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Accenture Integrates Blockchain Technology with Thales Hardware Security Module

February 10, 2017         By: Mike Dautner

Accenture has some big news on hand with the unveiling of a patent-pending solution that simplifies the ability of blockchain technology to integrate with the security systems that support sectors which include, but are not limited to, financial services, healthcare, and government.

This solution does a few significant things for Accenture, as it creates a developer-friendly interface between emerging blockchain platforms and ubiquitous hardware security technology.

In cooperation with Thales, whose hardware is known for currently being used by many major banks on the global scale to secure records and assets from cybertheft, Accenture had the solution developed thoroughly.

HSMs are known within the industry as crypto-processors that securely generate, protect, and store digital keys.

As such, keys that are stored in the Thales HSM infrastructure cannot be extracted or used without going through the proper channels, and adhering to a specific protocol. The new and improved solution is based on the widely used nShield HSM developed by Thales and generates an easy-to-use path to large-scale commercial use of blockchain technology.

“Blockchain is quickly maturing across industries and is set to profoundly change how businesses operate,” commented Simon Whitehouse, senior managing director and head of blockchain technologies at Accenture. “But current applications cannot meet the high security standards of most mission-critical IT infrastructure. That is because the digital keys used to secure and validate messages and transactions historically have proven vulnerable to network attacks. Our solution provides the same kind of physical security that banks have relied on for decades to keep money and transaction records safe from cyberthieves. It will clear a wider path not only for banks but for governments, insurers, healthcare providers and others to do real-world deployments of blockchain technology.”

At the present time, blockchain-based systems generally rely on what are known as “cyberwallets” to store digital keys for blockchains and blockchain technology.

Jon Geater, Chief Technology Officer at Thales e-Security said, “The possibilities for blockchain are endless. In the financial sector everything from transactions to contracts and deeds could use a blockchain to legitimize and simplify the settlement process, and industries such as healthcare and federal government also stand to benefit from this technology. However, in order for blockchains to work, we need to believe and trust them, which means every participant must agree and anticipate how they will take part in the chain. Unfortunately innovation and vulnerability very often go hand-in-hand. Accenture has built trust and security into the technology of the chain itself, using Thales HSMs to protect the chain and prevent any nefarious activity. Thales continues to invest in blockchain delivering the ‘root of trust’ to this emerging technology.”