IBM Debuts Blockchain Cloud Services with Focus on Security
Big Blue launched a new framework today for securely operating blockchain networks, as well as new services on the IBM Cloud that are designed to meet existing regulatory and security requirements, the company said. The new features are geared toward enterprise clients in the financial services, government, and healthcare sectors.
The goal of the new framework is to clarify the requirements necessary to help secure the emerging technology, IBM said. "Clients tell us that one of the inhibitors of the adoption of blockchain is the concern about security," Jerry Cuomo, vice president, Blockchain, IBM, said in a statement. "While there is a sense of urgency to pioneer blockchain for business, most organizations need help to define the ideal cloud environment that enables blockchain networks to run securely in the cloud."
Blockchains are distributed networks that consist of blocks of time-stamped batches of valid transactions. The peer-to-peer, permissionless nature of blockchains make them particularly useful for regulating the exchange of payment data, such as with crypto currencies. In fact, the first blockchains were created to support the Bitcoin crypto currency.
Blockchain networks are built on the notion of decentralized control, but some cloud environments leave backdoors open to vulnerabilities that allow tampering and unauthorized access. IBM said that it has created a new set of cloud services to support tamper-resistant, trusted blockchain networks.
Big Blue said that it would also make it easier for other organizations to use its code based on the Linux Foundation Hyperledger Project in any environment, and offer services on Bluemix, IBM’s cloud platform, to help developers quickly build applications.
Blockchain Networks Deployed in Minutes
The company claimed that its IBM Cloud platform will allow enterprise clients to deploy production blockchain networks in minutes, running signed, certified and tested Docker images with dashboards and analytics as well as support.
The new cloud services have also been optimized for cloud-based blockchain networks by providing an auditable operating environment with comprehensive log data that supports forensics and compliance, IBM said.
Meanwhile, tamper-resistant storage of crypto keys and complete protection around the cryptographic module detects and responds to unauthorized attempts at physical access. Additionally, IBM Cloud services will enable blockchain peers to run in protected environments to prevent leaks through shared memory or hardware.
Organizations that need the flexibility to run blockchain on different cloud servers or devices will now be able to access a signed, certified distribution of IBM's code submission to the Hyperledger project through DockerHub. Ongoing updates will provide new features, including dashboards, analytics, chat support and exclusive network services.
For application developers who want to get blockchain environments running quickly and start building applications, the beta release of IBM Blockchain on Bluemix will provide access to the Linux Hyperledger code, updated as the code emerges.
Image Credit: Screenshot and icon via IBM Blockchain Web site.
Image credit: IBM; iStock/Artist's Concept.
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