At this week’s World Blockchain Forum in Gotham, a new model for securing IoT and IIoT networks using blockchain was introduced – one which blends cryptocurrency with tokens for encryption for enterprise projects. It’s an unusual mash-up in that the “new currency” for IT teams tasked with managing an increasing number of blockchain networks to secure endpoints in their physical infrastructure and applications.
While the Cognida Foundation has yet to launch, the new entity – the brainchild of Austin-based Windmill Enterprise – is revealing the platform and network they will go live with sometime this summer.
This is not just another blockchain – in fact, it is quite the opposite. This is a platform designed to make the administration and management of multi-blockchain environments easier for enterprises, even as those enterprises continue to flock to blockchain to make their transactions more secure, using decentralized ledgers instead of the legacy alternatives which have proven vulnerable to attack, and complicated to automate.
The control, ownership and enforcement of data are also driving enterprises, especially those subject to regulation and compliance, to look for new ways to ensure information is being monitored and, in some cases, fully monetized.
And while public blockchains have been all the rage over the last few years, alongside the bitcoin billionaire phenom, Cognida has set its sights firmly on “permissioned” blockchains making them private, vs. public, but also agile enough to interconnect with public blockchains, depending on the use case.
With the increasing adoption of cloud and blockchain technology, enterprises are facing more and more complex information sharing challenges, particularly when it comes to properly protecting data on these decentralized platforms. Cognida will deliver a multi-blockchain management network and platform.
“With the promise of scalability and efficiency that new blockchain technologies offer enterprises across every sector, there is a growing security challenge that we’re committed to addressing,” said Michael Hathaway, Co-Founder and CEO, Windmill Enterprise. “With the launch of the Cognida Network as well as the Cognida Foundation, we will equip companies with the tools to secure digital assets and shared information in the enterprise and in the cloud. This establishes a blockchain secured service layer that runs on top of the Internet, ensuring trusted service relationships, and putting the enterprise in control of who has access to which data.”
It’s an ambitious goal, particularly given the fragmentation of blockchains today, and the pace at which they are being tested and implemented, in industries including financial services, healthcare and supply chain management.
It’s All About Rules
While Windmill Enterprise is keeping their cards close to the vest leading up to the release of the software (network and platform) until their Token Generation Event (TGE) takes place sometime this month, at the event Hathaway talked about the registration and management of end-points using software to “spin up” connections, like spinning up a VM.
Bing Byington, the other co-founder of Windmill, and a life-long entrepreneur in the telecom, mobile and healthcare technology worlds, will be leading the first trial associated with pharma trials.
Byington has a best seller on Amazon, and his son, Dustin Byington has joined up with Windmill on the Cognida project. Byington, the younger, runs Wanchain, a public blockchain with inter-chain transactions and privacy protection. Wanchain has its own protocol for inter-chain transactions, which is based on locked account and threshold signature. With it, Wanchain claims it can support multi-assets trading.
“It is exciting l to be working across generations,” Bing Byington said in an interview. “I’ve seen more disruption in the last few years than I’ve seen across my entire career, a career built on disruptive technologies. We’ve identified an opportunity to get out in front of an inevitable challenge – having to manage multiple blockchains in the real world. We can make the interconnection of private and public blockchains systematic and secure – but in order to do that efficiently, we’re inviting the entire IT community to join us, including the industries whose futures depend on doing blockchain right.”
Cognida’s technology will allow enterprise IT administrators to enforce their security policies and establish trusted connected relationships by owning and controlling their data, even when sharing with service providers and third parties. The Cognida platform will provide solutions that are streamlined to comply with emerging regulatory policies, such as the May 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU.
“In the current GDPR environment, with newer enterprise privacy controls needed, along with IoT security requirements, enterprise expectations for end-to-end privacy controls will continue to grow,” said Akshay Sharma, principal analyst, neXt Curve, and recent author of the Contextually-Aware Mobile Security as a Service: The Key to IoT Security and GDPR Compliance & Readiness with Blockchain whitepaper. “Within next generation networks, service providers and enterprises alike need a solution for applying policy management across multiple secured interconnections. This will ensure a seamless experience, with privacy controls, across legacy subscriber, device, and application databases, as well as blockchain deployments, supporting newer policy and key management.”
The Cognida Network, expected to go live July 20th, is an enterprise network as a service, designed to help enterprises manage multiple blockchain networks while still maintaining ownership and control of their data.