Which Is Safer, Blockchain or a Physical Vault?

Which Is Safer, Blockchain or a Physical Vault?

Trade secrets. Proprietary information. Social security numbers. If the wrong people get their hands on these things, organizations and individuals alike can suffer the consequences. 

Failing to protect confidential or sensitive information can even constitute a federal offense. That’s why business leaders and other professionals know it pays to invest in top-notch security.

However, figuring out what form of security is best isn’t always self-evident. Which is better when it comes to your personal data and other sensitive or confidential information, digital or physical security? We turned to leading industry expert and President of Console Vault Scott Bonvissuto for answers.

Blockchain’s Strengths

According to Bonvissuto, both digital forms of security like blockchain and physical forms like safes or bank vaults have their pros and cons. Deciding which to use will depend on a particular organization’s or individual’s specific needs.

“While blockchain is a relatively new form of cybersecurity, it has certain advantages,” Bonvissuto says. “It can’t be edited or changed, which means it can’t be erased when you record your data on it. You would need the consensus from the entire network to make a revision, which would be impossible for all practical purposes. Attempts to tamper with the data are also evident, which deters many bad actors from trying in the first place.”

Another benefit of blockchain is that it is resilient. “With blockchain, your data will be copied and securely stored in many places,” Bonvissuto says. “Even if one copy comes to grief for some reason, your data is still safe, since numerous other iterations exist throughout the system.”

Yet relying on blockchain alone would also open users up to some weaknesses.

Blockchain’s Weaknesses

“It’s hard to scale up using blockchain,” Bonvissuto explains. “This is particularly true for public blockchains since they have a hard time processing large amounts of data.”

Bonvissuto also points out that utilizing and maintaining systems with blockchain requires specialized knowledge. “You’ll need IT experts who have the training with this new, rather unorthodox technology and feel comfortable with its ins and outs,” he says.

Moreover, he warns that clear regulations still aren’t in place for the blockchain world, which has important implications for businesses. “When the regulations are uncertain, it makes it difficult for businesses and other users to know that their practices will be recognized as compliant,” he says. “No one likes to think that they may have to redo processes and procedures later, and for good reason.”

Blockchain also remains limited to the digital realm, failing to provide physical security.

The Benefits of Using a Physical Vault

According to Bonvissuto, using a physical vault to secure sensitive personal information or other data affords multiple benefits. “Physical security means offline protection,” he says. “Hackers can’t get into your safe and steal your data through the Internet because it isn’t online. Cyber threats in general go away when using a lockbox.”

Since physical safes can only be opened by people with the necessary combination or credentials, the data inside them is also limited to these individuals. “The only people who can get the data are those with proper access,” Bonvissuto says.

Moreover, physical lockboxes can be hidden or camouflaged as something else, which further deters thieves. “Blockchain can’t masquerade as an electrical panel, but a physical safe can,” Bonvissuto says. “Indeed, we’ve just released a vault for the home or office that looks exactly like one.”

Finally, physical safes can be seen and touched, which reassures owners that their confidential and sensitive information is safe. “You can trust a lockbox because you can see for yourself that it’s secure,” Bonvissuto says.

The Drawbacks of Physical Vaults

Just like blockchain, physical vaults have some drawbacks regarding securing data. “The biggest con would probably be the limited accessibility,” Bonvissuto says. “You have to be there yourself in person to get the information you need. In certain situations, having to physically go to the safe could be inconvenient.”

Still, there are some situations in which he would recommend that people secure their data in a physical vault rather than through blockchain. “You should go with a physical vault if you need tangible security and offline protection,” Bonvissuto says. “If you only need to shield your data in the digital realm, then using blockchain might make sense for you.”

Meeting Your Organization’s Security Needs Best

So, which is better, digital or physical security? The answer, according to Bonvissuto, is that it depends.

In a lockbox or bank vault, data is physically stored in a secure location, limiting access only to authorized parties. On the other hand, blockchain stores data in a distributed manner across multiple nodes on the network, ensuring redundancy and resilience. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses of each approach to security allows businesses and individuals to make informed decisions that will best meet their needs.


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