The Art of the Possible: Bounded by Realism
October 11, 2017

By: Dmitry Barinov, Chief Technology Officer, SecureKey

Through our transition to a digital age, there are several different technologies that strengthen the ways organizations do business. One, in particular, that has the potential to transform the way organizations and consumers interact is blockchain. Blockchain-based identity ecosystem will give organizations the ability to authenticate individuals in a way that is more secure and safer than ever before – empowering consumers to prove they are who they say they are with greater certainty, providing immediate access to services online, in person or on the phone.

Blockchain infrastructure provides the foundation for secure digital identity and attribute sharing. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) mitigates single points of failure, and the blockchain messaging system allows us to implement triple-blind attribute sharing techniques. The sharer of the data is not able to see who is accessing the information, and in return, the receiver of that data does not know where it originally came from. Since blockchain does not keep a centralized version of the data, and provides immutability assurance of transaction records.

In order for consumers to verify themselves online in today’s day in age, they are required to provide organizations with excess information that will often not even be used, which is bringing organizations to realize that one of their most toxic assets are often customer records. Purpose-built blockchain-based identity solutions can resolve this issue by providing organizations with the opportunity to confidently verify the identity of their customers, quickly and without the need to store that customer’s data on their own networks. In turn, the organization benefits from the cost savings for their IT infrastructure, the significantly reduced risk of financial accountability with identity theft attempts and maintaining the relationship with customers by keeping their data safe. Among a number of benefits, these types of solutions prepare consumers to thrive in a digital age, builds cybersecurity workforce capabilities, better equips government to function effectively and securely in the digital age, and much more.

By utilizing DLT, we can develop a digital identity and attribute sharing network designed to put consumers back in the middle. It provides them with complete control over the information they share and the organizations that have access to it. To bring this to life, the Department of Homeland Security Science & Technology Directorate (DHS S&T) is funding a project with SecureKey to help develop an identity ecosystem framework. SecureKey is working on the project in collaboration with the Digital ID and Authentication Council of Canada (DIACC), and the Command Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analytics (CCICADA), a research centre of excellence funded by DHS S&T, to ensure that privacy and security are at the forefront of digital identity for years to come.

SecureKey’s DHS S&T-funded research and development work allows multiple parties to strengthen authentication and provide identity attribute validation. The funding addresses the capability gaps S&T discovered in the current identity ecosystem and how DLT and blockchain has strengthened  security and privacy over the last couple of years.

Through communities like the Hyperledger Fabric, hosted by The Linux Foundation, we’re seeing how blockchain’s applicability can be endless. From payments to identity and further afield, blockchain is quickly becoming critical to the evolution of services in the digital age.

I am excited to be at the Blockchain/DLT for Homeland Security Enterprise Workshop this week in Washington, DC, discussing blockchain, its contribution and application to security and privacy, the current state of technology today, and how we are working with a number of partners to build the trusted attribute network.

Follow me on Twitter @ds_barinov