Security is not a tangible asset, like a car, or a phone, but rather the state of protections implemented into something. A simple definition can be something that secures from danger. Physical security is something we can feel easily, and that we have implemented everywhere: fire extinguishers, locked doors, baggage checks at the airport. On the other hand, digital security is not easy to quantify, because we can’t touch it, and thus it becomes something more abstract: encrypted messages, passwords, antivirus. Neither physical nor digital security is easy to evaluate. The value of security, in essence, means what it brings to the table, or rather the loss of not having it. Right now, it is impossible to calculate it, although there are a lot of different approximations.
Here at Skrumble Network, we focus on digital security, because it’s what we are good at, and because we think cyberthreats are going to be prevalent in every industry connected to the Internet, which will be almost every industry on the planet. Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, has said in the past that “cybercrime is the greatest threat to every profession, every industry, every company in the world”. We believe that, because data shows that we are not prepared, and because physical security is more implemented than digital security, even though we spend a large part of our lives online.
Our focus is data treatment, specifically communication. Security in communication means protection against attackers that are trying to either steal, tamper or block the information being sent. For example, WhatsApp is encrypted end-to-end, so is Telegram, but vulnerabilities have been identified before.
Now that we are looking at secure communication (data transfers), we should start at what being secure, or having secure communications really means. Communication is an act, where two or more people exchange meaning using a language, symbols or signs. Imagine two friends talking to each other; secure physical communication could be that no one interrupts them, or they are not in danger for talking; if the conversation is by phone it means no attacker is able to stop or redirect the call, nor access the call to record it, for example. With the Internet, communication expanded globally, with tools like email, text chats or voice calls being used daily. Two friends texting or calling over the Internet, don’t want attackers to interrupt their conversation, as well as they don’t want hackers to steal data, or tamper the texts. So, in short, the general idea of having secure communications is a guarantee that no one except the intended people can have access to the conversation, stop it, or alter it. This is why security in communication is so important, because a simple change in a conversation can mean a confrontation between family members, or a business deal being canceled, or even putting people in physical danger.
Security adds value to a company, and the lack of security can impact not only the brand, but the valuation of the deals the company carries as well. It’s easy to provide an explanation on why a business needs security, and depending on the explanation, most people will agree that is important (although not every manager considers security to be a hot topic), but when it comes to digital security for people, the feelings are mixed. One of the possible explanations of this, is that digital security can’t be seen, at least not in the same terms as physical security. A locked door is easy to spot, but end-to-end encryption is not, because the end user doesn’t know/doesn’t need to know how it works. There’s a similarity between physical and digital security, and it is that the best security is the one that is not visible, and people go through it without even noticing. The problem with this approximation is that people only notice when there’s a problem, in the same way music in movies is perceived. We believe security can add a lot of value to people’s lives, and that the best way to approximate personal digital security is by simplicity. The end goal of digital security is that people are protected at all times, but it shouldn’t have an impact on user experience, meaning changing the background, but not the front.
The “blockchain” is a hot buzz these days, not only because of its correlation with cryptocurrencies and ups & downs linked to them, but also the technology has an incredible value for secure communication.
A blockchain is a chain of blocks that contain data, but the term is used to describe every technology that has to do with that chain of blocks, usually correlated to Bitcoin. The cool thing about those blocks of data is that every block gets linked to every new block created, so to tamper the data of one block, you’d need to alter every other block created, and that is incredibly difficult. Adding to that, what Bitcoin did was creating a method for computers around the world to create new blocks and put transactional data onto them, then verifying the process before putting those blocks on the chain. Why is that so important? Because by letting computers around the world put blocks into a chain, verifying that the transactional data is correct, a peer-to-peer network was created. Instead of digital money being transferred from you to the bank and then to your friend (in reality, the whole process is long, especially for international transfers); you could send that money directly to your friend, for a fraction of the cost.
What we are doing at Skrumble Network is putting not only transactional data on the blocks, but communication instructions and encryption information as well. We are building a public blockchain, meaning anyone can join it, at any time, and leave it at any time as well. If current Internet communication is from user A to a central server and then to user B; blockchain-enabled communication is from user A directly to user B, with both looking at the blockchain to see if the communication is secure. To simplify, if users A and B have a certain key for their conversation, and if that key is encrypted and stored on the blockchain, no one apart from those two users can access the conversation, unless invited. You can have a more in-depth look at the technology powering secure communication on our whitepaper.
At the same time, we are developing a decentralized storage system, that takes files, splits them in small parts and stores them in different servers. This improves the security of storage, because even if an attacker gains access to any server, the information he receives is ineligible. If a server is compromised, the structure of the system is not. Before the blockchain, something like this would depend on people donating computer resources, but now it rests on economical incentives, and it improves the security of the process, as people are less likely to misbehave when there are economical rewards. An awesome writing about our architecture, as well as a cool infographic, can be found here.
Combining blockchain-enabled communication, and decentralized storage, opens a lot of new possibilities, and it creates a powerful decentralized and secure network for developers to build on.
For us, the value of security as a whole is clear, and even though some people or organizations may not care about digital security, we believe those who do are going to be the best prepared for what’s coming in terms of cyberthreats, or even lead the industries of tomorrow. We want to be prepared to deliver private and secure communication, and advance the communication space forward!
Excited for what’s coming,
Skrumble Network is a completely new, innovative blockchain and application that centers on creating the most secure connections for communication possible. It will be a blockchain uniquely optimized for secure communication-centric connections and transactions, a decentralized social media communication application, and a communication layer for developers to build into any application. With no middle entity or centralized server host in between to censor, block or manipulate any data, Skrumble Network’s blockchain and application will be a catalyst for data privacy and help to truly democratize communication on a global scale.
Learn more about Skrumble Network by visiting Skrumble.network.