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Blockchain only as strong as its weakest link



Securing the blockchain ecosystem is the most challenging cybersecurity problem right now. The blockchain itself might be secure, but that doesn’t mean that all the pieces that intersect with it – wallets, exchanges, miners, smart contracts – are secure. And many aren’t. According to a recent study by Carbon Black, hackers have stolen $1.1 billion worth of cryptocurrency in the first half of this year. 

Although the threat is primarily restricted to the public blockchain right now, the enterprise space will be next. There’s so much money to be made targeting public blockchain that enterprise blockchain is unexplored territory for hackers right now. Weaknesses in enterprise blockchain will be found due to already successful exploits of the public blockchain.

The security learning curve

New tech means new threats and a new security learning curve. With any new technology, it takes some time for the risks to emerge and then for an understanding of how to address the risks to develop. We went through this same curve with wifi, and are still in it with IoT. We’re currently in the early learning stages when it comes to blockchain security. And we’ll need to learn fast, because it’s an attractive target. There’s a lot of money involved, and a correspondingly large amount of attacker activity emerging.

Part of the reason that it’s such an attractive target is because, in this new landscape, cyberattackers can eliminate a step to get to payday: They don’t have to worry about how to make money from the data they steal. They simply steal the (virtual) money itself.

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