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Blockchain tipped to be top cybersecurity trend in 2018

By Sara Barker
Thu 26 Oct 2017
FYI, this story is more than a year old

The buzzwords that have been lighting up the cybersecurity and IT industry this year are set to transform the world in 2018 and blockchain will lead the way, according to predictions from Dimension Data.

The company released its top IT predictions for 2018. The top trend is blockchain, the technology that is behind cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Its potential to disrupt and transform the world will be evident in money, business and society.

“Last year, when we looked at the top digital business trends for 2017, we predicted that centralised transaction models would come under attack. We were spot on. In the financial services sector, we’ve seen the US and European capital markets moving onto Blockchain platforms, and similar activity in markets such as Japan. Considering how conservative and compliance-focused this sector is, that’s quite remarkable,” comments Dimension Data’s group chief technology officer, Ettienne Reinecke.

Reinecke says it is ironic that cybercriminals demand to be paid in Bitcoin.

“Bitcoin might be a crypto-currency, but it’s based on Blockchain, and if cybercriminals are confident that Bitcoin provides a safe mechanism for the payment of ransoms, it indicates just how secure the distributed ledger approach is. I believe that Blockchain has the potential to totally re-engineer cybersecurity, but the industry has yet to come to terms with it.”

The relationship between blockchain, the Internet of Things and cybersecurity will also emerge.

Dimension Data says that attacks have been launched from low-cost IoT endpoints and security on those devices is still lacking, however, blockchain ‘can play a fundamental role in securing these environments’, the company says.

In the world of IoT you’re generating millions of small transactions that are being collected from a distributed set of sensors. It’s not feasible to operate these systems using a centralised transactional model: it’s too slow, expensive, and exclusive,” Reinecke adds.

“To extract the true value from IoT technology you have to be able to operate in real time. Once a sensor alert is received from a control system you must react to it, meter it, and bill for it instantly – all of which negates the viability of a centralised transactional authority. The cost of the transaction has to be near-zero or free, and the cost elements of a centralised model simply don’t support the potential business model in IoT.”

Dimension data also expects that the global cybersecurity landscape will change, with organisations doubling down on defence and implementing zero-trust models.

Multi-factor authentication and sophisticated technologies will also play a key role.

We’ll also see increasing demand for deep learning technologies and ‘robo-hunters’ that monitor how people behave on office systems and alert for any unusual behaviour,” the report concludes.

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