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HOW BLOCKCHAIN TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WORLD IN 2022

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How is blockchain technology revolutionizing the world we live in? What benefits will blockchain technology bring us in 2022? This article lists a few of the greatest benefits blockchain technology offers the world from various perspectives. Read below to find out what they are.

 

Digital Identity

We now use passwords and authentication questions to prove who we are online. Blockchain can potentially replace this system with a safe, secure, and easy-to-manage digital identification.

Your digital identity is based on the uniquely random set of numbers issued to each user on a blockchain network, rather than demonstrating who you are by recalling personal information that could be hacked or stolen.

Your identity cannot be hacked or changed without access to your private key, making it far more secure than our existing system. Indeed, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is already looking into how blockchain can aid in protecting digital identities, which shows how blockchain technology is revolutionizing the world as we speak.

 

Faster Transactions

Money is sent for both commercial and personal reasons on a regular basis. The majority of payment-facilitating services are completed within a few days. This can be problematic if you need to transfer money urgently.

If you’re moving to another country, the process will take longer. Before transmitting funds via the SWIFT messaging system, banks usually hold payments for a few days. Banks do this due to the severe regulations around foreign money transfers. The wait time, however, increases due to the numerous intermediates.

You can send money to someone using blockchain technology without having to wait days for them to receive it.

Banks are also considering digital tokens for large-scale money transfers. It allows consumers to complete bank-to-bank transactions faster and more securely. As a result, blockchain technology can change the world by allowing transactions to be processed more quickly.

 

Land Registration Improvements

If you want to buy a house, you’ll have to go through several steps, a lengthy procedure that can take months. It also necessitates a substantial amount of paperwork, and on top of that, you’ll have to pay a lawyer’s fee.

The process for buying a house differs depending on where you reside. Although it may be much easier in some areas, purchasing a home requires a significant amount of time and effort.

The lack of confidence impacts the real estate market as well. Scams and fraudulent documents are easy to perpetrate. To establish confidence, a large amount of paperwork must be scrutinized and monitored by different institutions, such as government agencies and banks.

There aren’t as many middlemen to deal with when it comes to blockchain technology. It’s a platform you can rely on. Before you buy a house, you can find out who owns it. The agreements are transparent and tamper-proof, and as a result, everything will function smoothly. It also means you’ll need to do a lot less paperwork, elevating your real-estate experience to new heights.

It has a tremendous impact on real estate markets interconnected with the global economy. As a result, the global economy may be affected by blockchain.

 

The Product’s Journey to You

The blockchain and supply chain are in sync. Anything you buy has to travel to a few different places before it gets to you. It may be subject to fraudsters who try to tamper with the items for personal advantage along its voyage.

If this happens, you will not receive the product you paid for. You may get a damaged product or one that’s been completely replaced with a fake.

However, blockchain technology provides a solution to these issues for the entire planet. Blockchain allows businesses to preserve a detailed record of a product’s condition and analyze the data as it is being shipped. If the product is altered or tampered with, the system will be notified and it will be removed from the supply chain. You’ll only get authentic products in your hands at the end of the day.

 

A Health-Care System That Works

Health problems are fairly common in underdeveloped countries, where people visit doctors frequently. To get treated by a doctor or healthcare professional, you will usually be moved from one floor to another.

Papers are usually not kept in a central area. Patients’ medical records can span for years or travel to multiple providers with different treatment approaches, which is very unorganized. This is where blockchain technology comes in. It facilitates a secure, central place for patients’ medical records.

The blockchain can drastically alter how health-related issues are addressed. It has the potential to enable decentralized medical record storage that is accessible by the patient’s authority.

It will also assist health care workers in gaining a better understanding of the patient’s situation and ensuring that they receive treatment as soon as possible. It also improves the speed and accuracy of diagnosis. Finally, blockchain has reduced the distribution of counterfeit pharmaceuticals.

 

Business

The Evolution and Challenges of Crypto Regulation

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CRACKING THE CRYPTO CODE

Cryptocurrency regulations are evolving quickly around the globe with authorities responding to developing risks professed by criminals exploiting the latest payment methods to mask and launder the profits from their crimes.

According to William Je Founder & CEO, Hamilton Investment Management Ltd, this has warranted the introduction of a more stringent level of due diligence by additional bodies to introduce preventative measures.

William Je Founder & CEO, Hamilton Investment Management Ltd explains: “The past ten years has seen several structural changes in Know Your Customer (KYC) and anti-money laundering (AML) regulations in both Europe and across the world. High-profile money laundering cases and the penetration of illegal monies into global markets have caught the attention of regulators.

“As regulators improve their understanding of these criminal practices, AML requirements have also been improved. However, these improvements have been a reactive process.”

To address the challenges of the blockchain ecosystem, the European Union has started to introduce financial regulations that further bolster the regulatory system in order to improve licensing models. Many member states are regulating crypto assets individually, and Germany is leading the way in being the first to regulate.

Je continues: “These national driven regulations clearly point to a future pathway for crypto companies, outlining the requirements for obtaining and maintaining a financial license from the regulator.

“Compliance, however, is to my mind essential as it not only boosts investor confidence but adds a necessary layer of protection to investors.”

As crypto evolves, so have regulatory bodies’ efforts to monitor, address and enforce restrictions. The most prominent is the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which details guidance and determines best practices in anti-money-laundering practices and combating the financing of terrorism.

FATF Recommendations number 16, better known as the ‘travel rule’, which requires businesses to collect and store the personal data of the originators and the beneficiaries in blockchain transactions, is the most notable.

Je concludes: “What does this mean? In theory, access to this data will enable authorities to have better oversight and enforcement of crypto market regulations. In other words, they’ll know exactly who is doing exactly what.

