The second quarter of 2017 was a wild one for blockchain companies and investors, with nearly 60 initial coin offerings (ICOs) closed in the quarter for more than $750M, and it looks like this is just the beginning. It seems that blockchain is about to have an impact on nearly every industry.
While banking, finance, and real estate are the so-called usual suspects by being ahead of the curve, even industries like education, social media and security are being disrupted by blockchain-powered startups. Blockchain tech has an inherent connection to cybersecurity. Blockchain technologies are, after all, the culmination of decades of research and breakthroughs in cryptography and security. It offers a totally different approach to storing information, making transactions, performing functions, and establishing trust, which makes it especially suitable for environments with high security requirements and mutually unknown actors.
More at: 3 Ways Blockchain Is Revolutionizing Cybersecurity – Forbes Investing #CyberSecurity
OPINION | A new race — a crypto-race — is on.
A few months ago, Russia created what could turn out to be its second “Sputnik,” although most of the world took little notice.
A Russian scientific institution successfully tested a blockchain technology platform that can theoretically withstand a hack from a quantum computer. Quantum computing machines use subatomic particles to process data a million times quicker than regular computers, but they do not exist today outside experimental laboratories. Most experts agree that it will be a few decades before quantum computers are commercially deployed. But when they are, the encryption we all rely on to to protect Internet servers, passwords, and email and messaging traffic may become obsolete.
So, creating a digital platform that is quantum hack-proof is a huge cryptographic leap forward. It is a sign of Russia’s intent to position itself strategically as a global leader in blockchain technology. But it also is of great national security significance to the United States, on two fronts. One, it shows Russia’s potential espionage advantage by advancing in cryptographic methods to secure data in ways that the U.S.government is neglecting. And, two, it signals that Russia may be able to withstand America’s economic sanctions tools in the future.
More at: Blockchain technology may give Russia its next Sputnik moment – TheHill
An advisor to President Vladimir Putin has claimed that as many as a quarter of computers in Russia are infected with cryptocurrency mining malware.
Herman Klimenko, who advises Putin on issues related to the internet, recently told a domestic broadcaster that “it is estimated that 20-30% of devices are infected with this virus”, according to Moscow-based news service RBC.
Mining is an energy intensive process by which new transactions are added to a blockchain, minting new coins for the miner in the process. In the past, cybercriminals have sought to generate funds by using malicious software to effectively hijack computers remotely and use their processing power to mine.
Yet Klimenko – who once said that accepting bitcoin for payment constitutes a crime – is receiving pushback against his claims, including from another Russian government official. Dmitry Marinichev, who serves as Russia’s internet ombudsman, called the claim “nonsense” in an interview with RBC, adding that such a scale of infection would be hard to miss.
More at: Putin’s Internet Advisor: 30% of Russian Computers Infected By Crypto Mining Malware – CoinDesk
A blockchain startup has received new funding from the US government to develop blockchain key management solutions.
Announced on 20th July, the grant for $794,000 to Salt Lake City-based Evernym was sourced from the Department of Homeland Security’s Small Business Innovation Program (SBIR). That initiative has doled out funds to blockchain startups in the past, including Evernym, which has previously received a grant from DHS focused on the development of key management tools.
According to DHS, Evernym will design and build “a decentralized key management system for blockchain technologies”. The research project is being managed by the department’s Cyber Security Division.
William Bryan, acting DHS Undersecretary for Science and Technology, said in a statement:
“A better, more secure method is needed to safeguard the identity and privacy of web-users. Research in blockchain holds significant potential to provide a solution that will make it considerably more difficult to hack an online user’s identity.”
More at: US Government Funds Blockchain Key Management Tool With $794k Grant – CoinDesk
The conference, in Boston Sept. 11-12, 2017, will address how to become a cybersecurity superhero, surviving on a tight budget, world-class strategy, emerging technologies and more.
Cybersecurity is the most pressing issue in healthcare right now and, by many accounts, the market segment is on the verge of disruption.
That’s where I see things standing, heading into the Healthcare Security Forum in Boston during mid-September.
Just when it looked like WannaCry was about as bad as things could get, along came Petya (nee NotPetya) to rattle hospitals and other infosec pros even more. Add those bits of ransomware and wiper malware to an evolving threat landscape peppered with unsecured medical devices and the ongoing stream of data breaches — against the backdrop tight security budgets and a staffing shortage — and it doesn’t appear that today’s security challenges will ease up anytime soon.
That said, a number of technologies are emerging and bringing big promise for securing health data. Artificial intelligence and machine learning are among those, as is Blockchain.
More at: Experts to address AI, Blockchain, ransomware and executive leadership at Healthcare Security Forum – Healthcare IT News
The new system – IBM Z – includes a breakthrough encryption engine that makes it possible to encrypt essentially all data
IBM has today announced a data encryption breakthrough, which makes it possible to protect all data/all the time for entire cloud services, applications and data bases in one click — to take on both the global data breach epidemic and a surge in government regulation.
It’s set to be its most significant system, but necessary, overhaul from IBM in more than 15 years: IBM Z. In 2016, more than 4 billion data records stolen or lost, a 556% increase over 2015 – a major factor in the $8 trillion cybercrime impact on the global economy by 2022. Of the 9 billion records breached the past 5 years, only 4% were encrypted. Even with rise of cloud data centres – no progress has been made encrypting data at any scale because it is difficult and expensive.
At the same time, the technology giant has announced the creation of 6 blockchain dedicated data centres based on the new mainframe capabilities. This represents the biggest re-invention and expansion of its mainframe technology since it re-made the platform to virtualise Linux and open source software 15 years ago -today these open workloads are about 50% of the IBM Z business.
More at: The data protection breakthrough – Information Age
InsureX has announced that due to security attacks on its system it has halted its crowdsale with immediate effect, two days after starting its sale.
Founded in 2017, the London-based insurance blockchain startup had only launched the opening of its ICO crowdsale on the 11th July, becoming the first blockchain-based marketplace to be utilized for the trade and management of insurance products.
However, on the 13th July, the company announced that because of security attacks on its system over the last two days they had decided to stop the sale.
This action is not taken lightly but is necessary to protect existing IXT holders and stakeholders of InsureX. We have been working around the clock to keep the token sale open, but the sheer number of attacks is now overwhelming.
More at: Insurance Blockchain Startup InsureX Halts Crowdsale due to Security Attacks – CryptoCoinsNews