More industries are incorporating blockchain applications into their business, drawing the attention of threat actors — like the recent Axie attack, for example. As a result, many cybersecurity professionals are now finding they are responsible for securing blockchain systems. Unfortunately, even skilled cybersecurity professionals are ill-equipped to secure blockchain applications because it and other decentralized applications bring different risks and threat vectors that can only be mitigated through tailored controls. Blockchain technology allows untrusted parties to agree on the state of data and applications securely, but that security guarantee is quite narrow. This means that many developers and users assume this security broadly applies to applications built on top of the blockchain. When in reality, that’s not the case. Whether it’s due to code mistakes, breaches or scams, both individuals and big corporations have lost significant amounts of money — in fact, scammers stole $14 billion worth of cryptocurrencies in 2021. Threat actors gravitate toward the easiest targets with the most profit. As we approach a blockchain-reliant future, ensuring that developers and security professionals understand what it takes to secure applications on blockchain is paramount. Threat groups will continue to pivot as security frameworks evolve to better protect traditional assets. A prime example is ransomware groups, which have already adopted blockchain for payment. It is only a matter of time until they pivot their targets to Web3 as well.
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