If you own a laptop or desktop computer, chances are you’re running some type of anti-virus software to keep your digital life secure. Whether it’s Norton or McAfee or some other variant, it hums along in the background keeping you safe from cyber threats, viruses, hackers and the sort… right? Turns out, these centralized solutions have some gaping holes in their protection, as they tend to target common and “known” malware while failing to detect new threats.
In a recent interview with CCI, PolySwarm’s CEO Steve Bassi shared his views on the limitations of the current anti-virus landscape, stating that “these companies are structured in a way that rewards chasing threats against widely used software. They are financially incentivized to go after large threats to maintain a large client base.” He went on to share that while widespread vulnerabilities are indeed a concern, “each of us as individuals are much more likely to be hit by smaller everyday threats.”
So with that problem in mind, Steve and his all-star team from Narf Industries, an information security R&D firm with clients including DARPA and Fortune 500 companies, set out to create a decentralized anti-virus and cyber threat intelligence market made possible by Ethereum smart contracts and the blockchain.
Alas, PolySwarm was born.
Cyber-Security’s Problems, and PolySwarms Solutions
As it stands, today’s annual $8.5 billion cyber-security industry is broken, with 70% of threats going undetected and cybercrime damages expected to double by 2021, reaching an astronomical $6 trillion dollars. There are several major issues PolySwarm is out to solve:
- The market is dominated by a few large companies, leaving both buyers and sellers in the dark. Sellers don’t know what threats they’re missing, buyers can’t tell the difference between sellers.
- Duplicative coverage – “one size fits all” coverage allows more esoteric and newer threats to go unchecked
- Slow reaction time – time to resolve attacks has risen 33%
- The market doesn’t incentive interoperability, but incentivizes overlapping coverage
- While cybersecurity-related costs are expected to double in 2021, 3.5 million IT security jobs will go unfulfilled (Gartner).
All things considered, it’s clear that the market desperately needs a solution like PolySwarm. So, what are they going to actually do to solve the bevy of issues plaguing the current market? They’ve created a marketplace where enterprises, consumers, vendors and geographically-diverse security experts come together, crafting complete cyber threat detection. Malware experts around the world create and maintain competing software “micro-engines” to quickly solve the latest threats, and outperform their competition. The combined protection of thousands of these micro-engines creates a much faster, broader threat detection system than what is currently being offered to us in the anti-virus space.
Another way to look at this is the example of Bitcoin mining, but instead of mining, a global community of anti-malware experts converge and work together to best detect today’s threats. PolySwarm’s native token is called Nectar, and per Steve’s explanation, “it allows enterprises and users to obtain threat detection services from security experts, it’s essentially used as a currency for all transactions within the marketplace.” He went on to share how they’re utilizing smart contracts to literally design the rules of the road, and determine both how the market participants will interact, and how they’ll be rewarded:
Ethereum provides the basis for programmed, intelligent market design – something that was not possible only 4 years ago. PolySwarm is the application of this primitive to the threat intelligence space – something the PolySwarm team is intimately familiar with. PolySwarm will offer better incentives – a global, crowdsourced, community of security experts will compete against one another to best protect enterprises and end users. The economic mechanics are defined for all to see.
Nectar aims to isolate PolySwarm from external market forces (such as the volatility of Ethereum), and enable participants to transact in confidence on the platform. In terms of their roadmap, a usable end-to-end MVP will be available prior to token sale on Feb 20th. For all the details on their upcoming public sale (launching Feb. 20th), be sure to read on.
- Token Sale Start Date: 2018/02/20
- Token Sale End Date: 2018/03/22
- Total Supply of Token: TBA, fixed at sale end.
- Token is not minable, limited supply fixed based on total contributions
- 70% of the total tokens will be created during token sale, based on contributions.
- Remaining 30% will be split: Half (or 15% of the total) for the company and the other half to incentivize platform usage
- Minimum contribution will be $100
- ICO price of token: 31337 NCT / 1 ETH
- Crowdsale Bonus tiers: 20%, 10% and 5%.
Be sure to stay in touch with PolySwarm at all the following links!
LinkedIn company page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/swarm-industries/