New to blockchain technology? We cover the basics of blockchain in the resources below:

How does blockchain provide security for digital credentials?

When a digital credential is awarded to an individual, this is a type of transaction. The details of this transaction can be recorded to the blockchain for additional security against fraud, removal, or unauthorized amendments. 

Unlike a traditional ledger which stands alone and is physically maintained, the transaction recorded to the blockchain is written to all the nodes within the network once it is authenticated and authorized. In August 2020, the number of secure servers hosting a full copy of the blockchain (known as full or super nodes) numbered over 10,000. This doesn’t include the nodes that contain a partial record of the blockchain, known as light nodes, which together with full/super nodes number over 100,000. 

A node is any device that is connected to the internet including servers, phones, personal computers, IP webcams, etc. For full/super nodes to store blockchain records they require lots of available storage as a complete copy of the blockchain ledger is estimated at over 200GB in size. 

How does blockchain improve security?

We understand that to provide security, transactions recorded on the blockchain are written to over 100,000 digital ledgers (nodes), but how does blockchain improve security? By utilizing the decentralized nature of these nodes. 

Nodes act as independent ledgers. If someone attempts to amend, remove, or falsify a record on the blockchain, they simultaneously need to hack or gain access to the majority of nodes that hold a copy of the blockchain. This is equivalent to hacking over 100,000 banks all over the world at the same time. 

Transactions are only written to the blockchain if the majority of nodes agree that the transaction is valid. This is known as consensus. Node owners are incentivized to authenticate and authorize a transaction by way of reward (cryptocurrency). This process is called the ‘proof of work’. In regard to security in blockchain for credentials, it is an assurance against individuals attempting to fraudulently record their own credentials on behalf of an issuer. 

Blockchain Security & Verification for Credentials in Higher Education

Credentials delivered in higher education are high-stakes and without a trusted method of verification can cost recipients job and education opportunities. Blockchain secured credentials provide security and an always available method of verification. This means if the issuing school, college, or university closes, the digital credentials are still live, valid, and can be verified.

How does blockchain keep data secure?

Data that is written to the blockchain is encrypted in the same way most data is encrypted - using a public and private key or an encryption algorithm and an encryption key. This process takes plain text such as the sentence ‘his name is Harold’ and makes it unreadable except to those with the correct decryption key. 

Transactions that are recorded to the blockchain are completely transparent and available for anyone to see. It is the data within these transactions that can only be viewed when authorized by the involved parties, i.e. the issuing body and the recipient. 

In Summary

What is digital credential blockchain security? 

Once issued, digital credentials are written to the blockchain where they are protected against amendment, removal, or falsifying of information. 

How does blockchain improve the security of digital credentials? 

Blockchain security comes from the decentralization of ‘digital ledgers’ known as nodes that store copies of the blockchain. The information stored on the blockchain can only be amended if the majority of nodes are changed simultaneously - the equivalent of hacking over 100,000 banks at the same time. 

How does blockchain security protect private data? 

The digital credential data stored within the recorded transaction is encrypted against unauthorized access, ensuring protection of personal data. The encrypted data is accessible but only when authorized by the owners of the data, in the example of credentials, this is the issuing body and the recipient. 

Are all digital credentials written to the blockchain?

No, blockchain credentials are optional and opt-in. Instructions for How To Create Blockchain Credentials are available in the help centre.

What data does Accredible store on the blockchain?

No personal data is recorded to the blockchain. Digital credentials that are written to the blockchain are recorded as a number that is generated based on the credential information. 

How does a blockchain record get verified?

When clicking the ‘verify’ button on a blockchain credential, the Accredible platform compares the number generated on the live credential to the number previously written to the blockchain when the credential was first created. 

Where does credential data get stored if not on the blockchain? 

Accredible data is stored at a secure tier 3 SOC 2-certified data center. Our data is protected by bank-level security and we regularly test to ensure we are fully compliant for enterprise levels of security and privacy standards. More information about Accredible Data Security & Privacy Policies is available here.

Accredible digital credentials can be written to the blockchain with the click of a button, there is no extra fee, and no additional work required to provide extra security for digital certificates and digital badges. 

Experience the simplicity of creating feature-rich digital credentials today with an Accredible trial or get in touch with the sales team for a demonstration of our digital credential platform.

Further Reading

Get the Digital Credentials Buyer’s Guide for a complete overview of digital credentials. The guide covers how digital credentials are used, how they support high-level strategies, and what goes into a quality digital credentialing solution. 

Get the Guide