Blockchain Technology Could Enhance End-Point Security, Security Researcher Says

By: Kelley Katsanos| - Leave a comment

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Blockchain technology has the potential to become an integral facet of next-generation end-point security solutions, according to Megan Squire, professor of computing sciences at Elon University, TechRepublic reports. In fact, to mitigate cyber risks, she suggests internet users focus on securing digital end points — or their own digital devices — rather than being concerned with the future of end-to-end encryption.

Blockchain May Be the Answer

Although end-to-end encryption helps secure data communication in transit over the internet, blockchain technology may be the key to securing data at rest, Squire notes.

“For the moment, at least, we have good, easy-to-use solutions for secure communications between computers, including end-to-end encryption of our messages,” Squire told TechRepublic. “End-to-end encryption is important. However, security experts have warned for years, the most vulnerable place for data is not during transit from place to place but rather when it is stored or displayed at one end or the other — on a screen, on a disk, in memory or on some device in the cloud.”

Moreover, she explains that it is easier for cybercriminals to control a storage device versus trying to decrypt a file or message. In fact, even installed anti-malware may be ineffective at thwarting current spyware, TechTarget reports.

Users also create end-point vulnerabilities, according to Squire.

“We do not like to be inconvenienced, and adding more protection to our devices makes them harder to use, the same way putting multiple locks on a door makes it more difficult to get in, for both the homeowner and the burglar,” she told the source.

However, by making use of blockchain technology, internet users may be less of a target for cybercriminals, as it can verify the origin of applications and determine if data has been tampered with or not.

Yet, because blockchain technology verifies origin of applications and determines if data has been tampered with, internet users who make use of it may lower their risk of being targeted by cybercriminals. The technology also helps improve user privacy, Squire notes.

“Blockchains create a shared governance,” says Paul Fremantle, a member of the University of Portsmouth School of Computing, TechRepublic reports. “They produce an environment for Internet of Things networks where there can be trust, anonymity and effective contracts between parties without any single vendor being in charge and without requiring any party to be trusted above another.”

Time Will Tell

Even though blockchain technology shows promise in securing end points, it is a new technology and will take more time to develop easy-to-use secure tools, according to Squire. In the interim, Squire recommends that users continue to utilize end-to-end encryption apps when possible, stay on top of password management and keep track of apps installed on all of their digital devices.

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About The Author

Kelley Katsanos

News Writer

Kelley Katsanos is a freelance writer specializing in business and technology. She has previously worked in business roles involving marketing analysis and competitive intelligence. Her freelance work appears at IBM Midsize Insider, Houston Chronicle's chron.com, and AZ Central Small Business. Katsanos earned a Master of Science in Information Management from Arizona State University as well as a bachelor's degree in Business with an emphasis in marketing. Her interests include information security, marketing strategy, and business process improvement.