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Data Breaches: How We Got to Where We Are Now

Introduction

Data breaches have been escalating out of control in recent years. Not even top companies can prevent massive hacks and account takeovers of their customers. No industry is immune either, as this pestilence has been wreaking havoc across the board.

So why is this happening? Simply because data breaches have become so easy to do and so hard to prevent. The immense conveniences that the internet has brought into our lives so quickly has come with a major catch, which is higher vulnerability. 

As centralized storage of customer data has become the norm, this has put millions at risk of cyber attacks. No one could have guessed how much things change once databases become treasure troves of personal information. Things have now reached an arms race between cybersecurity providers and hackers, with hackers often having the upper hand. 

What now?

What can be done about this? Every time we check the news there is a new data breach controversy. Clearly this situation is out of control. At this point, is it even possible to restore order to the ecosystem of personal data?

The whole paradigm most companies are working with is fundamentally flawed. Centralized databases work for no one, and the only reason they exist is because it was the easiest way to accomplish identity storage starting out. This has simply never been updated because the capacity to do so has not existed until recently.

So if customers hate getting their data stolen, and companies hate the liabilities associated with this, isn’t everyone dying for a solution? We would argue yes, and out of recent developments in the digital world have arisen a timely fix. Namely, the immutability of the blockchain.

Enter Sharified Identity

Blockchain technology has already become a game changer for currency. Never before was it possible to utilize the power of immutability to verify something as sensitive as currency. Although cryptocurrency had its drawbacks, no one can deny that the concept of creating a reliable ecosystem with no central authority is a major disruption.

Sharified identity (powered by the blockchain) works in a similar way, except with your personal data at the center and with you in complete control. It basically taps into the incredible breakthroughs of decentralization, without the catch of cryptomania. No longer will you have to put trust in the services you give your info to, because the blockchain creates a single source of this information that everyone can trust. 

This is an absolute nightmare for fraudsters, who hit the jackpot whenever they can crack open a large database. The interesting thing about having a decentralized identity is that if a hacker somehow does get past the strong cryptographic security we offer, they will only get the information of one person. This is hardly worth the effort. 

Decentralization eliminates the potential for large breaches to ever occur. 

The future of identity

We imagine a future where trust is fundamentally restored between online services and their users. No more headlines about misuse of data or that yet another company has fallen prey to a breach. 

The internet has become a fundamental part of life, almost a public utility. That’s why its future needs to work for everyone. Just as one asserts themselves in the physical world, this same ability should be achievable online, especially as the digital and physical worlds grow closer together.

It’s time for a major paradigm shift. We plan to take this concept to as many industries as possible to ensure that no one has to sacrifice security for convenience ever again.

Written by Bradley Hinson, BD @ Unum ID

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