Will Blockchain Video Conferencing Make Video Chats More Secure?
You can’t trust the internet. We all know it, and yet we use it hundreds of times a day without feeling any anxiety in the moment. We’ve come to accept an implicit risk in every transaction we make online, from banking to social media, and we ride our luck–like trusting other drivers on the roads to do the right thing.
But what if we had access to an internet where we didn’t need blind trust? What if there was an internet without “middlemen” between us and the friends, businesses, and entertainment we seek?
Blockchain technology is being promoted as the magic sauce that will make this hypothetical world a reality. It’s often referred to as a “trustless” network because every transaction made within a specific system is recorded and shared among the entire group–no one has to be taken at their word and no one controls any central gateway all must pass.
Blockchain is near-universally praised as a new level of security for digital transactions, one strong enough to support the entire Bitcoin currency system, which begs the question–could blockchain video conferencing be the most secure way to communicate in the future?
At its most basic, blockchain technology is a shared record of transactions, all chained together so that they cannot be broken. You just have to slightly tweak the way you understand a few of those terms in order to fully understand the technology.
By “shared” I mean everybody, or rather every computer, within a system has a duplicate copy of this record book that is updated instantly–there’s no single reserve all can access. Each record exists individually and is of equal importance.
Every action that occurs within a system is noted in every copy of the record, and every action must be authorized by every other record book keeper. These actions are then “chained” together permanently like the lines of a novel in which each new set of words is dependant on the ones before and after.
Most people associate blockchain technology with digital currency like Bitcoin, but since blockchain deals in digital information, it can be applied to all sorts of online transactions, including video conferencing.
Blockchain Video Conferencing Is in the Works
At the heart of every video conference is an exchange of digital information. The webcams and microphones you use retransform the analog data of your voice and image into digital bits that can be cut up, packaged, and sent over the internet to where your friend’s device can receive and unpack it all.
In every conversation, there’s a sender, a message, and a receiver. And blockchain is great at keeping track of all that information. Paired with end-to-end encryption, which grants unique little passwords to each end of a connection to keep it safe, blockchain promises a new level of video chatting security.
Several companies are already starting to build blockchain-based messaging and video apps to win the business of security-conscious WhatsApp and Snapchat users. PeerStream, Inc. (formerly Snap Interactive), for example, will launch Backchannel toward the end of this year. Backchannel will eventually be able to host one-on-one video calls over mobile. Going even further, under-development app e-Chat will soon perform the same video call trick with up to 10 people.
Those apps and their blockchain peers are a long way from replicating enterprise-scale video conferencing, but they are proof that there’s momentum building toward next-generation security for video.
Other Options for Video Conferencing Security
The current video conferencing security workload is shouldered by internal firewalls, “meeting lock” software–like that deployed by consumer VC vendor BlueJeans–and the type of end-to-end encryption that Skype is introducing across its platform.
In addition to these applications of existing security measures, there are also a couple of other technologies with potential. China recently staged the world’s first intercontinental video conference using quantum physics, a system researchers say is unshakable. And then there is the continued advancement of facial recognition. While not as data-centric as blockchain or encryption, high-end webcams are already being used to help create biological passwords based on unique human features. With an improvement of live AI technology, facial recognition could one day be deployed in-call to keep tabs on who’s on-screen.
All those security measures act within the existing internet system. Blockchain, by comparison, is a whole new network. As such, its adoption is likely to be dependant on the rise of entirely new apps, like those listed above. That, in turn, will likely slow its spread. Facebook Messenger, for instance, can’t suddenly upend its entire operating system to incorporate blockchain, despite how much the company could use a new security promise. Is heightened security enough to sway the hundreds of millions of WhatsApp and Snapchat users away from their established circles of friends and onto to whole new network? It would appear unlikely. The same need for upheaval applies to the business world as well, where legacy video conferencing systems would need to be replaced with entirely new VC vendors.
