Accenture Develops Physical Blockchain Key
Blockchain is, according to many, the way of the future when it comes to storing and transferring data securely. Its main flaw, however, is that once someone knows the private key for a particular chain, there is very little to be done about it. Consulting firm Accenture thinks that it may have found a fail-safe solution for this problem by making the private key an actual, physical key.
Though Accenture has been understandably close-lipped about how it exactly works, the firm worked with French cybersecurity firm Thales to develop a Hardware Security Module, or HSM, based on Thales’ nShield technology. Users would be able to get into a blockchain by physically plugging in a special module using this technology, likely a thumb drive, into a workstation or laptop before being allowed access.
Though this new invention would be useful in any circumstance, Accenture has likely developed it in answer to doubts fielded by several European banks and financial authorities hesitant to further automate their processes for fear of cyberattacks. Having a physical component to network security would go far to allay these fears; in a press statement, Accenture exec Simon Whitehouse says that, “It will clear a wider path for banks [and other institutions] to do real-world deployments of blockchain technology.”
Though it may seem strange in this high-tech era to carry around a physical key rather than a memorized password, it does make for an unhackable system: it will be nice to know that if thieves do want to rob valuables from a digital safe, they’ll have to go old-school and first steal the key to do so. At the time of writing Accenture has not given a release date for the new blockchain keys, but it is not expected to be far off as the clock is ticking for banks to upgrade security.
Fergus has been tinkering with computers since he was a kid and likes to put a stop to parties by listing the specs of all the digital devices in the room. It's best not to let him near your computer since he'll take it apart and may not put it back together again before he leaves.