While blockchain is known for providing trust and transparency to workflows with multiple stakeholders, it can also ensure that data that is critical to the business remains unchanged. Technology giant Oracle has taken advantage of this potential and has announced a secure offering of cryptographic data management that will be freely available to Oracle-converged database users.
Juan Luisa, executive vice president of mission-critical database technology at Oracle, told Cointelegraph that it is becoming clear that customers using blockchain solutions do not often need full power in these applications. Luiza also noted that the complexity of introducing a completely new technology package in the IT environment can be stressful.
Blockchain is useful for protecting data
Therefore, Oracle created a proposal for cryptographic data management that uses “blockchain tables” in an Oracle database. This feature differs from the Oracle blockchain platform, which is built on Hyperledger Fabric and is often used for supply chain management. Instead, Oracle blockchain tables are static tables specifically designed to protect enterprise data from illegal changes.
As mentioned in a recent Oracle blog post, this is possible with a variety of cryptographic hashes. Immutable tables merge data rows into several series. Each line, except the first line in the chain, is linked to the previous one, just like in the blockchain network of cryptocurrencies. The hash is then automatically calculated for inclusion based on the data for that row and the hash value of the previous row in the series. Timestamps are also recorded for each row when data is entered.
According to Loaisa, blockchain tables allow customers to use an Oracle database when they need to manage data that is highly tamper-resistant, but does not want the general ledger to be distributed across multiple organizations. Blockchain tables are also not based on a decentralized trust model. Louisa sa:
“We are not trying to solve the problem of multilateral decentralization, but we are launching a new technology that integrates the idea of blockchain into the Oracle database. This ensures that core business applications require minimal changes. We are trying to integrate blockchain with all the features that Oracle offers today to bring blockchain to the masses. ”
In particular, Louisa explained that the purpose of the Oracle blockchain tables is to protect critical business data from being altered or deleted. “This feature protects against those who have legal access to the database (corrupt insiders, criminals using stolen credentials) or (hackers) illegally,” Louisa said. He also noted that this proposal is an extra layer of protection over the usual data security features offered through Oracle Database.
This solution can be particularly beneficial due to the fact that database security breaches are an ongoing issue. According to the risk-based security report 2020, almost 36 billion database registrations were compromised between January and September 2020.
Problems to consider
Louisa noted that Oracle blockchain tables are currently used by customers using Oracle Database 19c, which is the most widely used version. He explained that clients use blockchain tables to protect contact information, equity, payments, transfers, general ledgers and bank statements.
“These tables enable clients to take advantage of tamper-proof features in the blockchain and not reject utility cases that are not related to multiple organizations or the need to deploy a decentralized trust model,” he said.
While it may be, there are some disadvantages to consider when using blockchain to store business-critical data. Lior Lamish, CEO and co-founder of GK8, the security company blockchain, told Cointelegraph that organizations that store sensitive data on blockchain should be aware of endpoint vulnerability, adding:
When you own an organization’s private key, all of its blockchain-based assets are in your hands. Therefore, moving a company’s internal database to the blockchain has advantages – as long as the endpoints are protected according to the highest cybersecurity standards. ”
From Lamish’s perspective, Louisa noted that this risk is evident when moving from a database to a distributed ledger or decentralized trust model. However, he emphasized that Oracle discourages customers from doing so when using blockchain tables.