New technology always brings a wave of optimism—words like “disruption” and “unprecedented” start showing up on industry blogs and social media. Sometimes the technology warrants the hype, and other times the chatter subsides by the end of the next news cycle.
Blockchains are currently one of the most-discussed topics in tech circles today, but they are far more than the hype du jour. The technology is here to stay.
What is a blockchain?
According to Investopedia, a blockchain is simply “a public ledger of all bitcoin transactions that have ever been executed.” Key features of blockchains involve the fact that the ledger is available to each person involved in the transaction, time-stamped, secure, and unable to be changed (many writers are using the term “immutable”).
Blockchains were originally conceptualized for use with bitcoin, and the financial industry has understandably been the leading proponent. Fortunately, blockchains present opportunities for many industries, including telecomm.
Office phone system security
VoIP and UCaaS have offered unlimited mobility in business, but mobile twinning and remote conferencing can create unique security threats. Companies experience heightened security issues during the summer months, when employees are more likely to access company data from a remote location.
Blockchains will accomplish two things for business communications in the coming years:
- They will encrypt company and private devices with both public and private identifiers
- They will eliminate the need for expensive and inadequate third-party protection like Equifax
Blockchain technology can essentially replace SIMs in office phone systems, offering employees the ability to use their mobile devices for work without jeopardizing company security.
Blockchains in enterprise-based IoT
Large companies—or small companies with large-scale manufacturing operations—often use IoT devices to monitor machine status and functionality. Unfortunately, these devices often carry data necessary for the company’s critical operations, and more devices with sensitive information means more opportunity for fraud and security breaches.
Companies using legacy hardware (cloud migration can take years for enterprises) may also monitor the lifespan of their hardware with IoT—in this case, the same security hazards apply. Blockchains can secure these IoT networks by adding a block to each transaction made over the network. Not only will fraud be less common, but administrators can see a linear, timestamped log of activity on these devices.
Implementation may be a few years off, but CIOs and CTOs are getting ready to work this new technology into their framework. For now, blockchains are an interesting topic of conversation at conferences and water coolers. Five years from now, they may eliminate the need for third-party security software.
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