Consensus Networks Benefits: Blockchain Data Integrity

Posted by Mitchell Krum on 1/22/19 3:52 PM
Mitchell Krum

The ability for someone to forge, copy, delete, or modify a company's data is universally threatening. Both hackers and trustworthy employees have the ability to destroy the integrity and trustworthiness of your data history, which can make it difficult to stay compliant with government standards, make business decisions, and avoid legal challenges. Worldwide spending on information security products and services is projected to exceed $124 billion in 2019 according to the latest forecast from Gartner Inc. The market previously increased 12.4% from 2017 to 2018, and this newest forecast expects an additional 8.7% growth. Organizations with sensitive data have understandably been seeking out new ways to use technology to  protect and prove the accuracy of their data. Blockchain technology just might be the answer on how to reduce cost and prove data integrity.

Blockchains are inherently resistant to data modification by design. Decentralized ledgers are virtually immutable; meaning that once a data addition or transaction is made the record of that change cannot be edited or deleted. A blockchain is a chain of digital "blocks" that contain records of transactions for any type of asset. In order to update a particular piece of data, the owner of that data must add a new block linked to the previous block, which creates a specific chain of code. If any information gets altered from how it appeared in a previous block, the entire chain across the network is changed accordingly. This means that every single alteration to any piece of data is tracked and that all data is permanently kept because users can always look at previous versions of a block to identify what is different in the latest version.

This also makes it extremely difficult for hackers to tamper with a single block. To tamper with one record, the hacker would have to change the block containing the record and all those linked to it all the way down the line.  Additionally, this record would have to be changed on each and every participating network node. The fact that data blocks are linked to their previous forms makes blockchains both a data structure and a timekeeping mechanism for that structure. Because of this, proof of the history of data is easily reportable. This makes the technology perfectly suited for an entity that is regulated and may be audited by a third party as well as any entity that needs to protect the integrity of data it has collected.

Topics: Security, Benefits, Data Integrity

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