Updated: Aug 10
Let's say you have a checklist to qualify when your code is ready to be deployed. You want to ensure it can do a couple of things and then some. If it can, it's deemed functional and it can go live!
You might want to recheck your checklist. Was “prevent potential vulnerabilities” part of it? If the answer is no, your code has fallen short of full functionality. It's functional, in a sense, but it's not at all secure.
You need to review your code.
You’ll have to check the security of each component in your blockchain app. Otherwise, your code could produce inaccurate nodes on the chain, or worse, allow an attacker to misuse your code to attack your app, even other chain participants. You will have to assure each part, building in necessary security so that your app is secure and compliant with required security certifications.
Functional code might be what you push your engineers to provide, but it's still important to look from another angle. Your app might perform wondrously and yet be an easy pick for hackers looking to steal all they want.
Look, It takes approximately 277 days for companies to identify and contain a data breach.
Would you rather wait till you're hacked or prevent breaches before they happen?
Why Blockchain is Blindly Trusted
One of the reasons founders are looking to blockchain is the decentralized mode of the platform. As multiple servers need confirmation to carry out each chain-related task, the chances of easily bypassing the measures in place are less. That means properly implemented security features are hard to bypass, disallowing one bad actor from corrupting the system.
Now, your app may solve the market problem your company is targeting but again, it does not mean that it is secure. Why? Performance is different from Security.
Of course, being decentralized provides a measure of security concerning contracts performed on the platform, but it does not close up other security holes - which usually come up, usually, as a result of the code.
How to Get Both Performance and Security from Your Blockchain Applications
Your blockchain app was created to solve a problem. So, obviously, it’s normal that's the number one priority. There is no point in a blockchain app that can not deliver its promise.
If you are creating a new blockchain app:
Once the outline of the new app is set, the next step is to scrutinize and fortify the code. This is a part of DevSecOps, as you are integrating security from the ground up and not just after the app has been deployed.
If you are securing a deployed blockchain app:
If you have a deployed app, you can identify the security risks through threat assessments and penetration testing. Pen tests are basically a simulated attack on the app to assess its security. So without exposing your faults to the public, you can identify and fix them before they become a business casualty.
Penetration tests require an investment of thousands of dollars. For a method with much less investment, you can take a security risk assessment to identify the security strength of your blockchain app. Then, decide if you need to take further measures to fortify security.
Another way to increase Blockchain security is SOC 2 compliance. To get a SOC 2 compliance audit, you have to ensure your app is very secure, according to the requirements of the audit. It's common sense to believe that, no matter how good your solution is, on average 90% of potential customers are not willing to give up their data to platforms with loose security, exposing themselves to hackers.
Millions of Dollars Down The Cybersecurity Drain
Yum! Brands, April 2023: Almost 300 locations closed down
Yum! Brands, the parent company of popular fast food chains KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, announced in April of 2023 that a cyber attack had occurred in January that impacted both corporate and personal data.
The attack resulted in the company closing down almost 300 locations in the UK back in January, and additional costs in adding security measures, alerting customers, and brand perception.
The Crypto Whale Mystery, April 2023: $10 million lost
Crypto whales and early investors lost $10 million from their accounts across 11 different blockchains, mainly on Ethereum. The hackers targeted individuals with significant holdings and exploited a vulnerability in an open-source multisig contract to access private keys and drain funds. Simply, storing private keys offline could have prevented this hack.
Connexin Software, November 2022; 120 Pediatric Physician Practices Impacted
Connexin Software is a U.S.-based software development company that offers products for electronic medical records and patient management systems. According to the OCR disclosure, 2.2M individuals were affected in a hacking incident on the company’s network server. The exposed PHI data included social security numbers, billing and claims information, treatment information, health insurance details, and demographics. Due to this breach, around 120 pediatric physician practices were impacted.
Your Next Steps For Your Blockchain App
It can be easy to overlook security due to the more pressing thoughts of getting the app functional, launched, and highly marketed.
As much as cybersecurity is crucial, for most c-executives, it usually pales in comparison to other business priorities. It's either blind faith in decentralization or a lack of priority with security.
Your blockchain app may be functional but you could still find yourself lacking in security. Prevent a crisis before it happens, know your possible threats, and protect your company.