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  • @fintechna 3:35 am on June 19, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Blockchain to Optimize and Secure Client Data Information – Part 3 

    Blockchain-based Enigma system

    Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of , therefore, have developed a guaranteed privacy system based on , in which can be stored, verified and shared without ever being revealed to any of the network’s parties. ‘Enigma’, which is powered by the blockchain, is essentially “different computers that are talking to each other, but they don&;t do mining, they just provide resources to the network, bandwidth, some of their hard drives, some of their CPU power&;, according to co-founder Oz Nathan, a technology entrepreneur with experience working with the Counter Terror Unit of the Israeli Defence Forces. This will purportedly allow , for instance, to confidently sign up to private blockchains, knowing that sensitive data will remain private.

    Enigma’s founders are also speaking to medical companies, particularly those who are unable to put huge swathes of client medical onto the blockchain. As a solution, Enigma breaks down data into smaller pieces, and rather than performing conventional encryption, a “secret sharing” method is used, according to co-founder Guy Zyskind where the system “guarantees mathematically that each of these pieces are completely masked, completely random and completely &8221;.

     

    Blockchain is to prevent industrial data breaches

    Moreover, there does not appear to be a limitation to the magnitude of projects that can be put onto the blockchain. The UK government is now looking to blockchain technology to protect itself against data breaches within some of its biggest industries. Guardtime, which provides cyber-security services and uses blockchain to secure sensitive data, recently announced it will be in charge of protecting the UK’s nuclear power stations, flood defence systems and electricity grids from cyberattacks.

    According to a recent report by think tank Chatham House, a ‘culture of denial’ currently exists in the UK’s nuclear power industry with regards to the risk of cyberattacks. Blockchain’s permitted ledger, however, can be used by Guardtime to boost the security of some of the largest systems of UK infrastructure. The system uses hash-function cryptography that is based on ‘signature’ authorization, known as Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI). Ultimately, the technology allows all data across the system to be securely authorized, while allowing for independent verification of the records, without the need for centralized authorities.

    Although blockchain’s technology has been synonymous with the rise of , Guardtime has been using similar technology for the purpose of security prior to Bitcoin’s emergence. The company employs cybersecurity experts who have experience in the US military, as well as state-level digital security experts from Estonia, who resolutely defended the country from a comprehensive cyberattack by Russia in 2007. Indeed, Estonian innovations in addressing confidentiality and data integrity have been deemed by the US as cutting-edge, which has in turn led to the formation of the partnership.

    Defence systems, telecommunications companies and financial-services firms are all looking at the technology, according to CTO Matt Johnson, who also believes that Guardtime&8217;s permitted blockchain can provide proof of time, identity and authenticity, while preserving confidentiality of the data, on an industrial scale.

    The post Blockchain to Optimize and Secure Client Data Information &8211; Part 3 appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

     
  • @fintechna 3:35 am on June 18, 2016 Permalink | Reply
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    Blockchain to Optimize and Secure Client Data Information – Part 2 

    Blockchain application in financial data and compliance

    Blockchain makes the top secured financial transactions controllable

    The financial services industry is another major area in which must be securely protected to prevent market manipulation. At the same time, however, compliance divisions must be aware of the identity of trading counterparties in order to mitigate potential money-laundering activity. As such, a system which balances both compliance requirements and trading anonymity is required.

    Indeed, regulators may find the anonymity of a challenge to wholly approve, as it makes it difficult for them to conduct their ‘know your customer’ (KYC) checks to prevent money laundering. Blockchain’s close association with , moreover, hasn’t helped matters, especially as the has been notoriously used in criminal activity, and even funding for terrorist activity.

     

    Blockchain offers solutions to AML

    In November, Israeli start-up Polycoin showcased its blockchain-based compliance service, which will provide a verification system for financial transactions. This will help compliance officers to handle their anti-money laundering (AML) and KYC requirements. Polycoin’s platform scrutinizes financial transactions to try and identify who they are from, and they are then placed into a ranking system. Those transactions deemed as being suspicious – such as an AML breach &; will be identified by Polycoin’s platform, which will then send an alert to compliance for further investigation.

    Polycoin CEO Alfred Shaffir thinks his firm can provide a complete solution for blockchain compliance, and considers Polycoin’s innovations could have as profound an impact as digital financial crime prevention tool ‘NICE Actimize’ had in the late 1990s. As such, Shaffir is of the opinion that for any bank working with blockchain, transformation of compliance systems and procedures will be their first priority.

    Indeed, have already responded positively to Polycoin’s proposals, with the start-up participating in the innovation accelerator project in Israel conducted by financial services giant Citi, while also being chosen as one of 10 participants out of 170 applicants for Finnish bank Nordea’s accelerator in Helsinki. Shaffir has stated that Polycoin has received much interest from those banks that are interested in integrating blockchain into their businesses in the future.

    Blockchain compliance specialist Tradle is simplifying the KYC process even further. Last August saw London’s Startupbootcamp accelerator take place, where Tradle CEO Gene Vayngrib explained how blockchain could ease the costly pain of compliance for banks. The company is creating a user-friendly smartphone interface that will allow documentation to be sent electronically, thus eliminating the need for inefficient paper-based communication. Furthermore, within each bank currently, separate KYC checks are conducted across products, divisions, locations and subsidiaries &8211; this lack of sharing elevates KYC costs unnecessarily.

