ITC DIA Europe

Guardtime: the world’s largest blockchain company

Written by Roger Peverelli and Reggy de Feniks - Founders The DIA Community on Apr 24, 2017

Guardtime is a cyber-security provider that uses blockchain systems to ensure the integrity of data. The company has its roots in US defence systems and expertise in state-level digital security (Estonia). Guardtime uses Keyless Signature Infrastructure (KSI), a blockchain technology that provides massive-scale data authentication without reliance on centralized trust authorities. Unlike traditional approaches that depend on asymmetric key cryptography, KSI uses only hash-function cryptography, allowing verification to rely only on the security of hash functions and the availability of a public ledger. In this way, Guardtime guarantees data integrity without the need to keep secrets. In short, instead of putting all of the data up in the blockchain, they only take fingerprints of the data.

Modern security fails
As sensitive data becomes increasingly available and vulnerable through cloud computing, mobile, and the Internet of Things, it is no secret that modern security has failed to keep pace with modern technology. Despite a rise in cybersecurity spending, the global cost of cyber-attacks is predicted to reach $3 trillion by 2020. While organizations have begun to realize these costs, they continue to apply fundamentally flawed endpoint solutions to increasingly nuanced threats.

First, data no longer lives in networks with discrete, hardened perimeters. We not only need to secure data transmission but also data storage. Second, complex key management is impossible to scale across millions of endpoints and devices. And finally, PKI relies heavily on trust anchors that can be easily exploited, such as certificates and human administrators.  

Integrity, not confidentiality
The founders of Guardtime believe that integrity, not confidentiality is the answer to the trillion-dollar cybersecurity problem. The integrity of an event or a digital asset registered using KSI allows verification of three things: proof of time, identity and authenticity. Guardtime’s permissioned blockchain can do this while preserving confidentiality of the data on an industrial scale. As a data-management tool, the context of time, identity and authenticity, along with being able to process literally billions of transactions every single second, makes Guardtime’s technology highly optimized for data management and cyber-security. It’s really that industrial capacity that sets them apart from other blockchain providers.

As the world’s largest blockchain company by revenue, headcount and actual customer deployments, Guardtime offers a host of KSI-based solutions for a variety of industries, including insurance companies.

KSI-based solutions for insurers
As our society becomes increasingly reliant on everything digital, the significance of Insurance in the cyber domain also increases by the day. Guardtime offers a host of KSI-based solutions that help insurance companies to better run their business and offer various cyber-related services. From supporting reinsurance standards, insurance policies and claims, new cyber liability policies, subrogation, regulatory compliance, to connected vehicle and health-care sectors.

In the insurance domain, the blockchain has the potential to eliminate fraud by providing a means for independent verification of policies and claims, displacing the roles of a trusted third party for preventing duplicate transactions and providing a verifiable public record of all transactions (without violating data privacy). In the US alone medicare fraud, including false billings, tampered documents and fake identities stretches into the billions of dollars. An independent record of all transactions has the potential to stop this fraud in its tracks.

Why we selected Guardtime for DIA Amsterdam?
Guardtime uses blockchain technology, to verify data and prove that it’s trustworthy. It has created a network that citizens, private companies, and the government can access to verify information on it. While similar to bitcoin’s network, it is distinct and in fact predates the original bitcoin white paper. Guardtime can ensure complete detection, accountability and auditability.

In the traditional approach for insurance firms, when assessing risk, there is no central, trusted database to turn to. Providing verification is a real game-changer.

Who are Guardtime?
Founded in 2007 in Estonai with offices in Amsterdam, Irvine (USA) and Estonia. In 2014 the company entered a strategic partnership with Ericsson, the major player in the global telecom solutions marketplace. Estonia has one of the most digitally advanced societies in the world and helped to incubate Guardtime’s technology.

Currently there are over 130 cryptographers, developers and security architects, with decades of experience defending networks from nation-state attack who work at Guardtime.  

CEO and Co-founder Mike Gault has more than 20 years’ experience including stints in the military, academia, engineering and financial derivatives. Prior to Guardtime, he served as a Managing Director at Barclays Capital in Tokyo. Guardtime’s CTO, Matthew Johnson, joined the company after performing due diligence on it for the US Department of Defense, which was keen to work with the business. The more he got involved with the company over the year 2012/13 the more he was convinced that what Estonia had built was indeed game-changing. He quit his job and moved to Estonia for the better part of a year to mature the technology roadmap.

Mike Gault, Guardtime founder and CEO.                         CTO, Matthew Johnson

Google’s mission is to organize the world’s information and make it universally available. Guardtime’s mission is to validate that information and make it universally reliable.’ Mike Gault, founder & CEO, Guardtime


Presenter: Jamie Steiner

Contact Info: Martin Ruubel
Email: [email protected]

Amsterdam 12-13 June


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