An oral history of authentication: the tech community’s efforts to connect computer operations with the people behind them.

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When you think “authentication,” what comes to mind? For most security professionals, authentication = passwords, and the many security issues which passwords have created over the years when verifying identity.

Password driven security has always incurred a bad reputation. This is primarily due to the human element of the equation. 50% of IT professionals and 39% of individual users reuse passwords across workplace accounts; 50% of users (IT and non-IT) share passwords with colleagues; and 60% of individuals and 64% of IT professionals do not use two-factor authentication to protect their personal accounts.[1]

Today, authentication stretches far beyond the password, however: it is the entire concept of verifying who the user is behind any computer/cryptographic operation — and it is evolved as fast computers themselves have over the past 60 years. In this post, I wanted to review and put more color to the three ways authentication has evolved since the 1960s, and what to expect in 2020 and beyond. …

Dear Block to Basics readers,

We’re living through difficult times. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, chances are you’ve had to change your lifestyle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nonetheless, crypto markets continue to plug forward and trend mainstream. I want to assure our readers that we’re here for you, and still creating dynamic content on cryptocurrency and tokenized assets.

In fact, the Unbound Tech team is offering a series of live talks and webinars during this time on all things cryptocurrency — specifically, on crypto custody and regulation.

We’ve also begun to shift our written content to become more focused on compliance, regulation, and the investment and custody market — although we will continue to provide content on a variety of subjects throughout the year. …

Dear Key Insights readers,

We’re living through difficult times. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, chances are you’ve had to change your lifestyle due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I want to assure our readers that we’re here for you, and still creating dynamic content on cybersecurity, key management, and cryptography from our industry experts.

In fact, the Unbound Tech team is offering a series of live talks and webinars during this time on a variety of cryptography and key management issues.

Below are links to our upcoming and on-demand live talks; we’d love to hear your feedback.

Stay safe and stay…

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This is the fourth blog in a series about infrastructure for protecting tokenized assets. To recap: “Do-it-yourself” (DIY) — or in-house, self-built solutions — rely heavily (or exclusively) on internal resources (for setup, execution, and maintenance) to build and maintain their transaction signing and cryptocurrency holding systems. Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors handle the security aspect of tokenized asset management as a rented service.

Since custodians’ needs differ from other digital/tokenized asset services, this article will focus specifically on considerations in the crypto custody space: higher risk and compliance.

Higher Risk

The demand for custody services continues to grow, and analysts predict a fully upward trend of mainstreaming cryptocurrencies, security tokens, and tokenized assets into the traditional financial services industry over the next 3–5 years. …

A look at digital asset security infrastructure via in-house deployment of a platform solution developed by a security expert vendor.

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Scenario: You’re a CISO looking to secure your financial services organization’s digital assets — and secure them effectively and efficiently for the long term.

The risks: Cryptocurrency breaches and hacks, a history of rogue insiders pilfering funds in your industry, and customer trust at stake in the event of a systems failure.

You’ve been looking at building your own digital asset security structure from the inside out — but turned it down due to inefficiency, maintenance, and manpower considerations. …

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If you’re managing a custodian service, you may be feeling a new wave of change starting to impact your business. Long gone are the days of strictly physical asset protection, investment, and transfer; and with blockchain and cryptocurrency adoption on the rise, the latest advancement in the digitization of assets is here.

Digital assets hit the market first with exchanges, but other traditional services are also growing to accommodate these assets. According to a recent Fidelity survey, 47% of institutional investors view digital assets as having a place in their investment portfolios.

Custodians looking into accommodating digital assets into their service portfolio should be aware of the importance of tailoring that service to the unique needs of blockchain-based assets. In this article, we’ll cover what this means for your shifting roles and responsibilities in this space, the nuances of crypto asset security, and the regulatory forecast at the time of this writing (January 2020). …

Welcome to Key Insights — your source for thought leadership about enterprise key management and cryptographic key security.

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Who are we? We’re Unbound Tech, a company that applies revolutionary breakthroughs in mathematics to allow secrets to be used without ever being exposed, thus ensuring your data is safe — anytime, anywhere.

Unbound Tech equips companies with the first pure-software FIPS 140–2 Level 2 validated solution that protects secrets such as cryptographic keys, credentials or other private data by ensuring they never exist anywhere in complete form. …

After all, whoever controls the keys, controls the kingdom.

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Most experts agree that encryption is the cornerstone of security, and helps you achieve a higher level of resilience against data misuse, theft or breach.

Encryption has actually been around for millennia. Historically, encrypted data was stored on servers which was kept on premises andover which the company had direct control. Back in the day, it was enough to protect your perimeter by means of logical and physical countermeasures.

However, as more and more organizations move data to the cloud, encryption becomes a bit more complicated. Despite the fact that the cloud has many benefits, both economically and operationally, data security remains a top concern in cloud adoption. A primary question organizations continue to ask is, “how can I trust that my data is safe while it resides in someone else’s infrastructure?” For many security professionals, one of the challenges that arises with cloud computing is that they are faced with somehow protecting resources that, to varying degrees, they no longer have control over and for which traditional security controls ineffective. …

Dear Block to Basics followers,

Thank you for reading our stories, commenting, and giving feedback on our tiny publication this year. In your honor, we’re fondly looking back on our top stories after the jump.

What can you expect in 2020?

  • More stories about digital asset custody
  • More stories aimed at digital asset and cryptocurrency professionals
  • More stories about hacks and breaches
  • Updated graphics

What would you like to see? Email or Tweet our editor, Tova Dvorin, to help us make 2020 the year for greater digital asset knowledge — together.

Happy holidays,

The Block to Basics staff

Top stories for 2019

Our favorite 2020 prediction articles

Biser Dimitrov: “ In 2020, we will see more zero-knowledge (ZK) and multi-party computations (MPC) projects maturing and entering the blockchain space. If VC funding of startups is considered a metric, then MPC should be the number-one hot area.” Read more below. …

Crypto-asset Security as-a-Service offerings can be tempting for enterprises who want to deliver digital asset services without building the infrastructure. But is it right for your organization?

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Let’s play out a scenario: you’re a mid-size organization (or larger) dealing with cryptocurrency and blockchain keys — and you must keep them secure.

Your organization has decided not to develop its digital asset security infrastructure internally. (Perhaps after reading our last blog post on internally built or “DIY” security systems ). The next natural option? Security-as-a-Service (SaaS) vendors to handle the security aspect for you.

Will SaaS be up to the task? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons, benefits and tradeoffs of choosing SaaS for protecting digital assets.

What’s SaaS in the secure digital asset space?

Whereas a DIY digital asset security system usually involves deploying and managing an amalgam of hardware-based security to protect digital asset keys, “cold” storage and multi-sig technology, SaaS provides businesses with an easy-to-manage, outsourced alternative for their security needs. …


Tova Dvorin

Content manager. Recovering reporter. Coffee enthusiast and chronic reader.

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