Blockchain applications and systems are becoming more widespread as organizations build new products or transform existing services. Decentralization is the current trend and everybody’s trying to keep up. Sometimes, FOMO forces people to rush the development process which can result in significant security vulnerabilities.

Blockchain is secure but not inherently. It calls for accurate testing to ensure the applications built on it perform the way they should. We’ve compiled a blockchain security checklist for your applications and systems to eliminate possible problems.

Test the ledger

One of the first things you should do is test the ledger. In its essence, blockchain is a distributed ledger, so it’s vital to ensure the logic and information storage methods are accurate. To ensure the proper operation of the ledger, first, you should check how the information is stored and accessed. If the ledger is public and the data can be accessed by everyone, it’s important to make sure that sensitive information isn’t exposed.

A more comprehensive method of testing the ledger would be a smart contract audit or code review. It’s a preliminary measure that should be taken before the smart contract is deployed to the blockchain. It’s a great way to eliminate vulnerabilities that could potentially be targeted by malicious attacks. The ledger essentially shouldn’t allow fraudulent activities.

Test the APIs

It’s also important to test the APIs or application programming interfaces. API guarantees communication between different software, systems, or applications. In terms of blockchain, APIs regulate the communication between the blockchain and the applications connecting to the network. To avoid loss of funds, it’s vital to test various aspects of APIs, such as unauthorized access, rating limiting, encrypted data, and cross-site request forgery among others.

Naturally, the more comprehensive the testing process is, the more secure the end product will be.

Check the wallets and consensus algorithms

Blockchain operates via nodes or computers that act as wallets. They run through a program that makes it possible to transfer/store funds and data. Each node or wallet is protected with a private security key and password. Even though the responsibility of the key and password storage partially falls onto the users, developers can also test it before the blockchain application is finalized. The main idea here is to check whether the password is crackable and if the key is stored privately.

It’s also essential to test the consensus algorithms. The consensus algorithm is a way of operation that blockchain users agree upon. Typically, blockchains use proof of work or proof of stake algorithms. Each of them has its own vulnerabilities that should be tested vigorously before deployment.

Don’t forget to test the synchronization

Refined synchronization implies that each node of the blockchain is synchronized and operates using the latest version of the ledger. It’s important to test the entire network for synchronization to ensure computers aren’t performing inaccurate functions. If the ledgers aren’t up-to-date, it’s important to update them with the most recent versions, otherwise, they may become vulnerable to attacks.

Test for vulnerability and redundancy

To ensure the security of blockchain applications, it’s also vital to complete a general security assessment by testing the network for vulnerabilities. This could be of utmost importance for private blockchains that require verification for entry. If the system isn’t fortified enough, it could easily be broken into. Vulnerability tests will also be beneficial for public blockchains.

Lastly, it’s necessary to test the blockchain for redundancy i.e. check what happens if you remove one of the computers or nodes from the chain. As mentioned, blockchain operates through nodes and heavily relies on them. Typically, secure blockchain shouldn’t be affected if certain nodes malfunction as it stores significant data across multiple computers. The idea of redundancy testing is to verify that the removal of one or several nodes doesn’t compromise the chain. Generally, it’s more secure to spread the data across multiple nodes to minimize security risks.

Blockchain’s whole potential mainly stems from its high level of security and decentralized character. It’s important to refine every component to ensure it functions properly and doesn’t compromise sensitive data. By following the checklist we’ve described above, you’ll eliminate possible vulnerabilities from the very beginning. Remember – information stored on the blockchain can’t be altered so it’s better to be proactive.

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