    Vayngrib instead proposes a blockchain-based app called Trust in Motion which stores KYC on a permitted ledger and which all authorized parties can access when required. He calls it the Instagram for KYC, as clients can snap a picture of their ID documents (their passport, for example) and send it directly to the bank. Once the compliance officer verifies the pictures using authentication processes, the documents are digitally signed and put onto the blockchain which, assuming the appropriate authorizations have been granted, can be co-managed by the bank and the client for updates and reverifications.

     

    Blockchain automates AML procedures

    The technology could also be extended to include AML rules, whereby instead of having to prove to regulators that AML checks have been conducted by sending them mounds of data, automatic procedures can be established that perform AML duties such as the reporting of suspicious transactions. According to Vayngrib, the blockchain method wholly preserves the privacy of the data, while the regulator “could get information about suspicious transactions without banks sharing a lot of raw, private data with them”.

    While regulators will like the fact that blockchain’s verification process involves a network of users providing authentication and security, bankers on the other hand will not like this lack of privacy, particularly when it comes to sensitive trading data. Furthermore, financial institutions (and other companies) have suffered numerous data breaches in recent years that have cost them dearly.

    Even if several banks are operating on a shared private ledger (with only a limited number of network users), each bank will still want to keep data from every other user in the network. Banks are extremely secretive about the business they transact, as well as the clients with whom they conduct business, meaning that this information can’t be disclosed to competitors, even on a private blockchain.

    The post Blockchain to Optimize and Secure Client Data Information &8211; Part 2 appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

     
  • @fintechna 3:35 pm on June 17, 2016 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , Optimize, , ,   

    Blockchain To Optimize and Secure Client Data Information – Part 1 

    As becomes increasingly powerful, meaningful and valuable, concerns over its security are on the rise. Indeed, ‘big data’ has become the recent buzz-term to describe the ever-expanding, often-unstructured nature of important , and has opened extensive discussions over how to approach ensuring data integrity is maintained.

     

    Data Security

    One of the primary appeals of is the security it provides, which prevents such data from being hacked. The data is fed into the system, where an encrypted code – known as a ‘hash’ value &; is created for each initial transaction. Unique hashes are then combined (which allows large amounts of data to be processed), before being placed onto the block’s header along with a timestamp. At this point, the header becomes of a cryptographic puzzle which must be solved by the blockchain’s network of users – through a trial and error process, from trillions of possibilities – before it is finally added to the blockchain. This layered system of security, therefore, is being sought after by industries in which information is of a highly personal and/or valuable nature.

     

    Blockchain application in healthcare

    One of the most eagerly anticipated applications of blockchain is in healthcare, an industry which has long needed to undergo data optimization. In late January 2015, US health insurance provider Anthem learned of a massive cyberattack to its IT system, which ended up compromising a staggering 80 million patient and employee records. Because only one entity was being used to keep records of sensitive client health information, all data became readily available to the hackers from this single source.

    The blockchain, however, uses cryptography to enable security in record-keeping, as well as sometimes using a system of ‘multi-signatures’, whereby gaining approval to the blockchain – and access to client data – requires the approval of several authorised users. Moreover, this can apply to all client data. Given the intensely private nature of such information, it requires the utmost protection, which blockchain can provide. Information relating to the client’s identity, medical history, specific diagnoses, treatments undergone and much more can thus be protected.

     

    US companies lead the early blockchain explorations in healthcare

    The US is currently leading the way in much of the early explorations, although the Dutch health giant Philips Healthcare is also investigating blockchain’s scope for use in the health industry. Little has been revealed about Philips’ project, other than it is in collaboration with Tierion, a start-up which is facilitating the collection and storage of big data on the blockchain. Tierion uses a system called chainpoint to ensure that all the data can be verified by blockchain receipts and timestamps. Meanwhile, California-based blockchain company Gem is also examining blockchain’s healthcare potential.

    Gem CEO Micah Winkelspecht believes blockchain’s true benefit will be realized once independent parties within the health industry can be connected to the ledger to manage the lifecycle of a hospital bill. The blockchain, therefore, could be used to manage payments for numerous parties, including “insurance companies, hospital billing departments, lenders, and patients”, and Winkelspecht is now in discussion with relevant stakeholders within the health industry to explore this possibility. From there, Winkelspecht attests that blockchain can then be used “to manage the lifecycle of a patient’s medical record”, among other uses.

    US blockchain company Factom, which is currently working with the Honduran government to provide greater security for the country’s land registry data, has also partnered with medical records and services solutions provider, HealthNautica, whose clients include hospitals and physicians, in order to use blockchain to enhance the security of medical records and achieve efficiency in claims processing. HealthNautica’s data, ranging from medical bills and client-physician communications to claims and disputes, will be cryptographically encoded by Factom, which produces a digital fingerprint of the data which is time-stamped and verified.

    Patient confidentiality is maintained throughout because at no point is client data seen by third parties, Factom included. HealthNautica president Shailesh Bhobe calls Factom’s blockchain the “perfect fit” for improving the security of its data, while board member Andrew Yaschuk believes that if health insurance companies are also educated on the merits of blockchain, all parties can be involved in verifying claims data while still protecting client confidentiality.

    The post Blockchain To Optimize and Secure Client Data Information &8211; Part 1 appeared first on Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH.

    Fintech Schweiz Digital Finance News – FintechNewsCH

     
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