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Air Gapped Networks Could be the Future of Cryptocurrency Security

Amy Tori

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With more of our lives being recorded by digital systems and multi-national corporations, securing all of it has become a massive undertaking that very few manage to do correctly. In the past few years alone, several data-related scandals have emerged.

Just last year, for instance, one of America’s biggest credit reporting agencies Equifax was hit by an overwhelming security breach. Names, addresses, social security numbers and driver’s licence numbers of up to 143 million users were potentially compromised by these attackers.

The problem of inadequate security measures does not start and end with large corporations either. With the surging popularity of cryptocurrencies and blockchain-based tokens, hackers have started targeting naive users who do not properly secure their digital wealth. In May 2018, The Seattle Times published an article that explored how even veteran users fall prey to such attacks and can be financially ruined.

Luckily, one innovative startup has a mission, and a plan, to make our crypto assets safer and more secure.

Enter Goldilock

To remedy this grave situation, blockchain company Goldilock has announced a suite of secure data storage services aimed at individuals and institutions. The platform is built on the premise of an ‘air gap’, which means that all data is segregated, and physically disconnected from the internet. While air gapped infrastructure is not something new, Goldilock’s patent-pending and user friendly implementation has the potential to make the concept mainstream.

Air gapped networks have been around for a while because it is about the only way to fully guarantee the security of data. After all, what’s not on the internet can’t be hacked on the internet. The following is a brief look at the history of data storage in cryptocurrencies and how air gap may be the only way to go from here.

Traditional data storage

Even though ‘innovation’ in data storage is a phrase frequently heard, such innovation can be broadly grouped into two types as concerns crypto keys. One type, called ‘hot storage’, involves the use of a web-based interface provided by a cryptocurrency wallet or exchange company. Data is always accessible, but it is also always actively online. While this approach is simple and convenient, it also means that every user’s wallet has constant communication with the internet. At one point, this is more beneficial to hackers than it is to the end user.

The other type of digital asset storage, dubbed ‘cold storage’, is the exact opposite. Cold storage solutions are generally built around removable drives or paper. However, they are not flexible when it comes to accessibility and are otherwise prone to being misplaced, stolen, destroyed or seized. Furthermore, they are not practical for institutional investors or companies that need immediate access and full control of their assets.

Air gapped networks have been a popular approach for security-critical systems such as security services and the military. The U.S. National Security Agency specification TEMPEST, for instance, recommended the use of air gapped computers to keep classified documents safe.

Russian and Swedish security services have gone so far as to resort to abandoning computers in favour of typewriters for some sensitive communications. While some security conscious cryptocurrency users have also held their wallets on air gapped computers, the vast majority of people do not. This is perhaps best proven by the fact that billions of dollars worth of cryptocurrency have been misappropriated..

A future secured by Goldilock

Goldilock’s patent pending technology works by combining the advantages of cold and hot storage, and cleverly leverages the air gap concept discussed above.

All data uploaded to Goldilock is physically disconnected from the internet at all times. The data is kept segregated and disconnected until the user initiates it.  This makes Goldilock as secure as cold hardware wallets, without the need to carry a physical device around.

When a user needs to access their data, they send a  non-internet based trigger to the Goldilock system. Once the individual’s identity has been verified through biometrics and other means, the data device is connected and available to the user for a desired term. Once all transactions have been completed, Goldilock sends the data back to its dormant state, making it invisible and disconnected once again.

This unique approach helps segregate and minimize potential attacks and removes many of the risks currently seen in the digital asset security market. Goldilock has a wide variety of potential use cases such as enhancing the security of banks, health records, private data, exchanges, and more. To learn more about the Goldilock’s air gap technology and use cases, you can read their Whitepaper here.

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