As the use of internet-based applications and devices continue to proliferate the global space, the growing threat of cybercrimes and other related activities continue to increase as well. The situation has become so dire that experts in the field are calling it a “pandemic”. A recent report published by McAfee in association with the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), shows that the global cost of cybercrime is estimated to be around $600 billion, which is equivalent to 0.8% of the world’s GDP; representing an increase of over 20% in value since 2014.
These facts and figures are hard to ignore, and now, advanced nations around the world are taking steps to curb cybercrimes and bolster their nation’s security protocols. Security experts have blamed the surge of cybercrimes and hacks on the low cost of entry and advancement in technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Combating the ever-evolving techniques used by cybercriminals and hackers will require the deployment of new strategies and technologies. One of such technologies being considered is the fast-rising blockchain technology.
Russia’s defense ministry is now expressing keen interest in creating blockchain based security solutions to tackle the problem of hacks and cybercriminal threats. Based on a report published in Izvestia, a Russian newspaper, the Russian military defense will build a blockchain research laboratory focused on exploring how blockchain can be utilized in the prevention of cyber-attacks and hacks on Russian military infrastructure.
The ERA, Russia’s military invention accelerator, has been charged with overseeing the laboratory’s construction and will begin to investigate how blockchain can help augment Russia’s cybersecurity methods and track cyber-attacks back to their source.
Alexei Malanov, an antivirus expert from Moscow’s cybersecurity firm, Kaspersky Lab, was very enthusiastic about the Russian military blockchain lab project. He believes that the blockchain can be employed for tracking the origin of malicious cyber-attacks since the implementation of blockchain protocols will help to distribute a permissioned log amongst several devices; making it very difficult for hackers to camouflage their presence completely.
According to Alexei Malanov:
“A trespasser often clears the permission log to hide traces of unauthorized access to the device. However, if the log is distributed among several devices, for example, via blockchain technology, this risk can be minimized.”
Former technology advisor to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Klimenko, has stated that the Russian Ministry of Defense is one of the main initiators of prominent IT developments and research efforts in the country. According to him, work on blockchain studies shows that the technology is an “effective modern tool” and can be “useful to the military.”
Russia’s military blockchain laboratory will be constructed in Anapa, a coastal Russian town close to the Black Sea. The facility is being positioned to become a technology hub, which will employ the services of about 200 scientists and cybersecurity experts. The lab will fall under the supervision of the Russian Federation’s 8th Directorate of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, a section of the military responsible for protecting state secrets.
The United States of America also takes the issue of cyber security very seriously. The U.S. Director of National Intelligence has ranked cybercrime as the highest threat to the country’s national security. This puts the threat of cybercrimes above espionage, weapons of mass destruction, and terrorism. The ranking proves that developing tools and measures to guard against cyber espionage, hacking, criminal activities and cyberwarfare is a very important aspect of national security.
Cybersecurity enhancement is just one of many blockchain applications. It was widely expected that distributed ledger technologies would first prove its usefulness in the supply chain industry; however, the technology has begun to see rapid development and innovative concepts being put forward by several other sectors. Looking at how many companies are starting to integrate blockchain protocols into their overall system, there is no doubt that the technology is here to stay. However, due to a number of restricting factors, global adoption may not happen as quickly as blockchain evangelists propose. According to a report by Cowen survey, industry experts predict that blockchain will gain widespread adoption within the next 6 years.