Information security has seen a lot of advancements but when it comes to blockchain and securing smart contracts, we’re at a loss. This is due to the fact that blockchain is still a relatively new technology. The problem is that while blockchain technology is secure, smart contracts are not. They can become a serious security concern if written poorly. Getting a smart contract audit done at the earliest by a trusted service provider seems like the logical thing to do. These providers can help you secure your smart contract and ensure that it is safe to use.
What is a smart contract?
A smart contract doesn’t look very different from traditional computer codes. They help to facilitate, verify, or enforce the negotiation or performance of a blockchain transaction. Smart contracts automatically execute themselves. This can be the entire code or just a part of it relevant to the blockchain transaction taking place.
How does a smart contract work?
When you create a smart contract, it is uploaded to the blockchain. Once it’s on the blockchain, it becomes difficult to be tampered with by an outsider. When specific criteria are fulfilled, the code in the smart contract will execute automatically. This makes them very reliable and secure once they are deployed.
Security concerns with smart contracts:
While blockchain technology is secure, there are some security concerns when it comes to smart contracts. One concern is that since smart contracts are run on computers, they are vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Other smart contract security risks include:
- Indirect execution of unknown code
- Redundant entries
- Miscalculations with the output token amount
- Incorrectly handling exceptions
Who audits smart contracts?
Smart contract audit service providers are companies that specialise in auditing smart contracts for security flaws. They will review your smart contract code and look for any vulnerabilities that could put your data or funds at risk. Depending on the situation, they will also assist you in determining how to address these problems.
Smart contract audit service providers
There are many different smart contract audit service providers out there. Some of the most popular ones include:
- Astra Security – Signing up for their security audit will land you over 3000 tests carried out by experts along with 24/7 support. Their audits include configuration tests, permission checks, static and/or dynamic code analysis, and many more tests. After all of this, you can still have your smart contract re-scanned to ensure that everything is in order. Their security tool, Astra Pentest also works wonders in discovering all sorts of website vulnerabilities.
- Quantstamp – This is just a startup company but they pack a lot in terms of experienced professionals. They perform smart contract auditing using their own decentralised network.
- Trail of Bits – This is an expert security provider with promising experience in smart contract audits and other security services. Although they specialise in software penetration testing they have developed a few tools contributing to blockchain and smart contract testing.
- OpenZeppelin – This service provider is well known for its Solidity libraries. They include smart contract templates for you to build secure smart contracts over them. They also perform the audits for you.
- ConsenSys Diligence – This is a company that has dedicated itself to developing Ethereum-based applications. As expected, developing secure smart contracts is also in their wheelhouse. Putting their skills to good use, they have developed an automated Ethereum smart contract analyser called “MythX”.
- Certik – A cybersecurity company that specialises in audits. This includes smart contract audits. To do this they’ve developed a public blockchain of their own called Certik Chian.
- Slowmist – Hailing from China, they are the top blockchain security providers in their country. They cover everything related to blockchain security including extensive smart contract audits. Slowmist studies and publishes statistics based on blockchain data security.
Cost of a smart contract audit
The cost to audit a smart contract depends on the provider as well as the nature of the smart contract. Some providers may offer free audits, while others charge a fee. Typically, the more complex your smart contract is, the higher the cost will be and can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand.
Smart contracts are an excellent technique to automate blockchain transactions. However, they can be vulnerable to security breaches if not written properly. That’s where smart contract audit services come in. These providers will review your smart contract code for any vulnerabilities and make recommendations on how to fix them. The cost to audit a smart contract varies depending on the provider you choose, but typically ranges from a few hundred dollars to several thousand. So, before you use smart contracts in your business, be sure to have them audited by a reputable provider.