The failings of physical credentials
One of their biggest failings has been vulnerability to fraud.
Physical credentials have always been susceptible to manipulation and fabrication, whether it be a job applicant who may not have the certificates they claim, or a product that may be faulty or not the authentic article.
Until now, verification systems have been limited by technology.
The problems with traditional verification systems are many and varied:
- Paper and digital credentials can be easily forged
- Organizations store vast amounts of personal data from users which leaves them without control over who accesses that information, where their documents are stored, or how they are being used
- The time it takes to authenticate documents
- Increased risk of data breaches from centralized data management systems storing large amounts of user information
- People disclosing more personal information than is necessary when providing physical credentials for verification
You may have seen viral videos of ‘deepfakes’, where AI technology is used to fabricate video, audio and images.
Much of what has caught public attention has been fun and entertaining, however the implications are much more serious.
Unfortunately, deepfakes are used to mislead people and are already impacting the enterprise world. Deepfake phishing tricks people into giving up sensitive information, allowing criminals to steal money, data and personal, private or other commercial material.
Identifying a better way
for verification with blockchain
Blockchain protects the privacy of users with a “decentralised identity” which gives them the ownership and management of their own personal information.
It also gives the verifier absolute confidence in the authenticity of an individual’s credentials.
Three parties involved in the use of Verifiable Credentials:
The organization that has the authority to issue Verifiable Credentials such as a government department issuing a passport or a university issuing a diploma.
An individual who owns the credentials and stores them on their digital wallet.
The person or organization requiring proof of credentials such as the customs authority of a foreign country or a potential employer attempting to check an applicant’s qualifications.
The benefits of Verifiable Credentials are many and wide ranging:
- Verification can be done within seconds
- No personal data is stored on the blockchain
- Portability allows holders to store their Verifiable Credentials in their digital wallet and use it anywhere
- Users retain privacy by choosing which details they wish to provide at any time. This includes being able to prove their age without revealing their birthdate.
- Users have total control and ownership of their data, enabled by public key cryptography and decentralized identifiers (globally unique identifiers).
- Cryptography makes the data tamper-proof, supporting storage, safety as well as the ability to share it securely
- The issuer of any certificates does not need to be contacted to validate their authenticity
- Creates immediate trust between parties
Let’s say John applies for a new passport and is issued one.
His government authenticates the transaction and signs the passport with their private key.
It also leaves their public key and a decentralized identifier (DID) on the blockchain.
John stores the passport in his digital wallet.
He later applies for a home loan and is required to show 100 points of identity.
When the bank checks his Verifiable Credential, it can see the passport is legitimate and the government really did sign it without contacting them because they left their public key and DID on the blockchain.
Which industries need Verifiable Credentials?
Verifiable Credentials will soon become essential for most organizations, but for some industries the time is now.
New construction employees need to present credentials to an employer, especially if they will operate heavy machinery. If an employee presents fake credentials to a company, this is dangerous because this could result in a serious accident and the company could be liable for hiring someone without the right qualifications to operate the machinery and do the work safely.
The verification processes for providers in the healthcare industry have many inefficiencies with manual verification and gatekeepers. Traditional verification can take weeks to months which causes major delays in filling in much-needed healthcare roles and delays for people to start work. Organizations that provide and regulate medical licenses for the healthcare workforce can issue licenses in the form of digital credentials. The recipients of these licenses can then easily share them for instant verification by any hospital, clinic or medical department where they would like to work.
There can be severe safety issues and financial damages from an improperly managed supply chain. For example, a manufacturer failing to ensure the safety of working conditions at their facilities, potentially resulting in severe injuries suffered by workers. Forged documents are also used to show the origin of goods, which can be dangerous for consumers if the products don’t meet safety standards. Verifiable Credentials can’t be forged and they can be verified within seconds without contacting the issuing party, saving a tremendous amount of time and money.
To access financial services, someone has to go through compliance screening by submitting personal details in physical form that is stored in a large database and shared with one or more third parties that conduct know your customer (KYC) and credit checks. People have no control over how their data is secured, shared, and accessed by third parties. The data provided in the credentials is cryptographically secured, tamper-proof, and can be verified.
Eliminate bureaucracy by verifying credentials automatically. Reduces the risk for fraud and bribes. Using Self-Sovereign Identity, one trusted organisation within the value chain, such as the provincial government, can issue a digital Verifiable Credential to the business owner. While the other organisations, such as the federal government or a financial institution, can verify that credential and trust the attestation made by the first organisation.
Verifiable Credentials can be used to create a verifiable record of your lifelong learning achievements to share with employers. As reported by CNBC in 2020, “The survey findings from Checkster, a reference checking company, show that 78% of candidates who applied for or received a job offer in the last six months admit they did or would consider misrepresenting themselves on their application.” Verifiable Credentials, always verifiable and tamper-proof by nature, would help to greatly reduce resume fraud.
Partner with rewired.one
to harness the power of verifiable credentials.
Rewire your enterprise for blockchain and increase value through trusted credentials.
Credential fraud is rife with 2.3 billion credentials compromised in 2018.
How to develop and launch blockchain Rewired Cybersecurity solutions:
- Book a free consultation with us to identify your data security needs.
- We clarify and confirm your requirements.
- We provide a proposal that integrates Rewired Cybersecurity with any of your existing systems.
- Our team provides support for your business case development for funding.
- We deploy Rewired Cybersecurity alongside your existing systems.
- We integrate at-risk data onto your enterprise blockchain.
- We secure your data access points with biometrics.
- Finally, we help you to innovate and continue to search for vulnerabilities.
What our clients say about us
For more than a year we have partnered with Rewired.one. They have consistently delivered great people that have given us great outcomes. We highly recommend them to augment your engineers and provide sound project management.
I’m grateful that we get to partner with Rewired.one early. It saved us from a lot of what could have been disaster by just following the flow. They provided foresight to not just do what’s trending now, but to see the implications of a decision. They answered the question, what’s the implications of this plan? And, what’s it going to mean five years down the road? Companies that work with rewired.one, will be set up, not just for short-term success, but to be sustainable and protected in the future.
Rewired.one helped us to retain knowledge internally with our engineering teams and get stakeholders buy-in for enterprise blockchain solutions by providing expert blockchain engineers and consultants to train us. Rewired.one really understand the benefits of blockchain in the enterprise and successfully delivered our proof of concept.