Use Blockchain as a Service in Microsoft Azure to Keep Records Safe from Tampering
When data breaches make the news, it’s usually because records are stolen and customers face the risk of identity theft. There’s another risk in data breaches that often goes unmentioned; this is the risk that the intruder uses their access to modify information in company databases. Surprisingly, a new technology means using the cloud may be the safest place to keep records safe from tampering. The research firm Gartner considers the view that cloud is less secure than on-premises as one of the top-10 cloud myths, anyway, but with Microsoft Azure’s blockchain-as-a-service offerings, you can create a secure “distributed ledger” that has many uses beyond recording financial transactions.
Blockchain technology was developed along with the cryptocurrency Bitcoin. Since there’s nothing in the real world that corresponds to the digital currency, records need to be completely secure to prevent currency from being created or stolen simply by altering a database. A blockchain database is a shared ledger. It keeps a record of the entire transaction history on multiple processors. The local copies of the database communicate to reach a consensus about events. As a result of this decentralized system, there is no single point of control or single point of failure. As long as a majority of the servers were not breached, modified data is immediately recognized as invalid.
The uses of blockchain technology for purely financial purposes are obvious, and not just for tracking digital currency. Banks such as Deutsche have started looking into using blockchain technology to support security settlement processes and maintain asset registries. Retailers may find blockchain useful to protect their reward programs, according to Deloitte.
There are many uses for this secure record keeping outside of financial applications. The key benefit of blockchain is that it enables trust because you can always verify the claimed activity or value. Copyright, intellectual property, and digital rights management can rely on blockchain to prove ownership and control usage. Proving ownership of physical objects has been too complicated and expensive for anything other than a house or car, but with blockchain, even smaller objects can be tracked and made theft-proof. Another proposed scenario is to maintain verifiable employment records, meaning candidates can no longer lie on their resumes. Verified identifies, supported by blockchains, can support trustworthy reviews and forum discussions.
Blockchain in Microsoft Azure
Microsoft makes working with blockchain easy through offering Blockchain-as-a-Service options in the Microsoft Azure cloud environment. The goal of Microsoft’s efforts is to make it easy for companies to set up development, test, and production environments, offering rapid provisioning and templates for getting started; in one demo, it took a company less than 20 minutes to install the blockchain environment and build an application. Microsoft is partnered with several blockchain vendors, including Ethereum and Manifold Technology.
Microsoft Azure Experts
As Microsoft Partners, the Prescient Solutions team are experts in working with Azure, whether you need to make use of blockchain-as-a-service or more traditional applications. Contact us for a free assessment on how to use cloud technology to streamline and secure your business processes.