Security Needs To Be Woven Into Identity Platforms Along with Privacy

In our last post we talked about how privacy-by-design will prevent personally identifiable data from being observed and tracked.

Privacy is closely related to security, which we will dive into further in this post. Security is the protection of our assets (in this case personal data), regardless of whether or not this data can be tied to us specifically. We want to make sure our social media accounts do not get hacked into and their data stolen or misused.

Privacy-by-design

Privacy-by-design apps can make it easier for companies and individuals to secure data, both directly and indirectly. We need to consider how a company’s architecture supports privacy and helps (or doesn’t) security efforts.

If we consider privacy coins and protocols such as zksnarks, we notice they protect privacy but do not explicitly improve security. Granted, they do not make it worse, either.

Companies using these protocols have other means to secure data and transactions. Using privacy-protecting designs does not mean the app is automatically secure. These apps need to use additional security tools and techniques. But both can work together to make us all safer online.

Reinforcing security: decentralized data

When considering security, it helps to think about two main vectors. First, making data less attractive to hackers and other malicious actors. Second, protecting data from attacks.

Making data less attractive

In terms of making data less attractive, there are approaches companies can take.

Pikcio’s architecture decentralizes data. There is no “honeypot” or large central database a hacker can attack and obtain a significant amount of personal data from. Even in cases where data is stored in a single location such a user’s phone, it is stored in an onion-like architecture that requires a hacker to pierce through each layer separately. Acquiring any significant amount of data is therefore expensive and time-consuming.

Protecting data from attacks

Removing honeypots can reduce the risk for security breaches but not remove it. A second vector we need to address is actual protection. Blockchain offers specific benefits due to consensus, mining and governance models. They help block fraudulent transactions and instantly recognize attempts to alter data or tamper with the system. Companies still need to comply with other security best practices but it does offer additional protection that is not available in other approaches to personal data management.

As part of an increasing sophistication and understanding of decentralized identity systems, we need to think about privacy and security as separate but related aspects of personal data. By moving to apps that are more focused on privacy protection, it is easier to look at security enhancing options. Educating ourselves on both topics more thoroughly will help us better understand our options and protect ourselves online.

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Warm regards,

The PikcioChain Team