G4S, a London-based multinational security firm, is reportedly offering a secure way to store digital currencies by keeping its clients’ funds in an offline vault storage service. Founded in 2004, G4S is the world’s largest security company in terms of annual revenue and scale of operations as its services are available in over 90 different countries.
On Tuesday (October 16th), G4S announced:
With the rise in the popularity and value of cryptocurrencies around the world in recent years, G4S has developed an innovative new service offering high-security offline storage that helps to protect assets from criminals and hackers.
Cryptocurrency Cyberattacks Increases Nearly 700%
A global internet security firm, Group-IB, revealed that crypto-related cyberattacks had increased by 369% between 2016 and 2017. In early 2018, Group-IB found that security breaches involving digital currencies “jumped by 689% compared to the 2017 monthly average.”
Commenting on the increasing number of hacks in the crypto space, Dominic MacIver, the senior risk analyst at GS4, said:
Our clients approach us to discuss solutions to their requirements because of G4S Cash Solutions’ experience in protecting high-value items and G4S Risk Consulting’s experience in developing bespoke solutions to complex challenges. Working with our clients, we are continuously applying their expert knowledge of crypto-assets and our best practice in physical security to a sector at the cutting edge of financial technology.
MacIver, a former political security research analyst at Janusian, a global risk management consultancy, explained that cold (offline) storage was becoming a more preferred method of storing crypto assets as online wallets are more vulnerable to hackers.
Independently Without Value
MacIver added that the rise in physically violent crimes involving virtual currencies (such as kidnappings and robberies) in the past few years “has shown that the sector is still exposed to conventional criminal threats.”
Going on to elaborate on how GS4’s “vault storage” solution for crypto assets has been developed, MacIver noted that the digital assets are not only “taken offline”, but they are also broken up, or divided, “into fragments.”
These fragments “are independently without value” and are kept in “high security vaults” so that they are not vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals or physical threats such as “armed robberies”, MacIver said.
“Multiple Layers Of Security & Robust Protocols”
He further explained that “access to these sites is heavily restricted” as the company reportedly has “robust [security] protocols” in place such as “multiple layers of security.” Access to the crypto assets can only be “unlocked” after “all fragments are combined” using GS4’s proprietary and “specific” technology.
As the crypto industry continues to evolve, many companies are working to offer more secure ways to store digital assets. On Wednesday (October 17th), Cobo, a blockchain startup that allows its “investors grow their assets own their own terms” announced that it had raised $13 million to help expands its services and operations.
One of Cobo’s main products is a hardware wallet (“Cobo Vault”) that reportedly uses a “bank-grade” encryption chip – which keeps users’ private keys “stored in the encryption chip at all times”, to offer a greater level of security.