Cyber security deal set to protect global humanitarian effort

A new scheme which aims to stem the growing number of cyber attacks in humanitarian organisations has been announced amid warnings the agility of cyber criminals is increasing.

The CyberPeace Institute, a Geneva-based non-governmental organization (NGO) whose mission is to reduce the harm from cyberattacks on people’s lives worldwide, and Partisia Blockchain Foundation, a non-profit supporting the development of the world’s most advanced zero-knowledge blockchain companies are to collaborate to create cybersecurity to defend humanitarian organisations against targeted cyberattacks.

Stéphane Duguin, chief executive officer of the CyberPeace Institute, said: “At the CyberPeace Institute, through our experience working with humanitarian NGOs to build cyber capabilities to protect their operations, data, and resources, we are seeing that cyberattacks against the sector are increasing. This collaboration with Partisia Blockchain Foundation will support trust building which is essential in our work with NGOs due to the complex and sensitive operating environments they face and will also contribute to a response to a systemic threat faced by the humanitarian sector.”

The two organisations said the collaboration responds to the rise in cyber attacks targeting humanitarian organisations carrying out “an essential role in supporting people most in need”.

“The CyberPeace Institute and Partisia Blockchain will together build a secure platform to share knowledge about cyber incidents to secure humanitarian sector organizations whilst respecting the confidentiality of users,” to two explained. “For the CyberPeace Institute to investigate cyber threats against this sector, sharing Indicators of Compromise (IoC) is a crucial process enabling them to detect those targeted more effectively and provide appropriate help to NGOs as early as possible. Trust between partners is vital for sharing such data as IoCs are highly sensitive and of a confidential nature.”

The Partisia Blockchain will be used as the backend for confidential sharing on IoCs in a structured and standardized manner leveraging its native Zero-Knowledge technology. This ensures that the confidential information is encrypted in all its potential forms, at rest, in transit, and in process, and only agreed-on aggregated results are shared with the accredited users of the system.

“Bad actors operate in a very agile way in networks and a single vulnerability is sufficient for a successful hack,” says Kurt Nielsen, co-founder and president of Partisia Blockchain. “On the other side, defending a digital network requires preparation for all types of attacks. This project is all about supporting organisations to strengthen their cyber defences. With the right kind of cryptography, it is possible to share highly sensitive intelligence without exposing the organisation. Or in short—it takes a network to beat a network.”

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