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National KE-CIRT/CC Cybersecurity Best Practice Guide Of The Week

 

 

In This Issue:

*     Blockchain

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BLOCKCHAIN

 

 

Definitions

 

Timestamp – is the process of securely keeping track of the creation time and the modification time of a document.

 

Cryptography – is the use of linked keys; private and public to secure information and data from the unintended persons and only making it available to those who have its’ public of private key for decryption if the private or public key was used for encryption respectively.

 

Cryptographic hash – is a bit string generated when a message is encrypted. It is generated using cryptographic hash function; a specific function used for encryption. Any slight changes to the message would lead to generation of a very different hash.

 

A Blockchain is a continually growing list (or ledger) of records called blocks linked and secured by cryptography. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, a timestamp and transaction data. As long as the time stamper’s integrity is not compromised, no one, not even the document creator can modify it.

 

 

Facts about Blockchain

 

·      It has no physical location, but is shared across networks, by storing identical blocks of information across its network.

·      It periodically auto updates the entire Blockchain thus any added block can be seen from any point in the Blockchain.

·      Any added block neither be modified nor deleted by the creator or a system administrator.

·      Has no single point of failure. Any slight change to any block in the Blockchain can never go unnoticed, and even so, during the consensus check exercise, this can be corrected.

·      Blockchain has high level of transparency since its entire data is embedded into the network as a whole, thus its public.

·      Blockchain has high level of incorruptibility meaning to alter any data would require very high computing power.

·      Blockchain is a decentralized network meaning it operates on a user to user basis, thus third party entities are not required for information approval, security purpose nor authenification since, everything that happens is a function of the network. It will do all that by itself.

·      With the data storage across the network, Blockchain has no centralized vulnerability point thus proving it’s heightened security eliminating hacking possibilities.

·      It’s a stand alone. It doesn’t need any human invention for data saving nor carry out consensus checks.

 

 

The above facts makes Blockchain a very suitable technology for all, thus it can facilitate medical, financial, supply chain management, government, land,  and digital currency/cryptocurrency like bitcoin among others. Blockchain is applicable for both tangible and nontangible assets like land and patent/copyright/trademark respectively. Meaning one can buy an entire company with Blockchain.

 

What will Blockchain technology mitigate? Corruption, Fraud, Forgery, Financial payment delays, Data loss among others.

 

What will Blockchain technology affect?

 

Basically everything! In the near future, The world may potentially be a corruption free and fraud free zone! Time zone difference and geographical barriers will be a thing of the past.

 

However, Blockchain will not take charge overnight but gradually. As of today, Blockchain technology is used by; IBM, bitcoin in cryptocurrency and Walmart supermarket in supply chain management.

 

·      Banking and payment – with banks like Barclays working towards adopting Blockchain, business oprations, transactions and operastions will be more fast and secure.

·      Cloud storage – Distributed cloud storage avoids the need to place faith in large centralized companies where personal data is vulnerable and pricing may rise to cover the expanding number of data servers.

·      Voting – with results being fully transparent and publicly accessible, distributed database technology could bring full transparency to elections or any other kind of poll taking.

·      Smart Contracts – Distributed ledgers are intended to digitally facilitate, verify or enforce the negotiation or performance of a contract. Smart contracts allow the performance of credible transactions without third parties.

·      Healthcare – A blockchain for health records, which speeds up applications and medical procedures.

·      Stock trading – Blockchain executes peer to peer which makes trade confirmations almost instantaneous as opposed to taking three days for clearance.

·      Anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) Blockchain will cut costs and save time by cross-institution client verification, and perform monitoring and analysis effectively.

·      Others include; Insurance, Energy management, Online music, Real estate business, Crowdfunding, Networking and Internet of Things, Government, Forecasting in research and analysis and Public benefits.

 

Have the above security tips in mind when operating your computer systems. Report any cybercrime incident/activity

to  incidents@ke-cirt.go.ke. / www.ke-cirt.go.ke