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Blockchain a vital part of Australia’s cybersecurity strategy, say experts

In a panel discussion held yesterday, cyber security experts explained that blockchain could be part of Australia’s strategy to counter the large-scale cyber attacks in the country

Blockchain Australia CEO, Steve Vallas, held a panel discussion yesterday regarding the use of blockchain technology for protecting Australia against cyberattacks.

The cybersecurity and blockchain forum with over 300 experts from a diverse range of fields identified blockchain as a direct response to the sudden increase in coordinated cyberattacks against governmental institutions and businesses in the country.

The discussion, attended by government officials, concluded that blockchain will be key in protecting the integrity of Australian cybersecurity.  

National Blockchain Lead Chloe White from the Department of Industry and Liberal Senator Andrew Bragg, CEO of cybersecurity firm CyberCX John Paitaridis, and founder and CTO of blockchain database firm ProvenDB Guy Harrison were all part of the panel aimed at developing a national response to the coordinated targeting of Australian institutions.

Australia has been the victim of large scale cyber-attacks by “a sophisticated state-based cyber actor” who is targeting Australian organisations across a range of sectors including government, industry, education, health, essential service providers and critical infrastructure operators.

Rising diplomatic tensions between China and Australia are being caused by tensions over investigations into the origin of the Coronavirus, which has led some to believe that Chinese hacker groups with connections to the Chinese Government are behind the attack.

“In June this year, the Australian Prime Minister announced an ‘unnamed state actor’, you can read into that — China — as being targeting businesses and government agencies across Australia as part of a large, dedicated, persistent scale attack,” CyberCX CEO John Paitaridis explained. The cybersecurity breaches have increased by almost 80% in the past year, the expert stated.

Paitaridis along with ProvenDB CEO, Guy Harrison, cautioned that the biggest threat posed by these cyberattacks is manipulation of information. “Senior government officials, corporate executives and investors can be impaired if they can’t trust the information they are seeing,” Parrison stated.

“The implications of people tampering with data are huge […] and that’s where blockchain comes in,” Harrison added.

“For the first time in computer science, we have a storage mechanism where we can write something, and we can be sure that it hasn’t been overwritten,” Harrison stated, highlighting the immutable properties of blockchain.

The experts in the panel discussion further explained that the benefits offered by blockchain makes it a critical component in protecting Australia from future cyberattacks . They suggested that though blockchain cannot be considered as a complete solution to the issue at hand, the emerging technology must be adopted by businesses across sectors to ensure that they are one step ahead of the attackers.

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