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Here’s How Blockchain and Access Management Are Turning Cybersecurity Upside Down

Blockchain technology is making waves in numerous areas, and is frequently touted as a game-changer in the world of tech.

One place where blockchain could make a particularly big impact is in cybersecurity. It’s no secret that cybersecurity is an increasingly serious problem, with attacks on the rise.

In Q4 2017, cyber-attacks were reported to have increased by a dizzying 82% per company over the previous quarter. Some research suggests that cyber-crime could cost businesses over $2 trillion by 2019.

This is obviously a big worry for businesses, and it’s getting harder to defend against these attacks. Hackers are becoming more sophisticated all the time and adopting new methods which thwart old security systems.

These new risks call for innovative security methods. Currently, access management – how we gain access to our data and systems – is one area that is in desperate need of an overhaul. Much of the emphasis is on passwords, which are known for being vulnerable to human error.

Let’s take a look at some of the issues in this area.
The problems with access management

To gain access to information, whether that be a Facebook account or a company’s data records, we’re often required to enter a password.

This method of authentication has worked in the past and is pleasantly simple and user-friendly. Unfortunately, passwords come with some serious flaws. People tend to be careless and lazy with their password choices, opting for easily-remembered codes like ‘123456’ and ‘password1’.

These are as easy to crack as they are to remember. What’s more, people often duplicate them, using the same weak password for several different accounts. If one is deciphered, the hacker gains access to all of them.

And password-related crime is no laughing matter. According to research from Microsoft, more than 63% of network intrusions are a result of compromised user credentials. The average cost of a data breach to a company is $3.8 million, so simply using a more secure access management system could lead to enormous savings.

In addition to this, passwords in general are easy to lose and forget. The more secure they are, the more likely that users will end up locked out of their accounts by mistake. Passwords just aren’t the best way to do access management.

But what’s the alternative?
The solution so far

Some services, like LastPass, have attempted to overcome many of the challenges with passwords. Their password management software saves users’ passwords so they don’t have to remember and enter their details every time they log in to an account. The passwords are stored in an encrypted vault, adding extra security.

These platforms also help users generate stronger and more secure login details to lower the risk of being hacked. Other platforms like Google Chrome offer their own version of this, allowing users to save their login details for future use.

This works, to an extent. It makes things easier for users, but it only solves part of the problem. Passwords can still be compromised, and many of the risks still exist. In many cases, password managers can even put users at greater risk due to flaws in the software.

The best solution is to take passwords out of the equation altogether.

A world without passwords

It might sound counterintuitive, but removing passwords might actually be the safest option.

This is what access management platforms like NoPassword are doing — replacing traditional passwords with new, more secure forms of authentication. These include multi-factor authentication, and AI-driven contextual and adaptive authentication.

This could resolve many of the problems password users currently face, by eliminating the human error factor and allowing technology to shoulder the burden of security.

REMME offers a similar solution, and theirs is based on blockchain technology. Instead of a password, users generate a new SSL/TLS certificate for each new device they use.

This certificate allows them access and is stored on the blockchain to prevent fraud and ensure its authenticity. REMME also uses 2-factor authentication based on the user’s preferred messaging service.

It’s an innovative new way of doing access management, and another solution to the human error that plays such a big role in password-related incidents.

The company has completed a successful ICO raising more than $20 Million is now working on expanding it’s operation and technology.

As cyber security becomes increasingly important for businesses and attacks become smarter, technologies like blockchain are finding new importance. It may soon be one of the only reliable options for those who want to keep their data safe.

Based near Windsor, England, Matthew Warner is an enthusiast for innovative, cutting edge technologies. He is a B.Eng. graduate in engineering with honors from the University of Warwick and also holds an PGCE in education degree. Matthew is a member of Mensa.
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