EBI Files Patent for Blockchain Drive to Thwart Ransomware Attacks | #malware | #ransomware

Everything Blockchain Inc. (EBI) has filed a patent application for an approach to data protection based on a blockchain platform.

Cedric Harris, chief research officer for EBI, said the EBI Blockchain Drive (EB Drive) will provide IT teams with a means to thwart ransomware attacks. A pristine copy of data will also be made available via an immutable ledger running on a blockchain platform that synchronizes data using a chain-of-events consensus algorithm. In the event of a ransomware attack, data can also be rolled back to any point in time.

EBI has developed a scalable blockchain platform capable of processing transactions in sub-milliseconds; it is now looking to apply the platform to a number of use cases, said Harris. The EB Drive is designed to be embedded within hardware platforms connected to the blockchain platform, he explained.

Graph technologies will then be used to keep track of the various EB Drive nodes. The nodes are interconnected using the gRPC framework that makes sure nodes only communicate with other nodes they have expressly been given permission to access, explained Harris. That approach enables EBI to maintain a zero-trust IT platform, he added.

Providers of data protection platforms have, of course, been making a case for making sure pristine copies of backed-up data are available on their platforms in the event of a ransomware attack. EBI, however, is making a case for a blockchain-based approach that makes copies of data more readily available rather than forcing organizations to wait to determine whether a pristine copy of a dataset is actually recoverable.

CISOs, especially, are looking for alternative approaches to recovering data that are easier to implement and maintain, said Harris.

It’s too early to say what role immutable blockchain platforms might play in ultimately thwarting ransomware attacks, but it’s clear that legacy approaches are not solving the problem. Cybercriminals today often encrypt backup copies of data first to make sure nothing is recoverable before they launch their main attack.

It may not be immediately feasible to apply a blockchain platform to secure all data, but some organizations may decide that there are certain types that warrant a more advanced approach to security. Regardless of blockchain platforms’ viability as a data protection solution, the appetite for experimentation is high as the volume of ransomware attacks continues unabated.

Hopefully, cybersecurity and IT operations teams that manage data will continue to collaborate to either thwart those attacks or, at the very least, limit their impact. There may be no way to prevent ransomware attacks from being launched, but all involved would agree it’s simply too easy for cybercriminals to cripple organizations by maliciously encrypting data. In the meantime, organizations can take some comfort in the fact that research and development efforts to prevent those attacks may finally be on the horizon.

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