by Unique Kumar

Can blockchain be the antidote to ransomware?

Oct 17, 2019
Analytics Blockchain Ransomware

The technological know-how (of blockchain) that ransomware hackers exploit could also help fight against such attacks.

CSO  >  ransomware / security threat
Credit: Zephyr18 / Getty Images

Let us investigate the capabilities of blockchain technology to safeguard data. Safety, however, is just one of the potentials that blockchain has to offer. 

The huge shift with this science is in ‘reframing’ a lot of our present use of the program into a decentralized, encrypted transaction of value. .  These may not be simply apparent or obvious monetary transactions, but all human interactions or ‘contracts’ can be captured! In addition to formalizing human interactions, the historical past of the ledger itself is a goldmine for fueling behavioral perception across the board. Thus, blockchain principles may dramatically enhance how we work with information and transactions in the future.

Securing against ransomware

When it comes to ransomware attacks, there could be several contributing factors – business/IT loopholes, legacy techniques and leaked vulnerabilities.

Some of the problems with ransomware are that it tends to attack techniques involved with creating important repositories of data. Thus, in case of an attack, systems get encrypted and the applications cannot be accessed. 

So, can blockchain secure systems against ransomware attacks? It’s a point of debate.

Healthcare decisions and treatments are, at some level, a peer to peer transaction of values. And medical records is one of the areas that can benefit from the use of blockchain. 

The most important reason being that blockchain solutions are decentralized, which means there wouldn’t be any reproduction of information that might be held ransom. Knowledge could be safely accessed from a variety of privileged clients.

Additionally, blockchain is immutable. When information has been written to a blockchain, no one, not even a system administrator, can alter it. This ensures advantages for audit purposes as well. 

As a supplier of data, your information hasn’t been altered, and as a recipient, you can be sure that the information hasn’t been altered either.

Blockchain makes use of sequential hashing – the transaction blocks are linked with the aid of hashes to create a specified historical past that assess and secures the integrity of the chain every 10 minutes.

Along with knowledge encryption, it makes it almost impossible for any person to unilaterally alter information on the ledger without it being noticed right away. Hence, firms handling sensitive expertise can be assured of the integrity of data.

Blockchain – The antidote?

Most ransomware attackers demand payment in bitcoins, which is one of the implementations of blockchain. However, the technological know-how that ransomware hackers use could also be the antidote to such attacks. 

So, even though bitcoin payments are currently being exploited by attackers, other blockchain implementations could help the enterprise in the fight against ransomware attacks. Because with blockchain, there’s no single point of failure that can be attacked.

Access control, easy and secure access to patient data 

Blockchain also offers advantages such as clinical device knowledge integration, and its security capabilities could help in streamlining easy monitoring and management of millions of medical gadgets, wearables, and medical belongings. This could lead to huge financial savings.

It allows encryption and storage of device-generated medical information with access control and intelligent contact elements. Blockchain could also aid in reinforcing patient’s data privacy by enabling easy and limited access to health data.

This makes blockchain enormously appealing to the medical professionals and hospitals that want comfortable and secure access to a patient’s entire health history.

Unique Kumar is the Head of Digital Security, Enterprise Applications and Business Analytics at Max Healthcare.

Here’s how you can connect with him on Twitter and LinkedIn. 

Disclaimer: This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. The thoughts expressed in this article are solely those of the contributing author and not of IDG Media, its editor(s). The author is not representing affiliation with his current or past organizations for the views expressed in this article.