Monitoring a blockchain network enables administrators to guarantee the operational performance and security of their blockchain implementations. Extracting and analyzing system data gives early warnings to health and security threats to the system.
Peer nodes host the ledgers and smart contracts that make up the shared processes in a network. Monitoring peer nodes ensures that they are properly functioning, have not been co-opted, and are not negatively impacting the overall blockchain.
In Hyperledger Fabric, an endorsement policy defines which peers in a blockchain must agree to a specific transaction before it can be added to the ledger. These “peers” are endorsement nodes. Monitoring a blockchain’s endorsement policy and the functioning of the endorsement nodes is essential to ensure proper chain operation.
Third-party validation provides independent verification of a transaction and assurance of participation by all interested parties. This is useful as it increases confidence in the shared ledger. Without an independent validator, transaction verification can be improperly influenced by the chain administrator.
Various compliance metrics dictate that users need the ability to audit their IT systems. Although blockchain ledgers are immutable and accessible, that doesn’t mean that the data contained within the ledgers is organized or usable. BlocWatch provides the ability to create audit logs that allows for monitoring, archiving, and retrieving activity records over the lifetime of the blockchain.
Internal audit and compliance teams require visibility to fulfill mandates and supply reports to external parties. Operational teams require access to identify and remediate issues. Security teams require access for investigations and mitigation.
As with other systems, blockchain performance can suffer from issues such as misconfigurations, failed nodes, chain code alterations, permission changes, and malicious behavior. Leveraging a monitoring solution enables operation teams to promptly identify and mitigate all of these – and other – concerns.
Yes and no. Similar to other systems, security is a shared responsibility. Although every transaction on chain receives an encrypted hash code that cannot be hacked or altered and the chain itself is immutable, the endpoints remain vulnerable. Through misconfiguration and code errors, malicious users can gain access and insert faulty information, or worse, into a chain. Administrators retain responsibility for this portion of chain security.
There are no security risks to integrating BlocWatch into your blockchain ecosystem. BlocWatch operates as a read-only application that contains granular permissions for the user to retain complete control over chain information access.
As the blockchain owner, you maintain complete control over who can access your confidential information. With granular permissioning, BlocWatch allows for data to be scrubbed out of transactions before it is ever analyzed.
There are open-source block explorers and other tools available. These provide basic monitoring and if you are running a small or non-critical chain, they may provide sufficient coverage. However, if you are running a critical application with genuine business implications, you need a stronger purpose-built tool that provides dedicated support and continuous innovation to support your implementation with both evolving technology and evolving threats.
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