Developing for blockchain: Creating a secure environment

Fintech news is one of the industry’s hottest topics right now and blockchain lies at the centre of many of the headlines. This digital ledger technology that facilitates reliable and anonymous financial transactions has been prophesised to overhaul traditional payment infrastructures the world over. Applications using blockchain could become commonplace in the future, as multinational banks and fledgling startups alike begin to embrace the fintech revolution. However, in order for this to take place, developers need a reliable and secure environment in which to create and test their solutions.

[easy-tweet tweet=”Applications using #blockchain could become commonplace in the future” hashtags=”Fintech, IBM”]

With this in mind, IBM has announced the launch of its security rich business network on IBM Blockchain, powered by LinuxONE™. The new service will allow developers to execute network simulation and better understand blockchain capabilities in the context of a secured blockchain network. By accessing the security rich business network on IBM Blockchain remotely they will be given the opportunity to use a virtualized environment running on the most advanced Linux-only system. By using a blockchain service built on IBM LinuxONE™, developers will benefit from the highest levels of security and compliance, which is absolutely vital when dealing with sensitive financial information.

Securing the future of finance

Despite all the promise that surrounds blockchain applications, there is a significant hurdle that must be overcome first: security. All financial transactions, whether they take place informally between friends or as part of complex international monetary schemes, rely on trust. Blockchain, at this early stage of adoption, must secure the trust of its users or risk fading into obscurity. Fortunately, the technology has security at its heart, enabling self-verifying, immutable and corruption-resistant transactions.

Enterprise-grade security, however, requires further safeguards to the blockchain itself, protecting the code against the wide range of potential IT vulnerabilities. IBM’s LinuxONE offers this protection against both horizontal and vertical threats, through advanced virtualization technology and tamper-resistant data encryption.

Horizontal protection is vital for organisations dealing with blockchain technologies as contractual agreements may be applicable across company lines, even amongst competitors. In this multi-tenant scenario, it is imperative that the majority of financial information is kept private, with each party only able to see the data that is relevant to their shared projects. IBM LinuxONE takes tenant isolation to the next level by separating the tenants using firmware and hardware, resulting in actual physical separation. This technology is known as logical partitioning (LPAR) and enables businesses to share resources while still enjoying independently assured security.

Blockchain applications running on LinuxONE are also protected from vertical attacks through a special type of LPAR technology known as IBM’s Secure Services Container. This takes all blockchain software and places it within a signed, trusted appliance-like vehicle – verifying that all software has not been tampered with. Once running, the container is locked down and safe from privileged user tampering. LinuxONE also encrypts all data and ensures that the relevant encryption keys are stored on tamper-resistant crypto cards.

Blockchain is rightly generating a lot of hype in the fintech community and the wider industry. If the technology is to reach its full potential, then developers need to have the freedom and security to create and test a wide variety of applications. The security rich business network on IBM Blockchain offers developers the opportunity to create innovative new solutions with the knowledge that they are working within the highest possible security parameters.

[easy-tweet tweet=”The #IBM #Blockchain Security Rich Business Network offers developers the opportunity to create new solutions”]

If you’re interested in working with the security rich business network on IBM Blockchain, sign-up here to try the complimentary beta.

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