Accenture, a leading global multi-services company, has completed the development of a new technology capable of increasing the security of blockchain applications and accelerating their deployment in sectors such as finance.
According to Reuters, the system presented by Accenture is expected to facilitate the process of storing users’ security credentials in hardware security modules (HSM), or highly secure processors that are specifically designed to safeguard passwords and “digital keys.”
Blockchain, the technology that first appeared as the system powering cryptocurrency bitcoin, is a shared record of transactions that is maintained by a network of computers on the internet, instead of a centralized authority. Multiple financial institutions have been increasing their investments in the blockchain in an effort to adopt it to such cumbersome processes as securities settlement and international payments.
“It (Accenture’s new technology) is a significant development but it is also not a development that is going to be visible at the front-end of things,” said Martha Bennett, a principle analyst working with chief information officers for research house Forrester. “It is one of those absolutely essential pieces in the puzzle that makes an end-to-end blockchain deployment actually work.”
The concern about blockchain security has been slowing down the worldwide blockchain adoption.
Accenture explains that information on a blockchain can only be accessed and edited by users that possess cryptographic keys, which have traditionally been stored in cyberwallets. As far as cyberwallets have been previously hacked and their contents stolen, they are not considered secure enough by financial institutions, which are used to storing their digital keys in HSMs.
The process of coding blockchain applications to work with HSMs used to be rather complicated and time-consuming. Accenture offers banks to store digital keys automatically for their blockchain applications in HSMs via its platform. The Accenture’s technology comes right in time when financial institutions strive to take some of the blockchain prototypes they have tested over the past year into the real world.
Accenture is going to work with all types of blockchain protocols and HSMs while now the company deals with HSMs from security company Thales and blockchain applications using code developed by the Linux Foundation-led Hyperledger group.
Last year, Accenture partnered with the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication, or SWIFT, the world’s leading provider of secure financial messaging services. Together the companies issued a paper devoted to the possible application of distributed ledger technologies to financial services. SWIFT and Accenture focused on both potential and possible challenges for industry wide adoption.
The companies revealed eight critical factors necessary to widely adopt the distributed ledger technologies, which included strong governance, data controls, compliance with regulatory requirements, standardization, identity framework, security and cyber defence, reliability, and scalability.