Last Week In Blockchain and CyberSecurity News – November 16, 2018

New DHS Cybersecurity Agency Gains Congressional Approval

A single agency will soon be the foremost authority on cybersecurity related matters in the United States. The new tip of the spear could streamline cybersecurity efforts on an unprecedented stage.

With all of the separate federal cybersecurity entities, the United States will soon have a single authority that will lead the charge. Dubbed “The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency” or CISA, will be the new lead. Currently, the FBI, Department of Homeland Security, National Security Agency, Secret Service, and others are a part of a larger strategy. However, the lines in between these agencies can slow down the time to response for cybersecurity incidents. While the multitude of federal entities do currently act in unison, there are certain aspects that can only be met by singular authorities. The benefits for such a bold move could speed up the time to response and more importantly; key decision-making paths that could spell success or failure in critical scenarios.

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American Tech Giants Sign International Cybersecurity Pact

The U.S. Federal Government does not sign the Paris Call for Trust and Security in Cyberspace pact in Paris. However, some of the biggest technology companies are teaming up with international initiatives to promote a secure cyber-future.

Microsoft, Google, and Facebook all signed the non-binding agreement with more than 50 countries. Some of the other countries that chose not to join the international initiative are Australia, Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and Israel. Changing the forecast for a sustainable cybersecurity future includes the cooperation of not only governments, but companies as well. Companies such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google can impact cybersecurity in a way that differs from governments; all for a central cause. The commitment of both governments and companies is one that could direct the strength and power of such a consortium to the common cyberspace battle. Cyber criminals have been growing more sophisticated over the years and a coalition such as this could reshape the ways that cyber criminals are thwarted.

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Blockchain May Shape the Future of the Pharmaceutical Industry

Counterfeit pharmaceuticals, tracking problems, privacy and more. How blockchain could potentially change the way that big-pharma addresses some of their most pronounced problems.

There are numerous problems that exist, making it difficult for the pharmaceutical industry to keep an accurate track of their manufacturing to patient. Counterfeit drugs are one of the most involved problems that adversely affect the safety of consumers and the bottom line of the companies themselves. Tracking these medications currently represents significant gaps that are exploited by counterfeiters and other criminals. This is an issue that could be solved by leveraging blockchain to track such products from the manufacturing process to the medical provider and ultimately to the patient. Another issue is privacy. The industry has experienced everything from information leakage that affects potential patents to stock price drops. With so much riding on privacy, the pharmaceutical industry needs a solution that supports their business model and plays to the tune of security and privacy. Blockchain may be the answer that they have been waiting for.

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Using Blockchain to Track Taxes

Seeking more efficient solutions to complex problems begins with a concept. The concept behind Thailand’s tax tracking crisis involves the use of blockchain.

Tax payment tracking methods in Thailand currently leverage a relatively antiquated process. Bringing blockchain into the mix could bring more accuracy to the tracking process. When dealing with millions of tax payers, accuracy at this type of scale could mean the difference between substantial financial losses. If governments implement blockchain to track tax payments, this could be the solution that places a level of accuracy on tax tracking never seen before. The benefits of blockchain have been widely observed throughout the supply-chain industry. However, the financial industry is one that is gaining traction with every blockchain implementation.

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Boiling Point: Pentagon Warning Against “Hacking Back”

Corporate vigilantes may be striking back against hackers across the globe. What could this mean for cyberwarfare?

A pentagon official released a public warning to companies that hacking back after being a victim of a cyber-attack is not in the best interests of the victim or the government. The current capabilities to conceal the original digital or physical location of cyber-attacks are outpacing that of tracking methods. When cyber-attackers hit their targets, this is usually performed through virtual private networks (VPN’s) or other compromised systems that do not belong to the attackers. When companies are hit by attackers, the first instinct may be to strike back. Tech savvy employees within these victim companies may want to track their attackers and strike back. However, they could be misled by simple slight of hand. Attacking back could prove to be very dangerous if the real source is concealed. Companies could very well be striking innocent networks, governments, or even individuals. This problem has recently gained the attention of U.S. Federal Government officials and they have released a notice, stating that such strike-back efforts can not be efficiently and accurately regulated. Therefore, cyberspace could become even more of a “wild west” scenario than it already is.

Get the details on the press release here