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Blockchain In Cybersecurity: 11 Startups To Watch In 2019

  • 8 February 2019
  • Sam Mire

Where cybersecurity used to be exclusive domain of the military and computer geeks, it’s now become mainstream.

Nowadays people carry mobile devices full of private information with them 24 hours a day. Our digital data is near physically attached to us, and protecting it has become more important than ever. Violations of our digital information can have distinctly human consequences, like getting embarrassed or getting ripped off. Cybersecurity ought to be a basic practice for anyone using the internet as a habit.

And if you run a large business with private data and trade secrets, the stakes are even higher.

The problem is as old as computers themselves (and probably even older): how do you keep people from putting their nose where it doesn’t belong? A number of innovative businesses have sprung up with their answers at the intersection of blockchain technology and cybersecurity. These companies build products using smart contracts and multi-step authentication, but rather than move units of value around the world, they keep your data and devices locked down.

Here are the blockchain companies to know in the cybersecurity space.


CryptoMoveCryptoMove

CryptoMove is an Oakland-based outfit that aims to protect application program interface (API) keys, apps, and other trade secrets using blockchain technology. The CryptoMove Tholos key vault was designed to end the unintentional dissemination of information that shouldn’t be spread around, but often is. Somehow – and it can often be tough to tell precisely how – trade secrets end up being shared on Slack Channels, Skype messaging threads, emails, or elsewhere, which puts critical company information at risk. The rise of multi-cloud storage services and the rapid spread of the Internet of Things have only made instances of unintentional secret-sharing more prevalent.

CryptoMove wants to nip this problem in the bud before it continues to put more companies at risk. By establishing their product using their patented moving-target data protection technology, the people at CryptoMove have unleashed a sophisticated, consistent means of ensuring that company secrets don’t fall into the wrong hands.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Venture-backed


HackenHacken

The Hacken ecosystem offers several blockchain-powered tools for cybersecurity professionals. The Hacken token (HKN) is custom-tailored for cyber security – it’s the medium of exchange that allows the ecosystem to exist. The team of specialists at Hacken deploy cutting-edge technologies including the blockchain to provide a range of services. Their stable of offerings includes anti-phishing services and the detection of fraudulent advertisements; penetration testing based on practical, real-world threat scenarios; mobile application security testing; a bug bounty and vulnerability platform; and load and performance testing. By coordinating their in-house team with a “crowd” of third-party security experts, Hacken is able to address the respective problems of their users on a highly-personalized level.

Date Founded: July 2017

Funding Type: ICO


OpenAVNOpenAVN

OpenAVN is a decentralized solution for anti-virus needs that was conceived in New York City. The OpenAVN platform creates a new network layer to fight against destructive intrusions, all while using blockchain technology to strengthen their tools of defense. Part of their arsenal is YARA, a malware pattern-matching algorithm OpenAVN has referred to as a “swiss army knife” for combating hackers and viral software. Its other malware prevention components are dependent on the Ethereum blockchain’s decentralized nature of protection. Beyond fighting malware, the OpenAVN service uses advanced strategic distribution techniques to store users’ data securely. They believe that the blockchain will form the basis for the next generation of cyber security, and they’re doing their party to lay the foundation.  

Date Founded: August 2017

Funding Type: Private


GladiusGladius

Gladius is a Washington, D.C.-based cybersecurity outfit that specializes in preventing distributed denial of service (DDos) attacks. DDoS attacks can overload and completely shut down a site or operation, and is one of the most common ways that hackers bring otherwise-functional enterprises to their knees. Gladius brings several blockchain-powered services to the table, and protecting digital sites and systems from remote attacks it their bread and butter. Beyond this, Gladius also pays for users’ bandwidth so that they may use it to build better DDoS and CDN networks. They have used purchased bandwidth to create a self-healing software that repairs itself if a node goes down, virtually assuring that the Gladius system remains viable in the face of attacks at all times. For those looking to earn money with Gladius, they offer tokens in exchange for contributing bandwidth or code. When you help strengthen the Gladius service, you are repaid in kind with GLA tokens.

Date Founded: April 2017

Funding Type: ICO


Block ArmourBlock Armour

Block Armour is a enterprise cybersecurity company helping organizations of all sizes protect themselves against advanced threats. By using the blockchain, the Block Armour team is tapping into new-age technologies to deliver on their promise of stronger threat protection. Specifically, their Blockchain-Defined Perimeter (BDP) is an enhanced software-defined perimeter that renders critical systems and cloud servers invisible to intruders. Block Armour also employs several measures that are fundamental to blockchain-powered security, including authentic digital signatures for IoT devices within a network and distributed technological architecture. The idea behind Block Armour is to give its clients the best shot at avoiding attacks, and when they do occur, to provide a way to lock down systems without losing valuable data.

