Applications and Use Cases

Telefonica's Cybersecurity Unit ElevenPaths Ramps Up with Blockchain from Rivetz and Civic


October 31, 2018

With over 50 billion euros in revenue, Telefónica is the seventh-largest broadband and telecommunications service provider in the world, with operations in Europe, Asia, and North, Central and South America.

And as many large Communications Service Providers (CSPs), Telefónica has been supporting its own orbit of entrepreneurial businesses, including ElevenPaths, which looks and feels more like an agile start-up than a traditional cybersecurity “department” stuck in a bureaucracy and trying to escape.

As more and more data traverses private and public networks, the attack surface continues to morph, and Telefónica was wise to support innovation in both hardware and software-based solutions to address the increasingly complex and growing threats on network infrastructure as it becomes more virtualized and programmable.

Network operators have new liabilities and responsibilities as the integrity of data can be compromised while in motion, and at rest, and because networks connect so many clouds, applications, services and – most importantly perhaps – data sets including massive data lakes – ensuring network session and event security is becoming not just important but mission critical.

ElevenPaths announced with Rivetz, a blockchain company focused on decentralized hardware-based cybersecurity that digital identity company Civic joined in its to offer next-generation identity solutions powered by blockchain.

According to their press release, “Digital identity is a cornerstone for the growing decentralized economy. Civic provides convenient, user-friendly identity solutions, which will integrate with the advanced cybersecurity architecture developed by Rivetz and Telefónica. This partnership will enable billions of mobile users to have a digital identity that they control and that simplifies access to global services.”

It appears all three companies will be literally “doubling down” by combining Rivetz's access to the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) technology with the carrier subscriber identity module (SIM). With “Dual Roots of Trust” cryptography, a user’s private key will be distributed between operating systems.

This is another example of approaching cybersecurity in the mobile space with layers of security, and in this case an additional layer of protection for private keys even if one of the systems is compromised.

Civic’s software contribution is associated with protecting personal information stored locally on a mobile device, using biometrics and high-level encryption. The new integration will enable Civic to separate locally stored personal information from the user’s private key. The Dual Roots of Trust technology developed by Rivetz and Telefonica will enable this.

Dual Roots of Trusts cryptographically distributes a user’s private key between two secure hardware enclaves in the mobile phone: the Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) and the Subscriber Identity Module (SIM).

“The ability to prove who you are is a fundamental human need. Our partnership with Rivetz and ElevenPaths is a massive step in putting an uncomplicated digital identity solution in the hands of mobile users, who then call the shots,” said Vinny Lingham, CEO and Co-Founder of Civic. “The concept of identity is rapidly changing, and we look forward to a revolutionary partnership that makes sharing and verifying identity safe and seamless.”

"We are pleased to have Civic as part of the project to bring blockchain-powered identity verification services to the consumer," said Steven Sprague, CEO of Rivetz. “The integration of built-in security and digital identity will offer a simple yet powerful new capability for users.”

 “Trusted computing technologies are not an end by themselves, but are an opportunity to improve mobile users’ security, providing a research and innovation framework in the context of cybersecurity,” said Pedro Pablo Pérez, Telefónica Global Security VP & ElevenPaths CEO.

Rivetz’s best-in-class security solutions hinge upon access to the TEE, which is an isolated, measured computer environment separate from the device’s operating system. By provisioning all digital transactions through the TEE, Rivetz assures that users’ private keys cannot be altered or stolen if the operating system is tampered with or infected by malware.

ElevenPaths brings their digital transformation strategies, and new products like those from Rivetz and Civic to build trust into networks and applications, in this case right down to the physical device, which is where Rivetz differentiates itself as a both physical and digital blockchain-oriented company.

ElevenPaths is a true believer in collaboration and community, and works actively with entities including the European Comission, CyberThreat Alliance, ECSO, EuroPol, Incibe, and the OEA.

Telefónica has a significant presence in 17 countries and 357.5 million accesses around the world. The company is 100% public, and its shares are traded on the Spanish Stock Market and on those in London, New York, Lima, and Buenos Aires.




Edited by Ken Briodagh

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