Blockchain Report – European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA)

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European Union Agency for Network and Information Security (ENISA) has entered into the Blockchain debate with a new report aimed to provide financial professionals in both business and technology roles with an assessment of the various benefits and challenges that their institutions may encounter when implementing a distributed ledger.

Udo Helmbrecht, Executive Director of ENISA, said:

“Cyber security should be considered as a key element in the Blockchain implementation by financial institutions.”

ENISA analysed the technology and identified security benefits, challenges and good practices. The report identifies that some principles used in the security of traditional systems and in Blockchain, such as key management and encryption, are still largely the same.  There are however new challenges that the technology brings, like consensus hijacking and smart contract management. Additionally, it highlights that public and private ledger implementations will face different sets of challenges.

Some of the key challenges of Blockchain identified in the document are traditional challenges such as:

  • Key Management
  • Privacy
  • Code Review
  • Technology specific challenges such as:
  • Key Generation
  • Smart Contract Management
  • Scalability

ENISA has also identified good practices to overcome the issues identified as well as introduce the key concepts that decision-makers should be aware of when approaching this technology. After reviewing the existing challenges attached to distributed ledgers, some good practices are:

  • Using recovery keys
  • Using multiple signatures for authorizing and processing transactions
  • Using library of standardized smart contracts

In this paper, they also identified that there are challenges that may require further development, such as:

  • Anti-money and anti-fraud tools
  • Interoperability of Blockchain protocols
  • Legal provisions and tools for implementing privacy and the right to be forgotten

About Richard Kastelein

Founder, Publisher and Editor in Chief of industry leading online publication, Blockchain News and co-founder and director at Blockchain Partners in London/Amsterdam/NYC. Kastelein is also an advisor with a number Blockchain startups doing ICOs including Humaniq.co where hs is interim CMO, DECENT.ch, Inchain, Chronobank, eGaas and others. He is regarded as one of the top journalists by the Blockchain and fintech communities – as is evident by his entry in the Top 150 Fintech journalists online and in the top 10 of the Blockchain Top 100 List.

As a prominent keynote presenter, he has spoken on Blockchain at events in Gdansk, Amsterdam, Minsk, Dubai, Antwerp, Eindhoven, Bucharest, Nairobi, Tel Aviv, Manchester, Brussels, Barcelona etc, where he helped spread the cause for Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency and, consequently, has built a notable network in the scene.

He’s also a director of a Dutch foundation called The Hackitarians and has run innovation events in London, San Francisco, Berlin, Amsterdam and other cities around the world on topics such Blockchain, Health, Energy, Internet of Things, AI etc.

In 2013, the European Commission appointed him as an expert for overseeing financing for emerging startups as a part of the European Commission’s 90 billion euro Horizon 2020 project, created in Brussels to promote innovation as a driving force of job creation and business ventures across Europe. He has also worked as an external expert for Innovate UK since 2012, judging startups for the UK government.

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