Blockchain solutions continue to gain traction across many different industries, yet many still do not understand how distributed ledger technology (DLT) works or how it is even used. This blog post will explore the capabilities of DLT and how this applies to enabling cybersecurity for healthcare organizations, as well as grant a look into how SWK’s unique data archiving service leveraging a double blockchain expands upon this value.
What is Blockchain?
Although the technology is known for enabling cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, blockchain has a broader use beyond an alternative form of currency. And to appreciate its importance, it’s vital to understand these three key concepts:
Blocks are encrypted data or documents. In healthcare, these can be in the form of confidential test results.
Chains make data difficult to counterfeit by linking every block with the one that preceded it using an encrypted address.
- Decentralized networks
In basic computing terms, a decentralized network distributes workloads among several machines (creating separate “nodes”), instead of relying on just one server. In terms of blockchain, computers in decentralized networks can, therefore, check for suspicious modifications in the chain. Blocks added to the chain are distributed to all the computers in the network. When one computer tries to alter previous blocks without authorization, others can compare it with their local copies and deem it as fake.
Blockchain was originally developed to eliminate the need for central banks to process and validate transactions. This technology allows people to freely transfer money because each computer in the network can examine the chain and confirm the legitimacy of a transaction. As a result, transactions are much safer and more efficient. They cannot be modified unless every computer in the network is compromised simultaneously.
Blockchain Technology in Healthcare
In the healthcare industry, data loss continues to be one of the biggest problems despite healthcare companies’ use of digital files. One recent report by HIPAA Journal shows that data loss is becoming increasingly common: in April 2022 alone, there were 22 healthcare data breaches that affected 10,000 or more individuals.
Here are some ways blockchain technology can address healthcare organizations’ concerns regarding data loss:
- Medical histories and records can be stored in a chain that patients can access and control. If a primary care physician needs to see a patient’s medical history, they need to get that patient’s authorization first.
- Payments between banks, government entities, insurance providers, and patients can all be coordinated more quickly and without costly intermediaries.
- Healthcare equipment usage, depreciation, and life cycles can be automatically tracked in a chain to keep tabs on the status of expensive and fragile fixtures.
It’s worth noting that ransomware has hit healthcare hard in recent years, and service providers are sometimes forced to rely on costly solutions to keep up with the exponential growth in digital records and security compliance. Blockchain technology can resolve both issues of security and rising costs at once.
Double Blockchain Data Archiving
Resilience, a data archiving solution offered by SWK Technologies, is powered by a blockchain system that applies the encryption, fragmentation and distribution process twice. In addition to the primary data, the decryption key itself is also shredded and stored across blocks in the chain. To access the data in the first place, this private key is needed, and it cannot be used without being retrieved from the decentralized network.
There are two primary methods known for an attacker to bypass a blockchain – brute forcing control of the majority of network nodes (the 51% attack) or phishing someone who has credential access to the key (a type of man-in-the-middle attack). The former is considered prohibitively expensive but the latter is frequently seen in successful cryptocurrency exchange breaches. What the Resilience data archiving solution does is ensure that even if an individual user is compromised, attackers cannot simply access the key without getting past another layer – eliminating the one viable security gap in blockchain.
Learn More About Double Blockchain Cybersecurity for Healthcare
Data archiving delivered by double blockchain grants you access to a game-changing cybersecurity strategy that ensures one of your most vital assets is under protection at all times. Discover exactly how this technology will help you defend your mission-critical data by watching our webinar, Overcome Anything with Double Blockchain Data Archiving.
Watch the webinar here to learn more about Resilience and how data archiving can give you peace of mind when it comes to your data.