It’s no secret that the world is already excited about the blockchain technology, but what are the risks associated with it? Ideally, a blockchain is a digital system that is immutable, transparent, and requires no third party to control it. It can track ownership of assets and keep records during transactions.
As a blockchain user, you need to know the legal consequences and the risks associated with the technology. Such ramifications revolve around public law, private law, criminal law, and regulatory and financial law. Here are some of the security risks associated with the blockchain technology that you need to know:
Blockchain market projections
A research done by autonomous.com reveals that companies associated with blockchain could generate revenue of up to $6 billion by 2020. While that is good news, it is also alarming that the earnings could be of no use if the security loopholes in the technology are not addressed, as one of the major challenges of the distributed ledger technology (DLT).
Security vulnerability of the DLT arises outside the blockchain itself. Known as the end-point risks, these vulnerabilities affect the entire blockchain technology, which is why they must be addressed. Endpoints are spaces where humans interact with the blockchain. In most cases, such spaces include the mining machines and many other computers that people use to access blockchain-based services.
Public and private keys
In order to access blockchain, you need a public and private key, which are basically a combination of numbers and special characters that nobody can guess. Only with the right keys does one gain an entry into a blockchain-based system or data. If a hacker gets the right keys to a blockchain system, they can use it to gain access to information and change ownership of the content. That is how exchanges are hacked and millions worth of cryptocurrencies stolen or transferred to unknown destinations.
To curb the proliferation of endpoint security risks, users need to implement effective steps to help them prevent hackers from stealing their blockchain keys. Here are some steps to achieve this:
- Installing effective antivirus for both Windows and Android devices; it is also critical to update AV and operating systems regularly.
- Conducting regular anti-malware scans
- Never store blockchain keys as easily accessible files such as Text, Word Document, or in another format that is easily accessible. If you have to store your keys on a device, make sure you apply a reputable encryption application.
- Never send the keys to anyone as part of an e-mail. If you have to share through e-mail, it’s advisable to use the e-mail feature embedded in the blockchain wallet.
Security is a major threat to the internet community and blockchain is, of course, internet. The same vulnerabilities that lead to malware in Android, Windows, and mobile devices also create an opportunity for blockchain hackers. Any time you store, display, or enter unencrypted blockchain keys on such machines, it becomes easy for the cybercriminals to access them.
If only we could adequately protect our devices, hackers could never gain entry into the vital information they always want. The simple steps outlined here could help you keep your blockchain information safe and avoid losing blockchain-based fortunes.