The world of cybersecurity is like our modern day “Wonderland.” With massive amounts of data, almost anything can happen. But, with large volumes of information, comes the high risk of extreme vulnerability. Wide-spread industry resistance in adapting to a modern digital age has paved the way for those who use their extensive knowledge of computer networks to exploit and extort others for financial or personal gain. Unlike the Mad Hatter in Lewis Carroll’s classic, “Alice In Wonderland,” these illicit actors are most commonly referred to as “black hatters.” But, I can assure you, they are almost certainly…mad.
On a global scale, we have witnessed the shocking revelations massive data breaches like Equifax and Facebook have wreaked upon us. In my opinion, the effects of which, unfortunately, weren’t truly recognized until (1) Mark Zuckerberg testified before Congress on Capitol Hill and (2) GDPR going into effect back in May.
But, when it comes to security, there is still much to be learned, as there can never be “enough” protection. Why? With every patch or fix, comes a new attacker looking to find a vulnerability. The same can be said when we are talking about digital assets, like cryptocurrency, and of course, blockchain technology.
The rapid advancement of technology brings many benefits, but also brings with it, many plagues. For example, the digital assets market, which is expanding at an explosive rate, is lending favorable ‘black hat’ support for new forms of cyber attacks, such as exploiting individual’s digital assets and investments.
While Bitcoin has been around since 2009, the concept of “cryptocurrency,” is still in its infancy stage. The volatility associated with these currencies is still unpredictably high, as well as the uncertainty surrounding its regulation. It wasn’t until recent Congressional hearings that the U.S. finally heard arguments from both the House Agriculture Committee and House Committee On Financial Services on the future digital assets presented to the economic and financial sectors.
But, understanding the underlying problems of the cybersecurity space may help to unravel how to apply these new technologies like the Blockchain and cryptocurrency to our relevant industries. Or, it may continue to make us all go mad. But, as the Cheshire cat famously told Alice, “We’re all mad here.”
#1 –The Overabundance of Cybersecurity Solutions
In my opinion, the blockchain can help significantly minimize the overabundance of cybersecurity products out on the market. My hesitation to categorize all of these products as “solutions,” is for the benefit of the industry as a whole and the protection of the consumer’s wallet. Why? There’s a difference between quality and quantity.
The demand to improve our “cyber-hygiene” has led to an extensive supply of cyber-security products on the market. For example, how many commercials do you see trying to get you to invest in a new anti-virus or anti-malware software like McAfee, Norton, AVG, or Kaspersky? How about the number of commercials that entice you to look into VPN, or virtual private network software, to help you conceal and protect your computer’s IP address while browsing the internet? Or, same concept, but how about you walk into a Best Buy or a Fry’s store and look at the copious amounts of software that range from nationally recognized brands to more “mom and pop” style products?
How does one truly choose one product over another? Not only is it challenging for the software developers and companies to compete and thrive in the space, but it’s also challenging for the average consumer to understand what they are looking for. Why? It all comes down to an inability to properly diagnose what issues we are having and/or what products to be on the lookout for.
When it comes to protecting against threats to our digital assets, there is no difference in my opinion, when it comes to the number of blockchain “solutions” and cryptocurrency ventures. We need to be able to streamline quality and eliminate the garbage that floods the space. There are hundreds of thousands of cryptocurrencies and blockchain projects flooding the market, which are only doing two things–flooding the space and overwhelming consumers and investors.
By introducing blockchain technology into the mix, we can begin improving our “cyber hygiene.”
#2 –Our ‘Cyber Hygiene’ Is Poor and It Needs Cleaning
The Blockchain can act as a digital mop of sorts, to help clean up the poor security habits we have come to adopt. When we talk about having good “cyber hygiene,” we are talking about how proactive we are in identifying threats, resolving those threats, and ensuring we continue taking preventative measures against potential online exploitation. Having a basic understanding of what is out there and what information you as a consumer or a business possess is vital.
If we were to look at the vast majority of the data breaches over the past few years, almost all can be attributed to a failure to identify the threat when it first starts leaving traces, and of course, proper education and training. With that, leaves symptoms of lazy monitoring, such as a failure to update operating systems, hesitation in modernizing our devices, and even overlooking what should be easily recognizable red flags.