As we have always argued – transparency is key. We need to regulate crypto as an asset class with efficacy, which necessitates legislation that is applicable specifically to digital assets and does not hinder the market.

The criminal financial trade which arguably encompasses money laundering, illegal weapons sales, human trafficking, is also international. Thus, cracking down on it is, out of necessity, an international effort.

The decentralised nature of blockchain, which runs contrary to the central-server standard we know and use nearly everywhere, presents a formidable challenge here. Rules and regulations for traditional financial institutions are being implemented wholescale into the crypto sector. We believe that this is arguably wrong footed as it ignores the innovation and uniqueness this asset class and its underlying technology entails.

Traditional forms of regulation from the fiat world do not reciprocally apply to every aspect of crypto nor to the fundamental nature of blockchain technology. However well-intentioned they may be, because these imposed regulations are built on an old system, they must be adapted and modified.”

 

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How bug bounty programs can help financial institutions be more secure

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Rodolphe Harand, Managing Director at YesWeHack

 

Financial services have been one of the most heavily targeted industries by cybercriminals for several years. One alarming stat from the Boston Consulting Group found these firms to be 300x as likely as other companies to be targeted by cyberattacks.

Furthermore, the pandemic has led to a significant increase in the number of cyberattacks targeting financial institutions (FIs), with around 74% experiencing a spike in threats linked to COVID-19.

With FIs holding some of the largest collections of sensitive and private data, it’s clear they will remain an attractive target for malicious actors, especially as any data stolen can be used for fraudulent activities. This leads to the reputational damage of the financial entity that was compromised and has a knock-on effect in terms of monetary and reputational damage to affected customers.

For CISOs at FIs, the conundrum faced is how do you protect intellectual and customer data, and ensure accountability and transparency for clients and stakeholders, at a time when the pandemic has created budget constraints. Research from BAE Systems found that last year alone, IT security, cybercrime as well as fraud and risk departments had their budgets cut by a third.

Below we look at how bug bounty programs can help to address these pressing issues.

 

Protecting valuable data

Protecting customer and intellectual data has always been a top priority for FIs. However, as opportunistic cybercriminals have a lot to gain by stealing this valuable data, there is a constant evolution of threats, which means FIs must stay on their toes. By deploying a bug bounty program, FIs can work with ethical hackers that have a wealth of experience and unique skills when it comes to identifying security weaknesses within a FI’s defence, thus helping to implement effective security measures to help prevent data breaches.

Building trust among various stakeholders such as customers, suppliers and investors is critical for achieving business goals. By deploying a bug bounty program, FIs send out a message that they care about protecting the security of the data of those they work with – which in turn can have a cascading effect resulting in better business performance.

 

Improving accountability  

For FIs to win customers and keep them happy, amidst the growing threat of neo banks and customer-centric fintech organisations, speed of innovation is crucial. As such, many FIs have adopted an agile approach to build, test, and release software faster to bring online and mobile banking solutions to market quicker. However, this can create frictions between development and security teams. Security mandates are deemed to be unnecessarily intrusive and a cause of delayed application development and deployment.

Yet, with DevOps teams needing to build and deploy applications faster than ever before, an epidemic of insecure applications has emerged. According to Osterman Research, 81% of developers admit to knowingly releasing vulnerable applications, while research from WhiteSource found 73% of developers are forced to cut corners and sacrifice security over speed.

With developers often not having the time, tools, skills, or motivation to write impeccably secure code, there is an evident need to provide developers with more support when it comes to building applications securely Fortunately, bug bounty programs can provide a “fact-based” financial implication of inherent security flaws within the process. This makes it possible to hold development teams and service providers accountable for creating or delivering insecure products, thus addressing inherent security gaps within the business units and helping to drive continuous improvement.

Moreover, security awareness and education of developments teams can be improved significantly for those developers that are directly involved with the management of vulnerability reports for their bug bounty programs. This is because, the mere fact of exchanging information with ethical hackers, or assimilating the thinking of a potential hacker and having proof of concepts of vulnerability exploitation on their application components, naturally accelerates consideration of security early in the development stage and provides ongoing learning.

 

Get more return on your investment

According to Gartner, 30% of CISOs effectiveness will be directly measured on their ability to create value for the business. When security budgets are challenged, CISOs need to demonstrate business value through initiatives designed to enhance efficiency whilst stretching the dollar.

This is where bug bounties can help tremendously. Compared to conventional penetration testing, bug bounty offers a fast, complete, and measurable return on your security investment, with businesses only paying out for successful discovery of vulnerabilities. Equally, businesses get access to hundreds of ethical hackers that can test their programs, each with their own unique skillsets as opposed to only one skilled researcher testing the network. This results-driven model ensures you pay for the vulnerabilities that pose a threat to your organisation and not for the time or effort it took to find them.

Bug bounty programs also deliver rapid vulnerability discovery across multiple attack surfaces. With this approach, organisations receive prioritised vulnerabilities and real-time remediation advice throughout the process to accelerate the discovery of, and solution to vulnerabilities.

Another appeal of bug bounties is that due to the continuous nature of testing, more vulnerabilities are found over time as opposed to pen-testing. This is key to financial institutions that require agility to keep up with the continuous roll-out and updates of applications.

 

The cornerstone to a successful security programme

The risk posed to financial institutions by cyber threats will only continue, as evidenced by the number of data breaches seen in recent times. The COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated these risks, especially with almost all FIs having needed to shift to a remote working environment – which has only widened the attack landscape.

For FIs, a bug bounty program should be considered a fundamental cornerstone of any security strategy, with it being a modern-day cybersecurity solution that is well-equipped to tackle the immediate security challenges they face. In doing so, FIs will not only prove to customers and stakeholders their commitment to data protection and security but this will also be help them to avoid the monetary damages that could be imposed by regulators if a breach was to take place.

 

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