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Data & Intelligence

Blockchain and The Future of Data Security

Imagine a spreadsheet has been replicated thousands of times across a vast network of computers. Now, imagine that these computers, within the network, regularly update this spreadsheet. This is the most basic form of understanding a blockchain.

Blockchain is the underlying technology in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Information contained and stored within a blockchain will exist as a shared, and continually reconciled, database. These databases aren’t stored on a single computer and therefore are easily accessible to the public and are even more easily verifiable.

The two most commonly cited examples of how blockchain can be an assistance in healthcare are data interoperability and unlimited security. The stream of new possibilities is endless. This efficient system of security and efficiency could be referred to as the Holy Grail of a consistent and precise health record by securing data, as it’s being exchanged among organizations for various clinicians across the spectrum.

Blockchain is the single immutable source of truth for data and transactions that span multiple parties.

“Blockchain is an incorruptible digital ledger of economic transactions that can be programmed to record, not just financial transactions but virtually everything of value.”

Don & Alex Tapscott, authors of Blockchain Revolution.

What Makes Up a Blockchain?

  • Shared Ledger
    • Ledger is shared and distributed across business network as an append only system of records.
  • Privacy
    • Every transaction is authenticated, verified and provided only the appropriate level of visibility
  • Smart Contract
    • Ability to embed IF/THEN conditions as a part of transaction (block)
  • Consensus
    • Each participating network node must provide agreement before each transaction (block) is considered as a part of ledger
Data Intelligence - The Future of Big Data
The Future of Big Data

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Blockchain Solves What Problems?

Blockchain lets a business agree on transaction history. The history is managed and able to be tracked to any specific point or individual to ensure accountability. This process allows for all parties to be able to agree on the state of the system.

Cryptography is used to ensure that the network participants only see the part of the ledger that is relevant to them and that the transactions are secure, authenticated, and verifiable in the context of permissioned business blockchains.

Blockchain Resiliency

Blockchain has a built-in sturdiness, by storing blocks of data that are identical across the network of computers. This network of data means that the blockchain cannot:

  • Be controlled by a single entity
  • Have a single point of failure

The Enhanced Aspect of Security

Containing data across a vast network of computers and databases with a blockchain, virtually eliminates the possible risk that can come from data being stored in a single location. With the help of encryption technology security methods, a blockchain surpasses the username/password format of security.

By the secure and dependable nature, a blockchain is well maintained and positioned to be a functional aspect of a solution to a variety of problems in healthcare. A successful blockchain instituted into a business model can help promote efficiency by; cutting costs from eliminating third-party legal entities, updating security and cryptography methods, and can establish a trustworthy system of checks and balances.

Learn more about blockchain by signing up for Perficient’s informational webinar, Blockchain: Beyond the Hype, Tuesday, April 3.

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Garrett Hill

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