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Blockchain's roles in strengthening cybersecurity and protecting privacy


  • Kshetri, Nir


This paper evaluates blockchain's roles in strengthening cybersecurity and protecting privacy. Since most of the data is currently stored in cloud data centers, it also compares how blockchain performs vis-vis the cloud in various aspects of security and privacy. Key underlying mechanisms related to the blockchain's impacts on the Internet of Things (IoT) security are also covered. From the security and privacy considerations, it highlights how blockchain-based solutions could possibly be, in many aspects, superior to the current IoT ecosystem, which mainly relies on centralized cloud servers through service providers. Using practical applications and real-world examples, the paper argues that blockchain's decentralized feature is likely to result in a low susceptibility to manipulation and forgery by malicious participants. Special consideration is also given to how blockchain-based identity and access management systems can address some of the key challenges associated with IoT security. The paper provides a detailed analysis and description of blockchain's roles in tracking the sources of insecurity in supply chains related to IoT devices. The paper also delves into how blockchain can make it possible to contain an IoT security breach in a targeted way after it is discovered. It discusses and evaluates initiatives of organizations, inter-organizational networks and industries on this front. A number of policy implications are discussed. First, in order to strengthen IoT, regulators can make it obligatory for firms to deploy blockchain in supply chain, especially in systems that are mission critical, and have substantial national security and economic benefits. Second, public policy efforts directed at protecting privacy using blockchain should focus on providing training to key stakeholders and increasing investment in this technology. Third, one way to enrich the blockchain ecosystem would be to turn attention to public–private partnerships. Finally, national governments should provide legal clarity and more information for parties to engage in smart contracts that are enforceable.

Suggested Citation

  • Kshetri, Nir, 2017. "Blockchain's roles in strengthening cybersecurity and protecting privacy," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(10), pages 1027-1038.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:telpol:v:41:y:2017:i:10:p:1027-1038
    DOI: 10.1016/j.telpol.2017.09.003

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Kshetri, Nir, 2013. "Privacy and security issues in cloud computing: The role of institutions and institutional evolution," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 372-386.
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