For all its obvious potential, blockchain is in for a slow build. Like we said at the beginning, everyone knows you can’t trust the internet, but we’re so comfortable in our current ways we’re still willing to take digital risks. It’s likely to take a lot of time–and a lot of security scares–to make blockchain ubiquitous.
- Information Security Risk Consultant, HMG, Public sector
A Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant is needed for a long term project in the Yorkshire area. This is a Security consultancy role so travel to other client site locations across the country will be expected. The Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant MUST have current security clearance and ideally have a breath of information and technology security experience. Broad knowledge across IT transformation, Cloud is also key. Public Sector Information Security Risk Consultant should be versed in working within the public sector HMG environments and be experienced in conducting security risk assessments on sizable IT systems. Broad experience across GRC, ISO27001, NIST is key. Career progression, personal development and excellent training provided. All details kept in the strictest of confidence Salary: £55,000 Location: Yorkshire Ref: GM7720 (Cyber Security Jobs, Information Security Jobs, IT Security Jobs, Cyber Security Jobs in Yorkshire)
- Greenfield opportunity SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead
- £85,000+ Base
Exclusive Greenfield opportunity to DCL Search & Selection. We are looking for an experienced SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead to build a NEW Security Operation Centre (SOC) / Threat hunting service within an existing security consultancy. This is a brand new service offering for the client. The successful SOC / Threat Hunting Services Lead must, therefore, have previous experience in building a SOC / Threat hunting (IR) service from the beginning. Everything including, but not limited to; selection of the systems, platforms, kitting out the physical office space. Customisation, setting the policies, playbooks, go to market collateral, recruitment (through DCL obviously) establish processes, management of the team, service delivery, refinement, development etc. Essentially the end to end creation of the capability and then the day to day management and expansion of the service. An in-depth technical background is essential, experience across SOC SIEM/ Threat Hunting (IR) tools, processes, techniques, operational etc The goal is to create, spin up and deliver a SOC/threat hunting (IR) offering to clients ASAP in 2020. Investment and board sign off approved. Apply today for more information or contact me directly on Chris.Holt@dclsearch.com or 07884666351. Candidates must be UK based and commutable to Bracknell. Sponsorship can not be provided to Non-EU Candidates. Ref CH7713 £85,000+ Base
- IT Managed Services Account Director
- Up to £80,000 + Double OTE
IT Managed Services Account Director We are currently working with a growing multi managed service provider who specialises in Cloud & Connectivity services who are currently looking for an IT Managed Services Account Director in London. The IT Managed Services Account Director will be responsible for selling (Increase revenue, develop pipeline etc.) into our client’s current enterprise customers selling public cloud solutions. The IT Managed Services Account Director should have Current experience selling public cloud solutions (preferably Microsoft Azure) into enterprise customers. Currently working for an IT managed services business Commutable to London, Home working is available (Non-EU candidates are not able to be sponsored). Consistent tenure in current and previous positions. Ref BD7703 Salary: Up to £80,000 + Double OTE (Cloud Jobs, Cloud Computing Jobs, Cloud Sales Jobs, Azure Jobs)
- Service Delivery Lead (Data Centre)
- Up to £60,000 Base
A State of the Art Data Centre business are looking for a Service Delivery Lead-in Wiltshire. The Service Delivery Lead will be responsible for maintaining and improving current services to our client's customers. The Service Delivery Lead will also be responsible for a service desk team (reviews, hiring, training etc.) Other responsibilities include: Acting as a senior point of escalation for any customer incidents making sure these are raised quickly and efficiently Root cause analysis Maintain and improve ITIL disciplines Experience required ITIL v3 Certified Current experience within a Data Centre / Data Center Environment Current experience within a Senior Service Desk role. Candidates must be UK based. Sponsorship is not available for Non-EU candidates. Ref BD7701 Up to £60,000 Base (Data Centre Jobs, Data Center Jobs, Service Delivery Jobs)