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Guardtime, Future Cities Catapult Join Forces to Develop Blockchain-Based Cybersecurity

The potential of blockchain technology for non-monetary uses has particularly come to the forefront in the past few months. Bitcoin, the digital currency, can be regarded as the first successful application of the blockchain technology.

Ben Rossi writes on Information Age that as with other open source movements, the different stages of the blockchain ecosystem are being developed: first the core protocols (Bitcoin, Ethereum and other platforms); now middleware, from Consensys; and then applications.

Rossi noted that with security and privacy at the core of the blockchains, a holistic view of the technology includes user identity security, transaction and communication infrastructure security, business security through transparency and audit, and security from malicious insiders, compromised nodes or server failure.

Matthew Johnson, Chief Technology Officer of Guardtime said, “As the world becomes more connected critical infrastructure will be even more exposed to cyberattack and today those tasked with defending infrastructure do not have the tools they need to guarantee the integrity of that infrastructure.” 

Guardtime and Future Cities Catapult last month announced partnership to develop blockchain cybersecurity solutions for UK critical infrastructure. The partnership will initially focus on building prototype applications to enhance resiliency, security and reliability of critical infrastructure, including projects on flood defense systems, nuclear power and the electricity distribution grid.

Guardtime created Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI) to take on the challenges of today's perimeter-based security systems and secure the integrity of systems in today's increasingly digital world. BTC Manager explains that the blockchain used by Guardtime, based on KSI, improves on the scalability and settlement time. KSI relies on the integrity of the cryptographic hash function to ensure data integrity, allowing it to identify three attributes of data:

  • First, proof of time, i.e. when the asset was actually registered on the Blockchain;
  • Second, identity, referring to where the asset was first recorded;
  • Third, authenticity, referring to whether or not the data has been tampered with.

By providing a complete chain of the history of the data that is generated and transmitted, any breach or manipulation can be acted upon in real-time, BTC Manager added.

Dr Catherine Mulligan, head of Digital Strategy and Economics at Future Cities Catapult added, "Guardtime's unique permissioned blockchain approach to large scale system integrity has tremendous potential to enhance the security of UK critical infrastructure and we are excited to work with the Guardtime team to build solutions that will play a key part in the government's industrial strategy and showcase to the world how cities can be smarter in the future."

By Shampa Mani
  • Market Data
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