#3 – Bringing Clarity to Security Performance
Whenever I look at the latest security product on the market, I do my homework. Like I do with new blockchain technologies, I research and compare products. I read the reviews and I get to know my soon to be investment. But, this isn’t how many consumers approach their security implementation. When investing in blockchain technology, it’s also important to spend the time researching how it came to be, and why it is best suited for its particular application.
In fact, one of the major issues in choosing a security product, is that many consumers are often unable to recognize the effectiveness of the product. Or, they have limited knowledge as to how that particular product works, often failing to fully utilize their investment.
The only method in which you can properly discern software capabilities, is by doing your homework and self-testing. User or market reviews may be flawed in itself, but self-testing, nobody can beat. As we are beginning to see with new companies entering into the blockchain space or cryptocurrency sphere, many vendors have no business being in the field. Why? They have no experience or history in it. Yet, people want to believe that because the company has an extremely attractive and appealing white paper or video, that they are going to “change the world.” Bad form.
I’ve spoken with many notable influencers in the blockchain and cryptocurrency space including financial pioneer and CEO of LDJ Capital, David Drake, and former CNET founder, Halsey Minor, on the best methods in approaching this space. Even well-respected investors like The Herjavec Group’s CEO, Robert Herjavec, and Shark Tank investor Mark Cuban have also weighed in and all agreed on one fact–you have to do your homework and remember not to invest in hype. Invest in the facts and the history of the people backing the project. If they don’t trust it, why should anyone?
Whether you’re looking at products or projects on a domestic or international scale, the vendor’s track record always matters. There will never be the “perfect” solution, whether you’re looking at recognized market brands like McAfee, Norton, or AVG. But, there is a reward when it comes to general awareness. While hesitant in adopting international security products for my personal and/or business security solutions, I did come across one company, which struck me with great interest. Their backing and twenty-year history in the security space is enough to have me looking into their product and keeping an eye out on their future.
Starting out as an in-house venture of South Korea’s number one enterprise web and data security vendor, Penta Security Systems, Inc., Cloudbric has been in the security space for over twenty years, with multiple award-winning products, lending their expertise throughout the APAC region. Alongside Penta Security Systems’ CEO, Seokwoo Lee, Kaspersky Lab Advisory Board member, Jae-Woo Lee, recently joined Cloudbric as an advisor. Dr. Lee has been recognized as a Top 10 Individual at the Global Top 10 Security Summit.
The company has an extremely strong backing from China, including, but not limited to Youngha Kim, the former CEO of Samsung Electronics China, Caspar Wong, the CEO of Goldford Fintech, as well as Steve C.Y. Pang of Goldford Group, the CEO of Goldford Fintech and Goldford Venture Capital.
In the company’s recently announced ICO, Cloudbric aims to address the various issues plaguing the market by developing an easy-to-manage, decentralized AI-based security platform. Consolidating enterprise-level web security with digital asset protection, IoT, intelligent malware protection, phishing protection, and the knowledge we now have as it relates to data mining and crypto-mining, we may be able to slowly start to address this new age of digital security.
At the end of the day, I will lend more trust to a company like this because of the names behind it and their track record, having been associated with Penta Security Systems for quite some time.
Through The Looking Glass of Cybersecurity
At the end of the day, we must look at cybersecurity through an entirely new lens because the threats are evolving…rapidly. And, on the other side of the glass, sits the Blockchain and the many benefits it can bring to the space.
With the ever-growing number of cybersecurity vendors in the market, the large amounts of data collected such as malicious IP addresses, malware identification, and other penetrating sources, cries out for the mass adoption of a solution that takes into account, the security of privatized data which can then be used to create analytic reports. The users who agree to the terms and conditions by installing the software, are contributing this data, and are ultimately, left with nothing, unable to see their data. With blockchain technology, this removes the veil cloaking consumer’s right to access their information.
Allowing blockchain technology into the cybersecurity equation will allow for security vendors to devise solutions that will allow its users to play a more critical role in the growth and accuracy of security systems. And maybe, just maybe, we may not all be as mad as the “black hatters” hope we are.