The promise of blockchain technology set out to change data systems and revolutionize networks. Blockchain advocates pledged to decentralize voting, registration, commerce, and currency. Although various changes have been made to many of these fields, there is still a lot more work to be done. Don’t get me wrong, CryptoKitties is pretty cool and the cats are so darn cute, but I think blockchain technology is far from reaching its full potential.
One of the fundamental ideas behind blockchain systems is that data is immutable. Immutable data prevents adversaries from changing existing values within the database. This establishes trust and greatly enhances the security of the overall system, preventing data discrepancies that have potentially catastrophic results.
The Cabinet Dilemma
Traditional industries are becoming digitized, moving their pen and paper operations to applications and electronic storage. This entails trading locked file cabinets for database management systems. While the lock on the cabinet provides the primary layer of security, the documents inside have an additional layer of security, their wet signatures.
Immutable data is the equivalent of a wet signature. The paper has been signed, there is no going back or “modifying” the signature. On the contrary mutable systems are equivalent to signing the document in pencil and attempting to hide the eraser. If the cabinet is opened, the freedom to re-write data is granted to the adversary.
With over 80,000 cyber attacks per day, our virtual file cabinets need to be as secure as possible. You wouldn’t sign your documents in pencil would you?
Data breaches are dangerous to your customers, a headache for your engineers, and embarrassing. We should be doing as much as possible to stop such violations of privacy. Blockchain fundamentals, such as immutability, must be applied to traditional systems to add much needed security and create an overall safer environment.
Providing Additional Value to Immutable Data
On face value, immutable data deepens insight and enhances the security of your system. When applied to relational databases, immutable data provides other solutions to application demands, here’s why.
While developing an immutable relational database, we learned that storage techniques associated with write-only system are greatly simplified. When adding data to the system becomes a simple procedure, database resources are made more accessible to users.
Auditing and Analytics
Immutable data can be used as a trusted resource for auditing. Additionally, analytics teams have access to the complete history, allowing them to run more in-depth queries for analyzing changes over time.
When we explore blockchain fundamentals a bit deeper, its apparent that immutable data provides many needed benefits to our applications. As traditional industries move their services online, sensitive data should be secured at the lowest level possible. With that being said, immutable systems are a necessity for us to protect our businesses, sensitive information, and quality of life.
At blockpoint Systems we value immutability and think you should too. We developed a multi-version database that brings together blockchain immutability with traditional relational database infrastructure. Check out our website or feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.