06. Oct 2020

Better safe than sorry

Chain reaction Blockchain: safety first

The terms Blockchain and Distributed Ledger Technology are currently being picked up by countless trade journals and are regarded as the trend that has come to stay. But what exactly lies behind the mystery of Blockchain? How can companies benefit from Blockchain technologies and how can you have your own application checked for quality and especially for security?

The basics of the Blockchain technology

Blockchain is often equated with the term decentralized database or distributed directory of data records (a so-called distributed ledger). Decentralized in this case means that the database is located on all computers of the participants of a Blockchain network and not only on one central server.

Within this database there are various data blocks of information, such as orders or transactions, arranged chronologically and linearly. Linked together they resemble a Blockchain, as the name already suggests. All data blocks are also encrypted with individual character sequences, so-called hashs. If new data is added to this chain, this Blockchain changes (the chain becomes longer and longer, so to speak) on each individual computer. A retroactive change of existing contents is not possible. Therefore, after a verification by all users, only new information can be added, but older data cannot be edited retroactively.

This significantly increases data integrity and protection against unwanted manipulation.

That extra portion of security and transparency

In addition to the already mentioned better traceability of changes thanks to individual hashes and time stamps, great emphasis is put on transparency for all users and increased data protection due to encrypted data. Information flows are decentralized, more secure and more reliable. Since all data blocks build on each other and interact with each other, external manipulation is much more difficult.

The beginnings of the Blockchain technology are mainly associated with the financial or health care sector under the umbrella of crypto currencies (such as Bitcoin), but these solutions can now be of great interest to all areas of an organization. For all organizations that place value on trust and secure handling of sensitive data – from photos and texts to important documents, records, health data and financial transactions – the topic of Blockchain offers enormous potential.

Of course, not all that glitters is gold when it comes to Blockchain: the amount of storage required grows with each block, which is why Blockchain technologies with high data and energy consumption could possibly result in longer download or upload times. Also, as data must be verified first before uploading, and then synchronized on all computers, often more time and system capacity is required than is normally needed to maintain a central database. Also the integration into existing system landscapes can be a challenge for IT project managers due to its complexity.

How to build more trust with a Blockchain Assessment

Is my solution really secure? This is a question that those responsible must ask themselves more and more often. Currently, Blockchain technology is still in its infancy and is consciously taken up by many companies as hype and trend, but not necessarily implemented safely and reliably. In addition, there is a lack of acceptance on the market due to a shortage of quality and safety checks by experts.

The brand-new Blockchain Assessment developed by Quality Austria in cooperation with CIS checks Blockchain solutions for their security, transparency, sustainability and confidentiality.

"An examination by independent third parties provides all participants of a Blockchain technology with the necessary security", says Dr. Anni Koubek, qualityaustria employee and initiator of the Blockchain Assessment in an interview in the trade magazine Report.

Klaus Veselko, Executive Vice President of the accredited certification partner CIS GmbH, is also sure: "The Assessment confirms that there is no misuse of data and it is a trend-setting statement for a trustworthy and state of the art technology."

Organizations that want an official confirmation that their solution is state of the art or organizations that develop, host or offer Blockchain technologies to others are the target groups of this assessment. This results in opportunities such as building trust and a positive image with the relevant interest groups.

The Blockchain Assessment of Quality Austria and CIS is based on ISO 20000 (the only certifiable standard for IT service management worldwide) and ISO 27001 (information security) standards on the one hand. On the other hand, a comprehensive examination of operation, creation and further development on a process level as well as business logic, special hardware and distributed ledger technology on a technical level are part of the assessment.

A valid standard is not yet available, but Quality Austria as well as CIS are represented in the relevant standardization bodies and thus experience innovations first-hand.

If the assessment is successful, you are entitled to use our Trusted Solutions logo in your marketing communication. Increase the transparency of your solution and create trust among your Blockchain technology participants and customers.

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