The Mission of KSI Blockchain
“The KSI blockchain aims to replace trust between individuals with digital truth. Our ultimate goal is to ensure that information circulating around the globe becomes completely reliable,” affirms Silver Kelk, the Business Development Manager at Guardtime, a highly regarded firm founded in Tallinn, Estonia, with current operations in Switzerland, the US, and the EU.
Cryptographic Proof for Data Correctness
The KSI blockchain offers a groundbreaking solution to verify the accuracy of data and information traversing networks and systems. In the context of the e-Estonia framework, the KSI blockchain has played a critical role. Kelk explains, “Our technology delivers a durable and easily verifiable mathematical proof that safeguards the integrity of extensive data flows and intricate digital value chains.”
Guardtime has capitalized on its proprietary KSI blockchain by developing numerous services and products across various fields in the past 15 years. Kelk states, “Our horizontally applicable technology presents limitless potential for enhancing cybersecurity and process verification in governmental, healthcare, finance, supply chain, and other sectors. We have created industry-specific products on this robust platform.”
Accreditation and Security
The KSI blockchain received accreditation as the first blockchain-based trust service under the eIDAS regulation in 2020. This accreditation empowers the KSI blockchain with legal validity within the EU, ensuring its reliability in legal proceedings. Moreover, this certification serves as a significant milestone for Estonian blockchain technology, affirming its unparalleled security.
Scalability and Innovation
Guardtime remains committed to making blockchain a valuable addition to modern digital systems by addressing key challenges such as scalability, limited transaction throughputs, and speed. Kelk explains, “We have focused on eliminating these obstacles through our technology design.” The continuous investment in core cryptography research and the invention of new solutions have positioned Guardtime as a leading technology innovation hub in the region.
Overcoming Market Challenges
Guardtime’s journey has not been without hurdles. While securing the Estonian government’s support early on was fortuitous, the road to market for their blockchain-based solutions often proved arduous. The pace of innovation adoption in emerging technologies poses challenges. Guardtime strikes a balance between validated use-cases and pursuing future innovation projects. This approach has created sustainable businesses that now serve as foundations for their ambitious global goals.
A Diverse Customer Base
Guardtime’s success is evident from their diverse customer base, boasting clients from various fields. Notable organizations using KSI blockchain-related services include Verizon (US telecom company), Roche and AstraZeneca (pharmaceutical companies), the European Space Agency (scientific organization), Lockheed Martin (defense industry group), SEB Bank (financial institution), and governments worldwide, including Estonia and the Netherlands.
Verifying Digital Processes
One key value of the KSI blockchain lies in its ability to verify and monitor digital processes across extensive data volumes and intricate systems. Kelk points out, “Our daily actions leave a digital trail, recording who did what and when. By monitoring these systems against specified rules and approved configurations, we can ensure cyberattack resilience, dispute resolution, and system reliability.”
TrueTrail: Advancing Audit Trail Monitoring
TrueTrail, one of Guardtime’s latest solutions, exemplifies advancements built upon the KSI blockchain. TrueTrail enables comprehensive monitoring of audit trails, enhancing situational awareness of underlying systems. According to the product introduction, TrueTrail enables streamlined compliance reporting, efficient dispute resolution, and accurate situational awareness. It seamlessly integrates with existing audit trail management and security information systems, providing stakeholders with complete trust in critical operations and underlying data. Initial TrueTrail integrations have been successfully implemented in state infrastructure and the banking sector, driven by stringent compliance and security regulations.
Continuous Compliance and Modern Security Assurance
Guardtime recognizes that the desire for trusted and verifiable processes often arises from organizations themselves, surpassing regulatory requirements. Their technology excels at assessing whether customer data receives adequate protection, whether control systems adhere to service level agreements, and whether all users possess appropriate system access rights. While traditional monitoring audits offer limited support by verifying these aspects, they fall short in detecting unauthorized changes made between audits. In contrast, KSI blockchain-based tools allow clients to detect real-time unauthorized system changes. Kelk affirms, “We envision this as part of the new model for cybersecurity assurance and information systems auditing as the world increasingly adopts continuous compliance models.”
Upholding Digital Sovereignty
Guardtime’s technology also addresses the growing demand for digital sovereignty, particularly regarding public cloud adoption. Kelk provides an illustration, stating, “When Estonian healthcare or governmental institutions migrate their digital infrastructure to the cloud, they enter an environment largely controlled by the cloud service provider (CSP), such as Microsoft, Amazon, or Google. While these environments best support further digitalization, they introduce new accountability and transparency dynamics.” Ensuring comprehensive oversight and data residency verification to prevent misconfigurations and overregulation becomes crucial. Guardtime’s TrueTrail solution protects and monitors logs and processes independently from CSPs, safeguarding against partial or selective data presentation or manipulation of audit trails. The KSI blockchain offers the means to independently verify information reported by cloud providers.
Rapid Detection of Mistakes
Human errors leading to data loss are a common concern. Kelk explains, “Mistakes happen unintentionally, particularly when applications are incorrectly configured, resulting in severe system vulnerabilities, data compromises, and non-compliance with regulations. That’s why you need a security network that rapidly reports any anomalies.” KSI blockchain-based solutions significantly reduce reporting time, allowing misconfigurations to be detected almost instantaneously—a significant advancement in the realm of cloud security.
A Promising Future
Guardtime stands at the forefront of digitalization and related threats. As a research and innovation-driven company, they constantly align their core technology and new solutions with emerging trends, encompassing AI, digital payments, e-governance, WEB3, and tokenization. While embracing their Estonian roots and maintaining essential research and engineering capabilities in Tallinn and Tartu, Guardtime actively pursues business opportunities worldwide. Collaborating with technology companies, leading enterprises, and developer communities in the WEB3 and crypto space, they foster collaboration and joint product commercialization. Kelk concludes, “We have merely scratched the surface of blockchain technology’s potential. The coming years will undoubtedly be captivating.”