Anyone keeping up with current events in the last year should be well aware of numerous data breaches that had horrific consequences for companies and consumers all around the world. In 2017 alone there were a staggering 1,579 reported data breaches, which was a 44.7% increase over the numbers reported in 2016, also a record-breaking year.
The sheer number of breaches over the last few years is a clear indicator that the ways in which companies store data are in need of major overhaul. The most significant hacks, Equifax, Uber, Yahoo, Target, were all caused by similar errors, and could have been prevented with a decentralized, client-side solution, commonly being referred to as “edge security”. Paul Puey, CEO and founder of Edge, an edge security provider and multi-currency wallet explains, “Edge Security is security at the ‘edges’ of a network, which is me, you and the devices that we hold. This is in contrast to enterprise security, which has fallen prey to costly hacks over the last few years.”
By placing information back in the hands of the user, edge security can help reduce the number of costly data breaches. Puey goes on to explain how his company is trying to help people achieve this goal, “Edge secures the data client-side, encrypting it on a device that you control. Our idea was to invert the security model and put data back in control of the user, which means that hackers have less of a reward for any single hack.”
Why Breaches Occur
While the 1,579 breaches had an impact across most major industries, almost all of them share a common point of origin. At some point, the people behind the breach were able to gain access to a centralized store of data that a company collected from all of its users or operations. These data stores are a treasure trove for hackers. By placing all of their data in one place, hackers are incentivized by a much greater reward. With a few minor phishing scams that take minimal effort and that have little risk of being caught, an attacker can gain access to vital information that they can sell on the black market, use for other fraudulent ends, or hold for ransom.
In most cases, these attacks affect millions of people, and can often ruin credit, and result in long-term identity theft. One prime example of this kind of hack was the Equifax breach from
As long as organizations continue to create these massive repositories of valuable information, data breaches will continue to happen. By implementing one simple technology, edge security, companies can remove the risk of a future breach of valuable customer data.
How Blockchain Based Edge Security Can Help
If you aren’t familiar with edge security as a concept, it’s helpful to think of what makes blockchain so secure. As a decentralized, distributed ledger, the blockchain is impossible for hackers to access, because there is no central point of weakness for them to exploit. Edge security deploys a similar approach to keep user information secure. Puey explains, “Much like bitcoin has decentralized ownership of money, edge security will decentralize the security and ownership of data.”
Edge security leverages this decentralized methodology by encrypting data on the “client-side” before it goes to a company’s data centers. This is different than current encryption and login paradigms. For example, today if you lost your bank account password, your bank could provide it to you if you verify your identity. The problem with this is it leaves your password, and therefore all of your assets, vulnerable if someone can convince the bank they are you.
With edge encryption, however, a user’s personal data is encrypted, and the user is the only person with access to the encryption key. Whatever centralized organization they are working with does not have access to their decryption keys, making it near impossible for a hacker to access their information or assets. And even if they could, they would be greatly disincentivized, since they would have to hack each user individually instead of one central collection of user data.
Implementing Edge Security Solutions
With more and more hacks occurring every year, the need for decentralized security solutions has never been greater. Companies can’t afford to take a wait and see approach any longer. For those looking to leverage blockchain and edge security solutions to help protect user data, or secure customer assets, it is critical to take experienced partners who can develop bespoke solutions that fit the needs of your business.
Puey explains what he and other industry leaders are working towards with blockchain based security solutions, “Our goal is to change the definition of what cybersecurity is, and ultimately provide decentralized, blockchain-based security solutions across all markets. We believe that Edge Security can help reduce the number of hacks that negatively impact companies, and industries.”