum through cloud-based big data analytics.
The global banking sector is already under the process of incorporating Big Data analytics into its infrastructure to improve customer service, enable the creation of personalized offers tailored for each individual customer, while improving overall performance, efficiency and risk management. Techjury outlines the fact that as of 2013, 64% of the global financial sector had already incorporated Big Data as a part of their infrastructure and that in 2015, the industry had already reached a market size of USD 12 billion, hitting $29.87 billion in 2019.
Healthcare is another key area where big data analytics has gained traction. As sensors from medical equipment gather more data about a patient’s condition, physicians can analyze and piece all the information together to offer a more accurate and detailed diagnosis. On the patient’s side, big data analytics can decrease healthcare costs, offer better treatment capacity and a general improvement of quality of life. The large data sets can also help to detect and predict new epidemic outbreaks and for a quick and efficient response plan. According to a report conducted by Allied Market Research, the global big data analytics in healthcare market size was valued at $16.87 billion in 2017 and is projected to reach $67.82 billion by 2025, growing at a compound annual growth rate of 19.1% from 2018 to 2025.
How is Modex Blockchain Database different from traditional data storage
Devised as a solution that can easily complement existing infrastructures and systems, Modex has utilized its technological stack to create a new type of data storage medium capable of augmenting traditional cloud and data warehousing offerings:
- Security – there is a common misconception that cloud service providers are solely responsible for securing their clients’ data. The fact of the matter is that data security is a joint responsibility between cloud providers and the beneficiary. The global hacking campaign known as “Cloud Hopper” is probably the most notable example of this point. By utilizing complex encryption mechanisms, hashing algorithms and through the distributed nature of its blockchain component, Modex BCDB adds a much-needed layer of security to cloud infrastructures.
- Removing integration friction points – IaaS offers the ideal building blocks for creating new IT infrastructures from the ground up. But transitioning an existing system to the cloud is still a difficult task, especially if we take into consideration legacy systems. Modex BCDB can seamlessly connect to existing systems through a set of custom connectors. Once connected to an application, Modex BCDB grants access to all of the inherent advantages of blockchain technology without affecting the user’s interaction with the original system.
- Customizable encryption – public cloud users may have limited control and ability to customize. Modex BCDB comes with an inbuilt encryption mechanism that can be set to function at the field level or at the column level.
- Data availability – even the largest cloud service provider experiences downtime. By distributing data across an intricate web of computer nodes, the BCDB solution unlocks new levels of availability for companies’ most valuable asset, their data.
- Enhanced data visibility and transparency – the Modex technological layer unlocks data traceability through which data owners can determine who accessed their information.
- Privacy and data ownership – a major downside of public cloud infrastructures is that data owners are required to give up a portion of control over their data to the cloud provider. Through the clever use of hashing, Modex BCDB creates a hash digest of the information stored in the database and moves it into the blockchain to act as proof of ownership.
The draw of new opportunity
New Vantage published its 9th annual survey of senior corporate c-executives on the topics of Big Data and Artificial intelligence. The study recorded answers from approximately 85 Fortune 1000 business and technology c-executives who sought to understand the potential impact of Big Data and its implications for their businesses. When measuring the level of absorption of Big Data into the mainstream, as well as the level of commitment and investment in data, the report concluded that 99% of the firms that took part in the survey have already invested in data initiatives, 65% have already appointed a Chief Data Officer (CDO), and 96% of respondents stating that their company had a measurable business outcome.
Giving the fact that big data has filled multiple gaps in many industry sectors by enabling the detection of patterns, consumer trends, and enhanced decision making and the interest and openness it receives Fortune 1000 companies like American Express, Anthem, Bank of America, Capital One, JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, McDonald’s, Merck, Pfizer, Sanofi, Starbucks, United Health, VISA, and Walmart, it’s unsurprising that the global big data and business analytics market was valued at 169 billion U.S. dollars in 2018 and is expected to grow to 274 billion U.S. dollars in 2022, according to the numbers forwarded by Statista.
With a wide range of data-related benefits and features built into its core, blockchain seems to check all the necessary prerequisites to be able to complement and augment the security requirements of the dynamic big data spectrum. With the patented Modex Blockchain Database solution, companies can enhance the security of their critical business data by accessing innovative technologies like blockchain and the cloud to create a structure that is easy to use and implement in existing data systems.