A new UK infrastructure deal will see Guardtime, a cybersecurity solutions collective, to be tasked with the duty of developing blockchain cybersecurity solutions for critical infrastructure installations in the United Kingdom.
Guardtime, a collective of scientists, network architects, software developers and security specialists have today announced a partnership with Future Cities Catapult, a UK-based initiative that specializes in rapid ‘smart city innovation’ that will see Guardtime develop blockchain-based cybersecurity solutions.
The task is a significant and an important one, as Guardtime will be coming up with measures to protect and safeguard critical infrastructure in the UK. Critical infrastructure includes nuclear power stations, the electricity grid and flood defense systems.
At the very onset of the partnership, there will be prototypes built to “enhance resiliency, security and reliability of critical infrastructure,” a press release reveals.
The release also points to Guardtime as the “first and only platform for ensuring the integrity of data and systems at an industrial scale.”
The working group developed a blockchain security technology called Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a system that predates the most well-known and used blockchain of them all, Bitcoin’s blockchain. The cryptocurrency, bitcoin, uses the blockchain as a public ledger for transactions and KSI uses a public ledger in a similar vein for data transactions, negating the need for trusted insiders for verification or authentication. ‘Keyless,’ simply put, with transparency and accountability.
It is this KSI system that does the job of protecting vital systems beyond the solutions offered by physical perimeter security. The same KSI system that will presumably be used by Guardtime for protecting vital infrastructure, although this hasn’t been explicitly confirmed.
Fundamentally, the means to continuously verify the system, processes and data integrity would scale up security measures in such a way that even the slightest change in a reading would trigger suspicion for malicious activity, thereby quickly granting the administrator the means to mitigate such attacks in real time. It’s entirely plausible that the entire process is automated, with instant detection and mitigation capabilities by the system itself, without the need for human input.
In a statement, Dr. Catherine Mulligan, head of digital strategy and economics at Future Cities Catapult said:
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.
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