Anyone who has worked in the field of digital security can attest to the difficulty of properly securing a system post-facto.
In fact, properly securing an asset that’s already in the field can take far more work than correctly architecting a solution for that very problem and baking it into the fabric of the product from the start.
Likewise, not every developer is a keen expert in the field of cybersecurity. Many talented engineers and developers spend their entire careers working purely on deploying applications on the front-end, relying on others to plumb the security models that underpin the project. Beyond that, building a project to scale often puts it in direct odds to a properly implemented security model, all of which makes large scale, publicly deployed projects easy to attack and exploit.
Additionally, projects built on a centralized infrastructure invariably have a single point of failure; as seen recently, building a critical piece of network-attached infrastructure with a single failure point can lead to catastrophic results, especially when that infrastructure is critical to national security, or continuity of business for a large corporation.
For example, we’ve seen critical infrastructure important to national security shut down by hacks; gas pipelines, power stations, TV and radio stations, ISPs, Cloud infrastructure, all have seen downtime in recent memory due to endemic problems surrounding the underpinnings of the existing Cloud and IoT infrastructure. Anything connected to the Cloud is vulnerable, it seems - after all, there’s truly no such thing as a Cloud, just someone else’s hard drive.
The Perfect Solution
To adequately address the need for properly implemented network security, it needs to be woven into the fabric of every application developed and deployed on the network.
It needs to be simple and easy to implement - so simple that even a developer who has no background in cybersecurity can deploy applications and have them secured against external threats. In fact, ideally it would be so simple that there would be no need to even consider network security in the deployment of the project. This infrastructure should also be fault-tolerant, as decentralized as possible, with no single source of failure in order to prevent hostile attacks, and deal well with poor to no connectivity, or intermittent connectivity over time. It should also be cheap to deploy and maintain - not just monetarily, but also in man-hour terms.
Existing Attempts to Solve the Problem
There have been a few attempts at developing a solution to these issues in the past, the largest of which is the Web3 ecosystem built on Blockchain networks. These networks of peer to peer computers allow for developers to build and deploy projects via decentralized environments like Ethereum, Cardano and Polkadot. However, while Blockchain networks solve some of the issues outlined above, they’re not a perfect solution by any means.
For one, these networks are extremely expensive to maintain and deploy, as anyone who has used the Ethereum network can attest. Executing simple programs - DApps - on the network is extremely expensive due to the competitive bidding process implemented by the network, paid for in a currency generated by solving complex mathematical processes. This proof of work is not only costly in terms of compute and resource consumption, it’s environmentally unfriendly due to the vast energy waste and requires the constant introduction of new and more powerful hardware to stay current with the capabilities of the network. In effect, it creates a death spiral for the economies of deploying apps on the Ethereum network, where very quickly the amount of productivity produced by any application deployed on the network is outstripped by the cost of conducting business on the network.
Some networks have more efficient delegation of network traffic and generate the tokens used to enact protocols on the network through a proof of stake mechanism like the Cardano ecosystem, but these networks still suffer from varying degrees of congestion and - perhaps most critically - have a difficult time overcoming issues with concurrency, making certain kinds of apps - especially highly concurrent communications applications - completely unsuitable for deployment on these networks.
Blockchain networks come in many forms, dedicated to many specialized use cases, and there are many advocates of this network or that, however Blockchain networks fundamentally do not address problems around scalability or the economics of the deployment of Dapps, which restricts their use-cases and prevents them from being a true next-generation solution for building a perfect networking architecture.
So if the vaunted Web3 ecosystem isn’t sufficient, what is? WhiteStar Communications has developed a true next generation networking solution, the WhiteStar Network, which runs as an overlay network to existing infrastructure, and shifts the burden of processing and hosting to the edge of the network rather than the Cloud, and enables cryptographic ownership of content and assets on the network without the need for costly cryptocurrencies.