Blockchain: a Double-Edged sword?
A key challenge of law enforcement has always been to make sure that crime neverpays, at least not well. When law enforcement could not succeed at monitoring andpreventing crime and even if there were no smoking gun tipping off who committed aparticular crime, the high card was always their ability to track down criminals. Fastforward to today as new forms of digital money—known as cryptocurrency—are nowmaking the money harder and potentially in the near future impossible to follow. Thecounter-crime implications of these developments are already apparent andsignificant national security implications are becoming clearer. What is just startingto come into focus are the vast implications for international security. But what if theblockchain might also be a means to improve trust and security? Since theblockchain offers transparency, cryptography and data sharing, might it be the basisof a whole new realm of improved cybersecurity?
Hazardware: the Scourge of the Modern Age
Insecure-by- design technology products and applications are becoming thescourge of the modern age. It is now axiomatic to say that when something is freeor even low cost, you are the product. Developers and companies bank on this andon our willingness to trade security and privacy for convenience. For the individualwho makes these trade-offs and simply accepts what we call "hazardware" as acost of modern life, there is a wider social problem to contend with as well:Hazardware is a prime enabler of cybercrime. When coupled with insecuremanagement and upkeep, which is nearly universal, the trade in data andbackground plundering of sensitive information can lead to wholesale societal lossof privacy and exposure of personal and financial information. For a business it canlead to industrial espionage, theft of capital, loss of intellectual property, legalcomplications and the potential collapse of a company. This paper goes into theknown risks of our current approach to dealing with insecure-by- designtechnologies and suggests ways for developers, companies and consumers todecrease risks.
Sean S. Costigan
Sean S. Costigan is a Professor at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies. He is an expert in emerging security challenges and is published widely on matters of national security and foresight. His current research and teaching is on the nexus of cybersecurity, crime and terrorism. Costigan previously served in the Private Sector Program at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence; Chief Information Officer of The MIT Pres; Associate Professor at The New School; Director for Strategic Initiatives, Center for Security Studies ETH Zurich; Visiting Fellow at the University of Calcutta's Institute of Foreign Policy Studies; Executive Editor at Columbia International Affairs Online; Research Associate for Science, Technology and Defense Industrial Policy at the Council on Foreign Relations; and on the staff of the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University.
In addition to his work for the Marshall Center, he is presently serving as a Senior Adviser to the NATO/GCSP/PfPC Emerging Security Challenges study group; Chair of the Editorial Board, Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes; Senior Associate at the Security Governance Group and is an Associate at Vision Foresight Strategy.