Bitcoin mining has become a profitable venture. However, it requires extra layers of privacy even a Security Socket Layer (SSL) cannot provide. Ask yourself these questions when protecting your equipment and data against hackers.
1. What assets, physical and digital, do I want to protect?
Keep in mind that data breaches can damage your hardware as well as your software, so you want to protect yourself when connected to the Internet.
Mining hardware – You need to protect your antminer or ASIC mining processor, which holds the power for your bitcoin harvesting activities. When not in use, keep this hardware and the computer you connect it to hidden and locked out of sight. Conceal all working spare parts too. While actively mining, make sure you use as advanced of cybersecurity as possible to safeguard your hardware against viruses.
Infrastructure – The profit potential of bitcoin mining has become so well-known that large companies began to partake. In the process, they’ve accumulated multiple rows of data stored in secure spaces. You’re going to need airtight virtual network configuration and a secret-service level infrastructure security to protect your online and offline data. You also need to protect your mining operation against the environment, such as the risk of water ingress, contaminants and the risk of fire.
Hardware wallets – They hold all your Bitcoin mining private keys. You need the private keys stored in it to make transactions with your mined cryptocurrency. Your hardware wallets will reduce your susceptibility to hacking than would occur if you store your keys online. However, you still need to beware. Make sure you secure them with the highest level of encryption available. It also helps to make a backup of your information, and don’t forget to properly secure your backup.
Smartphones – Make the phone you use as secure as possible. This may include using two layers of authentication to access the information in it. For instance, you maybe could have a PIN and a fingerprint or a pattern and a password. Whatever you do, have a backup plan in case you lose your phone too. Furthermore, invest in a smartphone that has advanced security software built into it and make a backup using an encrypted SD card.
Personal data – Beware. Your personally identifying information, such as your phone number, name and financial information could become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Use as many layers of authentication as possible and only provide data online when required.
Seed backups – One way to store them without exposing them to the world is with a metal recovery plate. It also prevents damage that otherwise could cause you to lose your login information forever. It’s also wise to diversify your accounts. Having more than one mining source could stop you from losing all your assets.
Cryptocurrency – If you experience a data breach, hackers could steal whatever files you haven’t protected. This could include unencrypted private keys you keep laying around on your computer However, you can take steps to make the process as difficult as possible for them – even impossible if you apply good cybersecurity hygiene.
2. Who do I want to protect them from?
Protect yourself against online vulnerabilities, especially identity thieves who might try to force you to forfeit your personal information.
Network Neighbors – Don’t assume that everyone you connect with in the digital world “has your back.” Make some friends, but don’t reveal too much to them about your online activities or you could be sorry. Watch out which Bitcoin wallet you use for payments as well.
Internet service provider – An ISP will know what you’re up to by just observing your internet usage. Having a Security Locket Layer will help. However, you’re going to need more than just standard SSL (HTTPS) level encryption. For instance, you might want to acquire private IP addresses or work behind a proxy.
Third-party surveillance – Third-party surveillance organizations sometimes keep an eye on your information. Most of it provides legitimate validation services required to process online transactions. Still, you must watch out for any suspicious activity. Choose third-party surveillance services wisely.
Mining pool – Combining forces with other miners can result in greater rewards reaped than when attempting this process by yourself. However, you must choose who you partner with wisely. Don’t assume you can trust everyone just because you’re an honest person.
3. If I fail to protect them, what are the consequences and how bad are they?
Counting back 10 years from 2021, identity thieves stole an estimated $19.2 billion in cryptocurrency. About a third of these attacks targeted owners of bitcoin accounts. Crypto crimes have decreased in 2020 compared to 2019. Yet the problem has not “gone away”. You still need to protect yourself if you want to continue making profits when mining bitcoins.
For example, several users were hacked into their exchange account. Hackers can steal your identity, do a SIM Swapping attack on you, and request a forgotten password from the exchange which will text you.
That’s why it’s important to have multiple layers of security, ready to protect you against various attacks. As the saying goes, don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Thus, in the event of a breach or theft, you do not necessarily lose all your property.
4. How likely is it that I need to protect these assets?
Answering this question with a question: Do you want to lose the profits you made while mining bitcoin? If not, you must implement the highest levels of security to avoid bankruptcy. As for the “likelihood” that you need to protect these assets, you better err on the side of security. Why take risks?
As we’ve illustrated throughout this article, there are many ways organized crime can steal your property. Whether it’s your profits or your machinery, both can be fatal to you or your business.
You need to put multiple layers of physical security and multiple layers of virtual security, with backup mechanisms that ensure that if one of the security mechanisms is breached, another mechanism will keep your property secure.
5. How many hurdles am I willing to deal with to try and prevent potential consequences?
The balance is always the same in what attracts computer security. The more convenient a method, the less safe it is and vice versa. When it comes to Bitcoin, the system is an impenetrable fortress. You can have 100% confidence in what the Blockchain displays. However, your private key is only as safe as your cybersecurity hygiene.
This is why it is important to secure your private key according to the risk you are taking. If it’s a few bucks you’re dragging around in your pocket, a mobile wallet might do the trick. If several thousand dollars are profiting from your mining, for example, a multisig practice involving several third parties may be preferable.
Significant investments must also be made in site security. This step is often skipped because this expense generates no return on investment. Although this is true, the multiple intrusions into the mines by organized crime to steal mining equipment testify to the importance of this investment.
Certainly, we do not bring in more money or time by investing in security. But it certainly brings more assurance and peace of mind about the perinity of your operations and your assets. It’s up to you, but you should take as many precautions as you can afford to protect your cyber bottom line when it comes to managing your Bitcoin mining operations.