Blockchain technology has been drawing the attention of researcher’s due to its potential of multi-sector applications outside the field of finance where it first started. This technology is about storing and organizing information in an encrypted form where the data is stored in every node of the blockchain network instead of a centralized system. It is being recognized as a technology that can bring a possible revolution in the functioning of the internet and can open infinite possibilities.
Due to its increasing popularity in the financial sector as evidenced by the success of Bitcoin, many industries are trying to implement this technology into their systems. Therefore, even the defense sector is gearing up to use this technology to its full potential in various fields.
How can blockchain be a game-changer in the defense sector?
The defense industry is characterized by complex products and deep supply chains, and there are significant challenges that the defense companies have to deal with. However, the right amount of investment, technology, and effort has yielded tremendous benefits to these areas. Still, the continued growth of industry demands more. The defense companies are therefore investing in digital technologies to support these goals, and blockchain is one of the emerging technologies which have gained attention in this sector.
Blockchain offers an accurate, secured, auditable and decentralized record keeping across multiple participants involved in a transaction and this translates well into the defense industry where there are large numbers of people involved and the highest level of security is needed.
In the countries, around the globe, the defense infrastructure and systems are situated in various locations. With the help of blockchain and its distributed data locations, it can ensure security against attacks on all crucial hardware equipment and network.
Uses of blockchain in defense
Let us look as to how this technology can be applied in the defense context.
Tracking Supply Chain and procurement support
Supply chain management in the defense sector is a complex process and has many logistical challenges. Traceability and transparency are the two most important things in a supply chain system to maintain its robustness and reliability.
The immutable characteristic of the Blockchain technology ensures that the data cannot be changed or altered without the consent or knowledge of all the parties involved. Therefore, this works in favor of the defense services as they can track and audit all the transactions across various supply chains and operational partners. This will save a lot of time and make tracking hassle free and simple, thus making the entire system more efficient.
This technology eliminates and decreases the frauds and errors in defense contracts and strengthens the accuracy in managing the inventory within a supply chain. Therefore builds trust between the suppliers and the customers.
The defense sector has to deal with data manipulation and hacking threats and for managing this risk – they have to invest in hiring skilled security personnel and expensive data protective systems. The very characteristic of the blockchain technology provides a safe platform for carrying out transactions and communicating globally thus reducing the need for costly infrastructure and systems for managing security.
As we know that the information in blockchain is universally visible and is secured and once it is stored in a ‘block,’ it is sealed and verified, and it gets stored as an immutable block of data. No alteration can be made on this block. This is very useful in the manufacturing process of the defense industry since the components can be recorded at different stages of production and installation. This enables the users to view the exact details of any specific component and also alerts them in case any component gets damaged or comes to an end of its life cycle.
Assurance and information confidence
Tracking information effectively and trusting the data sources are very important in the defense sector Military personnel to have to make critical decisions based on the information that they receive. With the help of blockchain, they can make decisions confidently as it ensures data integrity, authenticity and a reduced risk of error.
Preventing cyber and physical attacks
Cyber attacks have been a consistent and critical issue in the defense industry, and the military organizations have been continuously battling the threats from data manipulation to hacking. The current databases and security protocols can no longer fend off the global cyber threats; as there is a need for heightened security at each level. Therefore, to deal with this, the defense companies are investing in blockchain technology-based systems. This technology represents a giant leap in the field of assurance and information security.
The Blockchain technology creates a system that is immune to both cyber and physical attacks. With the traditional methods – complete network becomes vulnerable even if the enemy disables one data center. But with the decentralized-digital ledger system of the blockchain, even if an attack is carried out on one data center, the rest of the decentralized network remains unaffected since it operates on a dispersed network without a single point of failure. The enemy would have to destroy or attack every single device for a comprehensive and successful blow ot the network. Therefore, the decentralized system of blockchain not only secures the highly sensitive data but also ensures that the integrity of information is always protected.
Apart from these significant impacts that the blockchain technology can make in the field of defense – it also improves quality and delivery to the armed forces and other defense departments – as the records can be tracked in real-time and the audit trails are readily available.
The defense industry has a geographically distributed supply chain that serves a uniformly dispersed set of operators, and all of them value traceability, security and audit ability. And the blockchain technology appears to be a natural match. Typically the defense sector deals with bloated budgets, and it seems the future defense logisticians will seek blockchain as their obvious choice since it is cost-effective. Thus making blockchain technology as the next big thing that will revolutionize the defense industry.
To sum it up, the blockchain technology can have a variety of applications within the defense industry and as the technology develops more and more applications will become evident.