Blockchain has the potential to automate banking and other business operations by enabling parties – such as crypto exchanges, trading platforms and fintech firms – to transact online without the need for a middle man. However while the technology is inherently secure, there are known vulnerabilities in blockchain systems, says a cyber firm, bluedog Security Monitoring, offering blockchain services. Those include auditing of smart contracts and compliance with data privacy rules and 24/7 monitoring for servers that host blockchain networks. The services will be led by Omar Khan, a blockchain and fintech specialist with 20 years’ experience in IT.
Omar Khan, pictured, says: “Blockchain can replace entire business functions and dramatically reduce transaction times – but a system is only as good as the smart contract which underpins it. In a blockchain network, decisions once made by executives – such as whether a payment is made or a line of credit extended – now depend on a computer program.
“Therefore it is important that the coding accurately reflects the company’s policies and protocols and its unique business model. As blockchain systems are often built by external programmers and based on a standard template, this can be a real challenge.
“However mistakes can not only be costly – but as a company’s policies and protocols are at the heart of its value proposition and the way it differentiates itself in the market, there is also the risk it could lose its competitive edge. An audit by an independent team will help ensure the smart contract contains no oversights and that the business model has been interpreted to optimal effect.”
The cyber firm can advise on compliance with data privacy rules such as GDPR or GRC, for example by making sure that personal data is protected and not linked to access keys. bluedog’s other services include managed detection and response.
Omar adds: “The more partners you bring into a blockchain network, the faster you can execute a trade, but operating in this type of online environment means companies are more exposed to risk. It makes cybersecurity all the more important, including use of a monitoring service which can detect unusual activity and alert partners to any breach of the system.”
bluedog, based in London with a security operations centre in the Philippines, was launched in 2019. Paul Lomax, co-founder, said: “Blockchain is no longer limited to cryptocurrency. More and more fintech start-ups are using blockchain and other businesses are starting to see its potential. As one of the first cybersecurity companies to offer this type of service, bluedog aims to help businesses large and small to manage the risks and put their ideas into practice.”