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IBM is a notorious blockchain-based patent pursuer, starring at the peak of the top companies that file for the most patents related to blockchain technology. A new such patent that IBM was granted recently can exhibit how this type of Distributed Ledger Technology might actually aid in tracing security breaches.
The patent – filed on September 11, 2017 and awarded on October 2, 2018 – delineates how a blockchain-based platform that logs events on a network can identify if the network was compromised and if unauthorized intrusions into the network had occurred.
Identification of threats is much more effective in such a blockchain system because it doesn’t rely on one sole monitor, which hackers can easily overcome and then delete any trace of the hack; since the blockchain platform continuously collects data from a number of monitors instead of one, any discrepancy between them indicates that the system might be compromised. As the patent states in a very patentish lingo:
[T]he addition of one or more monitors in communication with dual reporting sensors in a computer network environment may provide a higher level of security to a network system. Each monitor may not have equal rights to make decisions, however, each monitor may have collaborative rights on an event log to require consensus among the monitors before data may be written into an event log. The consensus requirement may show data discrepancies if one monitor is hacked since the hacked monitor may send inconsistent data to all other monitors in the network system based on the information provided by the sensor.
The logic behind the patent is, therefore, quite clear: a blockchain-powered network of monitors that share data between themselves and can consequently alert if an inconsistency is detected offers much more security than several monitors without a connection and the ability to share data.
IBM is one of the leading corporations in the world that heavily invests in the creation of blockchain-related developments. Just recently the company released a blockchain payment system for banks while also lobbying and promoting blockchain in the U.S. Congress. Clearly, blockchain patents are also a vital part of IBM’s future vision and strategy.