A Look at Blockchain’s Pivotal Role in Securing Mobile Networks

Over the years, blockchain has received a lot of coverage, although the concept of blockchain is often quite misunderstood. From a more technical perspective, blockchain is nothing more than a data structure which is used to track interactions between devices on a distributed network.

One of the best-known examples of how blockchain technology works are cryptocurrency transactions like Bitcoin. The security that blockchain technology offers makes it a positive solution for many other different industries, pretty much all where there’s data. For example, blockchain could be used to secure, retrieve, and transfer medical records, mobile communication, border control, insurance, banking, and many others.

Network security has become an increasingly complex challenge to tackle over the past few years. As cyber attackers get smarter and new ways of hacking are released, network operators are on the front line of this movement and have to continually stay one step ahead of the game to avoid a network meltdown—which, let’s face it, will put many customers at a halt. Here are a few ways that blockchain technology can be adapted and used for mobile network security.

Personal Data Protection

Recent research has identified a different approach that could allow blockchain to be used to protect the personal data of network users. Research carried out by MIT looked into creating purposes-based blockchain as an access-control moderator with the ability to offer an off-blockchain storage solution. This gives users transparency of their data as they would not be required to turn to any third-parties with their data and would always be aware of what is being collected, and more importantly, how sensitive data is being used. By implementing blockchain in this way, it could be viewed as a critical aspect of a risk mitigation strategy that mobile network operators could (and should) adopt.

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Considering the fact that most Americans are more concerned about having their sensitive data stolen as opposed to being a victim of a violent crime, adopting secure technology is of the essence.

Internal Process Security

Blockchain could be used to help secure operational and business support systems. This can be done by creating a higher level of security, typically for private and public networks. Doing this can be quite valuable for networks as it would help operators offer multiple layers of security, especially for internal, external, and hybrid users.

As the Internet-of-Things expands, there’re more devices connected and exposed to a network. Hence, having a system like this in place is more crucial now than ever before.

Roaming

Roaming is mainly associated with traveling to different countries, which changes your service provider and network. The use of blockchain technology here could help network operators simplify subscriber authenticity while users are roaming. This would help reduce the risk of unauthorized devices being used on a carrier network, but it would also help reduce the cost related to managing device roaming, which presents an attractive cost saving aspect. A blockchain structure could improve the integration and accuracy of the network in terms of billing and could reduce errors.

Although modern telecom is far from saturation, with GSMA penetration being only 63%, “the market is yet liable to multiple flaws – intermediary links, excessive expenditures and tech-lagging ” says Petr Malyukov, Irbis Network CEO (SafeCalls) and Co-Founder.

There’re already companies that offer blockchain-based mobile networks that provide anonymous connection, worldwide coverage, and enhanced security.

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Authentication

Blockchain technology can also be used to determine the devices that are connected to a network at any given time. This could be applied to several different services such as 4G connection, public Wi-Fi, payment methods, and could potentially be integrated into 5G networks, the use of which is expected to be utilized by 2.6 billion people in 2025.

The use of blockchain has the ability to allow networks to manage interactions between access points and various devices autonomously. This can help lower network management and transaction costs, making it possible to secure and enable micropayments amongst network interactions.

Mobile Payments

The number of consumers using their devices to make payments has increased drastically over the past few years. Blockchain technology could potentially help network operators and banks by not only reducing transaction costs but also making them more secure.

As you can see from the points above, it’s clear that blockchain technology can be used as a positive piece of technology for securing mobile networks. The fact there is a considerable need to improve network security among these businesses while reducing costs means that operators are more likely to be willing to implement blockchain technology as part of their solutions to overcome security within their networks in the coming years.

Featured image: DepositPhotos © yourg

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