Verizon embraces blockchain for cybersecurity

In brief

  • Verizon announced two blockchain-based security systems.
  • One of the systems stores log-in credentials on the blockchain.
  • The other secures large networks, like smart cities or power grids.
Fibo Quantum

Verizon Business, the enterprise arm of the 20-year-old telecommunications giant, announced on Thursday two blockchain-based cybersecurity systems. This is the first time Verizon’s used blockchain for cybersecurity. 

The first, Verizon Identity (VID), stores information about users’ log in credentials in a “digital identity safe” on mobile phones. Verizon said this could eliminate the need for passwords. It also integrates multi-factor authentication and biometrics data, and meets the standards of government data protection laws and cryptography standards.

The second, Verizon’s Machine State Integrity, sources information from huge decentralized systems, like smart cities or power grids, and crunches numbers into “clear, actionable insights on potential compliance and security issues.” It’ll go live in the US in the second quarter of this year. 

Verizon said that blockhain’s distributed database is more secure than centralized alternatives because there is no central point of failure or single point of entry.

According to a new report published by Verizon, financially motivated cyberattacks are on the up.

“Now, more than ever, organizations need to be thinking differently about security, and leveraging cutting edge technology to help mitigate against cybercrime. These Verizon solutions offer a significant step forward in cybersecurity protection,” said Alex Schlager, executive director and chief product officer of security services at Verizon Business, in a statement. 

This week’s announcement of blockchain products builds on previous research. In September, Verizon was awarded a patent for a blockchain-based system for virtual SIM cards. The idea is similar to the VID system: the system associates a virtual SIM card with a particular user. The system would activate the virtual SIM card, providing the user with access to its mobile network.