3 Blockchain vulnerabilities to avoid in product development
The technology industry as a whole has been pretty hyped about blockchain technology for a while now. This is due to the fact that blockchain transactions are more transparent, secure, and able to process and deliver higher quality data. Blockchain companies are popping up everywhere as entrepreneurs race to capitalize on the trend.
Blockchain technology, explained by most tech experts, is simply a system of distributed electronic ledgers and “smart contracts” that contain digital transactions and verifiable information within encrypted blocks. Blockchain is the most secure form of transmitting information electronically.
Of course, no electronic system is completely failsafe. Hackers will always try and find a way to penetrate blockchain security protocols in order to steal sensitive data and information.
If you’re currently developing a solution based on blockchain technology, here are three specific vulnerabilities you’ll want to avoid.
Because blockchain is such a new concept, there aren’t a lot of developers out there that truly understand the technology. Inexperienced developers can cause vulnerabilities when creating even the simplest smart contracts, as they are impossible to roll back or remove. This is why it is so important to find and hire experienced DLT (distributed ledger technology) programmers.
Hiring unqualified or low-qualified developers can not only delay product development, but improper code can cause security and performance issues that will cost you in the long run.
Look for a company with a proven track record of working on successful blockchain projects. If you start with good code, you’ll end up with a more secure and error-free product that make it to market faster than if you hired inexperienced developers.
Not having the right network architecture in place
When developing a private blockchain product or solution, you have to pay close attention to the network infrastructure on which it will operate. A blockchain transaction is a verified communication between different nodes that record information on the ledger. Your network architecture determines who has access to these nodes and how they are all connected.
Having a clearly-defined and well-planned network architecture in the beginning will help you to see areas of vulnerabilities and potential security issues. Then you can build in extra security features and mechanisms to handle any of these problems should they occur.
Just as proper code acts as a solid foundation, you should think of network architecture as a strong framing that will support the overall success of your product or solution.
Insufficient key security
Blockchain access is granted through a system of encrypted “keys” that are complicated enough to make it difficult for a hacker to guess or steal. With each user along the blockchain having a different key, the chances of it being compromised are much less than in previous methods of electronic transactions.
While complicated key codes make it harder for cyber criminals to access sensitive data, this means nothing if the humans holding those keys don’t protect them. For decades, IT professionals have been telling people not to write their passwords down and not to share them with anyone, especially over the internet. The same is true for blockchain keys.
Because these keys are used at “endpoints” such as personal laptops and mobile devices, this is the most vulnerable time in which they can be stolen. It’s important to consider this when developing your product and add in extra layers of security at each endpoint. Also, it should go without saying that anyone in your organization charged with being the “keeper of the key codes” be thoroughly trustworthy and well-trained in blockchain security procedures.
While it still may be a foreign concept to most, blockchain technology will soon be just as common as the internet itself. It can become the new way we share information, exchange currency, and establish expertise.
Of course, with any development project, security is always a top priority. Consider these vulnerabilities in the early stages of product development and plan accordingly. This will put you way ahead of your competitors when it comes to dominating the blockchain market.