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The Fight Against Cyber-Crime

Introduction
With mankind’s ever increasing reliance on computer-based infrastructures, cyber-threats have become the most prominent enemies of today’s information based economies. “Cyber theft is the fastest growing crime in the United States by far” according to incoming U.S. President Donald Trump. On the other hand, since “44% of security alerts never being investigated[i]” our cyber-security systems seem orthodox, and in great need of much more effective solutions.

A cloud based cyber-security model is the underlying necessity to generate pragmatic intelligence measures in real time, by providing computational command to supervise and evaluate all digital interactions creating a centralized repository of information. But will that be enough? With new fast-emerging disruptive technological innovations such as Blockchain & Artificial Intelligence entering the fray, will this give rise to unique combinations within the cloud? Can these new combinations help us develop a modern threat-management program?

Blockchain in a Cloud
Blockchain has been one of the most promising technological innovations to come up lately. Nearly every major bank & financial institution is experimenting with it. The promise holds for almost every other industry, from logistics to defense, this distributed ledger could possibly hold the key for a safer & more secure future. But blockchain’s infrastructure, because of its limited storage capabilities, is more suited for programs such as ‘smart-contracts’. This is where the cloud fits in. With the power to run large applications and process humongous volumes of data, cloud perfectly complements the blockchain. What’s fascinating to know is that along with reducing the costs significantly, as in the case of every other tech disruption, both blockchain & cloud both have the ability to fully encrypt the data in order to create security blanket. The two technologies seem have some common ground, and it makes all the more sense to deploy blockchain pilot projects within the cloud. A combination of both can be called a BlockCloud.

Use Cases

  1. IBM has pioneered the move of Blockchain applications to the cloud. By creating essential new cloud services for encrypted, trusted blockchain networks, IBM has allowed clients, startups, as well as developers to advance Blockchain applications that will meet the standard security and regulatory requirements.
  2. Another big shot, Microsoft has also been adding Blockchain as a Service (BaaS) offerings to its Azure cloud marketplace. Microsoft’s Ethereum blockchain allows the rapid development of smart-contracts with the backing of its cloud platform.
  3. Alongside the incumbents, startups such as Storj are also trying to make a dent in the Blockcloud universe. Its blockchain-based, open source cloud storage abilities ensure security, privacy, & transparency.

 

BlockCloud for Cyber-security
A blockchain-based distributed cloud theoretically, would mean recording whatever happens to data stored on the cloud, onto the blockchain. Recording the data on the distributed ledger would allow anyone with access, to verify as well as govern the information. Blockchain technology is based on algorithms, which have been derived and designed to eliminate fraudulent activities and increase trust within the system. When put together, blockchain and cloud become a very strong, secure & trusted platform.  With cloud’s ability to accommodate larger amounts of data, a decentralized ledger can authenticate what happened to data, who accessed the data, where it went and how that data was governed, more importantly all in real time. A system as such would allow absolute traceability, accountability and transparency for the cloud. Looking at the big picture, a BlockCloud could ensure complete transparency for the whole information society. It has the ability to work as a catalyst for a new wave of cyber-security measures which will enable continuous security innovations for the sake of businesses, governments and individual users alike.


Augmented Intelligence – The Darker Horse
When it comes new and happening technologies, Artificial Intelligence (AI) seems to be leading the way for good. With that thought in mind, using AI’s superpowers for cyber-security is a no brainer. AI, amalgamated with machine learning and natural language processing, has the unique ability to make sense of huge volumes of data and in turn create personalized responses for the user. In cyber sense, this would allow cyber analysts to monitor thousands of security events and detect as well as respond to any threats successfully. IBM has again taken the lead here. With IBM’s Watson for cyber-security, analysts can tap into real-time cyber insights providing them with the ability to counter the attacks.

Conclusion
With the advent of advanced technologies, the possibility of integrating them into the cloud architectures creates an exciting opportunity for the cyber-security teams around the globe. This fusion can help organizations to identify and respond to threats in a faster and more efficient manner. In the future we can only see these technologies developing even further, and other technologies such as Artificial Intelligence & BigData Analytics also coming into the fray to create even bolder combinations to counter the cyber-threat, threatening our society’s very existence.

[i] Cisco 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report

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