Accenture has debuted a new blockchain-focused hardware solution for storing private keys.
The professional services firm partnered with Thales, a French company that works in the fields of cyber security, aerospace and defense, to develop the solution.
It relies on hardware security modules (HSMs) to store the private keys – pieces of digital information that are used to sign blockchain transactions – in a bid to shore up security around enterprise-facing blockchains. Specifically, the Accenture solution relies on the nShield HSM product developed by Thales.
In statements, Accenture representatives pointed to the new offering as a path forward for banks and other financial institutions that want to use the tech but have thus far steered clear due to security concerns.
Simon Whitehouse, senior managing director and head of blockchain technologies at Accenture, said in a statement:
"Our solution provides the 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."
Notably, the solution could alleviate some concerns among regulators who have thus far cited security as an impediment to wider adoption, most recently the European Securities and Markets Authority, or ESMA.
In a report published yesterday, ESMA said that, after a year and a half of investigation, it would not propose new rules for blockchain use within Europe, calling such a move “premature”. That said, it highlighted private key security as an existing issue.
"Importantly, ESMA sees the security of private keys as paramount in a DLT context, as lost or stolen keys might easily be used for illicit purposes," the agency wrote.
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