According to a blog post published on June 18, 2020, IOTA Foundation has joined ENSURESEC – an EU-funded collaborative Innovation Action project which seeks to bolster end-to-end security of e-commerce and its delivery service ecosystem.
The Need to Secure E-Commerce Platforms
ENSURESEC seeks to safeguard e-commerce portals from sophisticated cyberattacks orchestrated by hackers. The project is a consortium of 22 entities – including the IOTA Foundation – and was awarded funds by the EU in January this year after winning a competition that included other participants working on similar ideas.
Today, the COVID-19 induced lockdowns imposed by nations across Europe, including Germany, Italy, and France, among others, have restricted the movement of almost one-third of the global population.
The stay-at-home orders mean the closure of non-essential shops to the public. Similarly, despite the essential shops being open, they could not meet the panic-stricken consumer demand. As a result, all the attention turned toward e-commerce platforms as they witnessed unprecedented demand from consumers for essential goods, including groceries.
For instance, in the UK alone, online retailers of essential goods experienced their retail sales surge by 32.7% year-on-year in May. Similarly, e-commerce juggernaut Amazon reported an increase of 32% in the number of products shipped in the same quarter of 2020.
However, the monumental rise of e-commerce platforms is accompanied by a similar rise in the number of cyberattacks being executed on these websites. Hackers see an attractive opportunity to make quick money by attacking e-commerce websites that are making a bank, courtesy of record-breaking demand by customers. This is where ENSURESEC and the IOTA Foundation come into the fray.
The Need for IOTA
IOTA Foundation has joined the award-winning project as its sole distributed ledger technology (DLT) provider. For the same, it will work with various other partners, including universities, and research organizations, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and banks, among others.
By leveraging the 450,000 euro public budget, the IOTA Foundation will provide the IOTA Tangle technology and the expertise to build a decentralized, immutable audit trail infrastructure. The Foundation will develop several interfaces to IOTA Streams that will enable the easy generation and sharing of log information required from different systems and assets. The announcement reads in part:
“ENSURESEC will leverage the IOTA Identities to guarantee the authenticity of information and the connected physical assets and stakeholders. Off-tangle components connecting to the IOTA Tangle for the search of data and their verification will also be developed.”
The Tangle’s post-Coordicide scalability and feeless structure make it the perfect technology to supports the volume of transactions expected in the e-commerce service ecosystem.
The announcement states that ENSURESEC technology will be deployed and tested in various real-world e-commerce scenarios and under artificially-induced cyberattack threats.
Specifically, the tests will gauge the benefits of using IOTA and other G4S security tools in the supply chain of TOFAR market – a pharmacy e-commerce operator. The system will seek to prevent and respond to attacks aimed toward stealing information about goods location.
The aforementioned is just one of the numerous other scenarios and attack vectors that will be analyzed during the project. Notably, the potential for IOTA Identities will be explored to prevent cyberattacks from threatening consumers’ data.