Date Founded: 2016

Funding Type: Private


Sentinel ProtocolSentinel Protocol

Sentinel Protocol wants to bring the invaluable trove of information about cybercrime to a single platform, while also creating cybersecurity tools for the internet-using world. The Singapore-based company is putting together a crowdsourced cyber threat intelligence database. By leveraging blockchain’s ability to pass on incentives in the form of tokens and cryptocurrencies, Sentinel Protocol is outsourcing threat documentation to its user base. They are also providing solutions to threats of the present and future with their Sentinels security network. Sentinels are white-hat security experts and organizations using the Sentinel protocol to share solutions and advice with the community of users. These features collectively work to better protect individuals and organizations from the cyber threats of today and tomorrow.

ICO: May 27, 2018

Funding Type: ICO


CryptykCryptyk

Cryptyk is a San Francisco-based cyber security company that assumes hacks are inevitable, and wants to make files impervious to threats when cyber attacks do occur. Using hybrid blockchain technology, the Cryptyk team is making files ‘safe to hack’, as they put it. By using encrypted, decentralized file storage methods in combination with blockchain auditing and monitoring, Cryptyk aims to render the efforts of hackers moot. To Cryptyk’s credit, they are an Embedded Solutions partner with IBM, one of the foremost authorities on practical blockchain innovation in several professional industries. The company believes that providing a cyber security and cloud storage solutions on a single platform will keep their clients safe from breaches, and also save them money.

Date Founded: March 2015

Funding Type: ICO


MegahootMegahoot

Having gone through a few iterations of its business model since its inception in 2011, Megahoot has settled down as a technology company providing varied security solutions for global businesses. Its macro-mission remains somewhat open-ended, but a look at some of its specific ventures reveals its use of blockchain to ensure secure digital collaboration for businesses and individuals alike. On the executive level, Megahoot offers tools for secure communications, including the ability to see who all has access to a conversation and when a thread has been deleted. For teams, collaboration can be done remotely – and securely – using Megahoot’s platform, which provides greater data protection than email and other comparable platforms. Whether somebody needs to share a document, have a sensitive conversation, or collaborate with vendors in remote regions of the world, Megahoot aims to make sure that all data and communications remain insulated from unauthorized leaks and hacks.

Date Founded: November 10, 2011

Funding Type: Private


Anchain.aiAnChain.ai

Anchain.ai is a blockchain-powered ecosystem providing cybersecurity solutions to individuals and organizations. The Silicon Valley-based shop offers a range of products that are all blockchain powered and made to identify vulnerabilities in systems to shore up defenses against cyber threats. The AnChain Situational Awareness Platform (SAP) was built with features including an AI-driven correlation engine with Blockchain threat intelligence. The Smart Contract Auditing Platform (CAP) uses smart contract technology to audit, scan, and identify all known vulnerabilities – something that wouldn’t be possible without blockchain. Plus, Blockchain Threat Intelligence (BTI) is a service that allows clients to reap the benefits of protection measures and threat prioritization, courtesy of the AnChain team. With associations including Yahoo, Intel, and Dell, AnChain.ai has an established foothold in the cybersecurity field.

Date Founded: July 2018

Funding Type: Private


TaekionTaekion

Taekion is taking the long view on cyber security, with the mission of providing the service to ‘billions of people and devices’. They plan to make the world of interconnected devices safer by harnessing the capabilities of artificial intelligence, software-defined cybersecurity, and, of course, blockchain technology. The Taekion platform affords entry-to-endpoint cybersecurity that minimizes the number of vulnerabilities in edge computing networks. While users of these edge devices on the Taekion network can connect with other devices and even public networks, they remain invisible to unauthorized parties, who could possibly be hackers. The AI built into Taekion is constantly updating the platform to identity and neutralize new forms of threat, while the TKX token is a secure way to transact within the platform.

Date Founded: May 1, 2017

Funding Type: Private


HaceraHACERA

HACERA is a Bay Area tech startup that is working to build the ‘most flexible’ blockchain at an enterprise level. They want to solve specific problems, including data security, privacy and confidentiality as well as fragmentation in the payment process. The goal is to give users freedom to transact in a way that doesn’t violate their trust, because it the platform free from concerns about who is purchasing their data without their knowledge. And, though HACERA is very much concerned with making sure that smart contracts allow users to engage in digital transactions without nosy third parties horning in, they also want to make sure collaboration among multiple parties remains a possibility. That’s what makes the HACERA chain flexible – the ability to add new capabilities depending on the user’s needs, whether those needs lean more towards privacy or collaboration.

Date Founded: 2015

Funding Type: Private

About Sam Mire

Sam is a Market Research Analyst at Disruptor Daily. He's a trained journalist with experience in the field of disruptive technology. He’s versed in the impact that blockchain technology is having on industries of today, from healthcare to cannabis. He’s written extensively on the individuals and companies shaping the future of tech, working directly with many of them to advance their vision. Sam is known for writing work that brings value to industry professionals and the generally curious – as well as an occasional smile to the face.

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