Blockchain Technology and Homomorphic Encryption to play key roles in supporting Cybersecurity Technologies in 2023, according to experts
With the rise in privacy and data protection, experts believe that Cybersecurity Technologies will be further enhanced in the coming years. In doing so, Blockchain Technology and Homomorphic Encryption will play key roles in supporting Cybersecurity Technologies in 2023.
Imagine a patient is under a doctor’s orders to use a wearable device. The device monitors the patient’s progress and integrates that data with her personal health records. A third-party service monitors the patient’s progress and alerts her doctor when necessary. Device data is also integrated into an artificial intelligence model designed to learn from the experience of several patients. Meanwhile, both the device data and the patient’s medical records are available to researchers that are developing new treatments.
And that, in a nutshell, illustrates some of the bigger challenges for modern-day cybersecurity. There are an increasing number of devices collecting an ever-increasing amount of data. A number of applications analyse the data stored in various clouds. Each link in the data supply chain presents a new risk of compromise – with privacy, health and financial implications.
But that data is also valuable because of the insights it can yield; there are real benefits to sharing it with specialised services and experts.
Blockchain technology and homomorphic encryption are among the top supporting technologies for enhancing Cybersecurity Technologies that may help protect that data, enabling researchers to rely on it for insights.
Approximately, one-third of technology executives believe that securing machine-to-machine interactions on the internet-of-things (IoT) will be the most important use of blockchain technology in 2023, according to The Impact of Technology in 2023 and Beyond: an IEEE global survey.
Compromised IoT devices, which can include medical devices and wearables, can alter data before it is sent to intended recipients. And those devices can also be compromised to illicitly send data to unauthorised recipients, explained IEEE Senior Member Bhaskar Krishnamachari.
“Because blockchain protocols have the ability to log transactions and data in a tamper-proof ledger, and to create a secure audit trail, they can play a role in securing these communications between IoT devices and the outside world. Blockchain technology can help make sure the data that is being sent is valid and uncorrupted by any malicious party, and sent to all intended recipients without any censorship, forgery or reordering,” Krishnamachari said.
Another technology making headway is homomorphic encryption, which allows users to perform calculations on encrypted data without decrypting it first. So, for example, a bank might allow a third party to analyse portions of its loan portfolio without exposing personal data, or even allowing the data to leave its control.
While homomorphic encryption can require lots of computing power, it has a few big upsides. For one thing, according to Kayne McGladrey, IEEE Senior Member, it allows companies in highly regulated industries, such as finance or healthcare, to store data on a public cloud.
“As the data remains encrypted in all phases, even a data breach of a third party will not provide a threat actor with access to encrypted data,” McGladrey said.
In the IEEE survey, 90% of respondents agreed that in 2023 Quantum Computing will gain the most attention for its application to post-quantum cryptography, but homomorphic encryption technology will have the biggest impact.
Shared Data, But Still Private
“The big concern is when the data in question are privacy-sensitive, that whoever owns the machines on which the processing is done can view both the inputs and outputs of privacy sensitive data and computations,” Krishnamachari said. “This potentially allows an unauthorised, untrusted third party to see confidential data.”
“Homomorphic encryption,” Krishnamachari continued, “ensures that the computer provider cannot in any way view the raw data that are being processed on their servers. This technology is likely to be particularly useful in domains or industries where there is a need to process privacy-sensitive data. For example, in domains like healthcare it may be used to protect patient health data and electronic medical records that are processed in order to study the efficacy of new treatments or improve healthcare delivery.”
Krishnamachari said homomorphic encryption could also be used in personal communications, like text messaging.