30 April 2016

Blockchain: a game changer also for security ?

Security is one of the biggest challenges of “Softwarization”. The expected high levels of programmability of the future Telecom infrastructure will allow creating and customizing dynamically “slices” of virtual resources spanning from the Terminals through the Network up to the Cloud Computing. 

In order to achieve the desired levels of dynamism and openness of the future service ecosystems (running upon these virtualized Telecom infrastructures), whilst ensuring security, the control, management and orchestration processes require to be highly secure and trusted (as there will be interfaces exposed to public access).

A way to achieve that is ensuring that any control, management and orchestration command, transaction will have to be properly traced (associated to the “reason why”) and eventually authenticated.

The “infrastructure slice” will have to become a sort of trusted entity, operated with automated processes. Message authentication in Network and IT is not a new story. 

But, what might create a difference, today, is the applicability of “blockchain technology” for the future security requirements: just think about the authentication of Users (humans and/or agents), but also any commands and messages, or resources belonging to other domains, etc. 

A block chain is a distributed database that maintains a continuously-growing list of data records hardened against tampering and revision. The blockchain is seen as the main technological innovation of Bitcoin, since it stands as proof of all the transactions on the network.

A block is the ‘current’ part of a blockchain which records some or all of the recent transactions, and once completed goes into the blockchain as permanent database. Each time a block gets completed, a new block is generated. The blockchain database is shared by all nodes participating in a system.

Will blockchain be a game changer also in this direction of transforming "network slices" or even "service chains" in trusted entities ?

It should be mentioned that blockchain transaction recording require time spans that might be too long for keeping track of all potential interactions One should consider limiting its use to those transaction which don’t have real time contraints. The other problem is scalability, as well.

There is nice white paper at this link:

...in any case it poses interesting "uberization" perspectives...