Design & UX
The world of crypto currencies presents numerous challenges, particularly when it comes to security. We're talking specifically about Bitcoin and the thousands of 'Alt Coins' that have been created, each with its own unique features, benefits and drawbacks. For the first time we're experiencing a shift where the barriers to entry for forming a financial company have been drastically reduced, allowing tech savvy entrepreneurs to bring their visions to life.
As a result, companies are facing unique challenges, and the incentive for wrongdoing either internally by employees or externally by 'hackers' has become extremely compelling, and the financial ramifications increasingly high.
Aeguana's consultants have extensive first hand experience in this field, both in raising awareness of the challenges involved, and in first-hand support implementing the relevant safe guards and procedures to minimise exposure, and limit liability.
Major failings in some of the largest companies in this sector over the past couple of years has raised awareness of the risks, and at times damaged the perception of Bitcoin and other currencies in the public's eye - arguably unnecessarily.
Aeguana's focus is primarily directed at two areas - prevention and mitigation. It's almost inevitable that at some point in time, there will be a vulnerability that will be exploited in some shape or form. The larger the organisation, the higher the risk and the larger the loss that may result from a security breach.
An often overlooked security consideration is the internal digital security for companies dealing with bitcoins. With a currency that relies almost entirely on cryptographic keys for ownership, and where there are no chargebacks and limited regulatory bodies, it's essential to take the necessary steps to protect bitcoins and other digital assets from internal theft and misfeasance.
With the recent introduction of multi-signatory wallets in the Bitcoin protocol, it has become possible to devise more secure solutions that can protect organisations both from outside threats, and often from themselves. Some of the areas we look at with our clients, include:
- Requiring multiple directors or employees to authorise transactions
- Shared custodial operating models between client and organisation
- Preventing loss when security is breached
- Internal operating procedures
Aeguana can also advise on strategic disaster recovery processes, infrastructure provisioning, and general online security, specifically for the crypto currency / Bitcoin sector.
Physical Security Processes
Even more overlooked than internal security is often the physical security processes put in place to prevent systems and procedures from being compromised. Systems can be protected in multiple ways digitally, making them almost impenetrable. However, if the right physical security procedures aren't enforced, the overall security could be easily compromised.
Our consultants have been involved in documenting and implementing security procedures that encompass the following:
- Managing the flow of bitcoins, through cold and hot wallets (if required)
- Securing the transaction signing terminals so they can't be compromised
- Documenting & implementing required screening procedures for employees
The crypto currency industry is a very recent one and there are currently very limited clear-cut regulations in place around the world. This is changing every day, and some countries have adopted a direct approach by outright banning the use of crypto currencies (some by organisations, and some by organisations and individuals alike), whereas others have taken a much more lenient approach recognising a need to refrain from blanket regulation.
Whether your organisation is looking to be pre-emptively compliant with anti-money laundering (AML) regulations, or putting in place stringent identity verification procedures, feel free to get in touch and have a chat. We may be able to streamline the process, and save you significant pain in doing so.