What Are The Challenges To Blockchain Adoption In Cybersecurity? 7 Experts Share Their Insights

  • 30 June 2019
  • Sam Mire

You’re never going to convince someone to throw their money in the fireplace.

But that’s basically what you’re trying to do when you tell someone to invest in blockchain infrastructure without explaining the benefits. Industries survive for a reason — even if they’re not perfect, they can still work.

Education is the primary barrier blockchain adoption in cybersecurity. But there are also logistical questions Can blockchain scale to a project’s needs? Is it suited to the unique specifications of cybersecurity professionals? These questions remain largely unanswered due to a lack of viable test cases.

Then there’s the cost of implementation. The technology promises savings, but will those savings outweigh the price of installation? Blockchain technology has to be fashioned to suit an industry, company, or individual, and that isn’t cheap.

What will be the time-cost of acclimating employees to this new technology?

These are all fair questions, and each one represents a reason why blockchain hasn’t gone mainstream within cybersecurity. The catch-22 of it all is that many of these questions won’t be resolved until professionals test blockchain-powered cybersecurity tools in public.

Here’s what the experts have to say.

1. Paul Brody, Global Innovation Leader at EY

Paul Brody“The association with the large number of crypto-currency and ICO frauds makes people who are not as technical wonder if blockchain technology itself is highly secure. Guilt-by-association takes time to overcome, but I know we will get there eventually. CIOs got comfortable with private clouds and then public clouds. We will see a similar pattern where CIOs get comfortable with private blockchains and then public blockchains and so on.”

2. Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz

Steven Prague“The greatest challenge is that while the data on the chain is immutable, the chain alone cannot prove the data was intended. The methods of protecting the private key and assuring the key was under control of a known user must become part of every transaction on the chain. That will dramatically increase the value of the data stored on-chain.”

3. David Campbell, COO of Electric Coin Company

David Campbell“Blockchains are essentially slow, append-only databases that are difficult to search. As such, we'll see them first widely adopted in areas where decentralized trust is important such as currency and supply chain provenance.”


4. Stephen Savage, Professor and Course Lead at Purdue University Global

Steve Savage“When blockchain is used to augment or support existing systems, the inherent security issues with those systems can mitigate the effectiveness of the blockchain portion. We are very much in the early stages of learning about blockchain, there is a severe talent shortage that will slow the progress towards more complete and ubiquitous solutions. Many small and medium-sized enterprises will not be able to develop their own solutions and must wait until fully formed blockchain based solutions arrive, in the meantime, their existing systems will become increasingly vulnerable to increasingly sophisticated attacks.”

5. Robert Paul, Director of Research of Development at NuID

Robert Paul“Maturity. The security industry is hesitant to adopt new technology, but we are seeing this attitude change. The industry is recognizing they need to adopt new technology faster than the hackers. Hackers have an easy target when an organization is too big and unwieldy to adapt to new technology, or even just patch their servers regularly (60% of breaches occur from known vulnerabilities). Blockchain solutions for enterprise are moving quickly, so we expect to see more major cybersecurity applications in 2019.”

6. Sarbari Gupta, President and CEO of Electrosoft Services Inc.

Sarbari Gupta“Like other applications of blockchain, the number one challenge for adoption in cybersecurity is the storage and processing weight required to implement a blockchain solution for a large community. Effective uses of blockchain require large amounts of storage for the distributed ledger as well as high processing power to analyze the ledger to confirm data recorded in the ledger.”

7. Doug Wick, VP of Product at ALTR

Doug Wick“Productization. Blockchain is a design pattern for data inside of systems, but must be adapted for the problem it solves and then integrated into products that create real value and are easy to buy and deploy.”

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About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.