Blockchains for Immutable Infrastructure

Yes, we’ve all heard the hype around ICOs (Initial Coin Offerings) and the Bitcoin/Ethereum price explosion. People are scrambling to make any BS product as an excuse to do an ICO. But let’s not overlook the real use and value of blockchains. To put it simply a blockchain is a cryptographic ledger (or database) that stores data in a P2P fashion. With consensus between them to write the data to the blockchain.

The blockchain can help alleviate the issues of configuration management, file integrity checking, and help build immutable cloud infrastructures with less complexity.

This can help to secure the Internet of Things (IoT) among others things like server configurations. The blockchain is much more than just for currency. Being only the tip of the iceberg in terms of what can be done using them. Not to say that everything should be on the blockchain. One of the biggest issues in past implementations of File Integrity Checking (FIC) is the obvious attack vector was via the database, the hashes were written to verify/monitor file integrity. Compromise the database and it renders the FIC moot. Blockchain based FIC you do not need this worry since that hash is stored across many thousands of nodes across the globe. So even if the local copy is compromised it will be detected by the network as a whole. There would be no central control or access to compromise the signature “database”. With the rise of Infrastructure as Code and Containers there is a bigger need to be able to verify the integrity of systems.

This can be done by generating a token on existing chain like Ethereum (ETH). But the speed of “transactions” is paramount to using a blockchain in this way. So a custom chain would need to be built.