Most people are familiar with the meaning behind the world Web2, which refers to the internet version that most of us know nowadays. Web2 introduced the ability to upload data to the Web, for example, by publishing content. The ability to do so introduced new security threats with hostile actors hacking websites, infecting files with malware, leaking sensitive information, and other activities.
Web3 is the next stage in the evolution of the internet, in which users not only read and contribute data but also own it. Web3 is all about decentralisation; unlike Web2, which is held by centralised parties or businesses, Web3 returns power to the individuals who develop, run and own the network.
What about Web3 security?
While Web3 technology eliminates many of the problems and vulnerabilities existing in Web2, it still inherits some of the Web2 pain points – and provides a new set of potential threats and vulnerabilities waiting to be exploited by malevolent actors.
Web3 technologies, and the decentralised nature of applications built with them, are still quite new. As such, like with any other system, the development of new technology means not only innovation but also security trade-offs. Transparency, anonymity, and decentralisation – the new features Web3 world brought – may also be used as a double-edged sword. There is no centralised body to supervise or manage security standards. The open-source nature of the code encourages community participation while also making it simpler for malevolent actors to abuse the protocol. Anonymity allows hackers to avoid detection and flee with stolen assets.
Web3 security solutions
New difficulties breed new solutions, and with the recent wave of security events in the Web3 arena, new security solutions are now hitting the market.
The are various solutions, old and new, to enhance the security of the space:
- When evaluating the security of the Web3 protocol, individuals continue to prioritise security audits. However, it is increasingly clear that audits alone cannot ensure the safety of a network or standalone Web3 application.
- Another component of a continuous security process is stress testing and real-time monitoring, which allows developers to observe smart contract activities, simulate different scenarios to stress-test the contract, and so on.
- Bug bounties give an extra layer of motivation to uncover bugs or potential loopholes in Web3 applications, with the community participating as individual security auditors.
- The newest primitives in the Web3 arena are risk management systems. Protocols like Gauntlet, Apostro, and ChaosLabs employ diverse financial models and simulations to protect protocols from internal and external attacks or rapidly changing market conditions.
The Way Forward
Web3 ecosystem and Web3 security are tightly interwoven; one cannot progress without the other. We need new security solutions and services to keep the web3 area expanding, but security cannot advance without a huge ecosystem of protocols and chains. As the Web3 field expands rapidly, we will undoubtedly see more web3 security services hit the market in the future years.