The Birth Of Cryptocurrency And The Future Of Financial Transactions
While healthcare providers and healthcare industry vendors cannot afford to ignore HIPAA compliance, a new threat emerged in 2016 and has only gotten bigger in the past year: ransomware attacks on hospitals and healthcare providers that are not seeking to breach patient information but instead render it inaccessible until the organization pays a hefty ransom. A study by the Health Information Trust Alliance found that 52% of U.S. hospitals’ systems were infected by malicious software. Bitcoin as a type of installment for items and administrations has seen growth,and traders have a motivating force to acknowledge the advanced cash since charges are lower than the 2-3% normally forced with Mastercard processors. The European Banking Authority has cautioned that bitcoin needs buyer insurances. Not at all like charge cards, any expenses are paid by the buyer not the seller. Bitcoins can be stolen and chargebacks are inconceivable. Business utilization of bitcoin is presently little contrasted with its utilization by theorists, which has powered value instability.
Cryptocurrency made the leap from being an academic concept to (virtual) reality with the creation of Bitcoin in 2009. Bitcoin is the preeminent cryptocurrency and first to be used widely. However, hundreds of crypto currencies exist, and more spring into being every month. The Bitcoin is arguably the world’s first successful decentralized crypto” currency. It was transferred directly from person to person and free from financial or legal regulation, Bitcoins represent a modern, networked approach to finance. The underlying technical implementation, backed by military-grade key access and cryptography, ensures that transactions are secure and verified.
Critics of cryptocurrencies have long been calling for governments to regulate or even ban them, and WannaCry and Adylkuzz have added fuel to their arguments. However, because of the very nature of cryptocurrencies, any attempts to legislate them face a protracted, uphill battle. The best defense against cryptocurrency mining malware is to employ the same proactive cyber security measures used to defend against ransomware, data breaches, and other cyber attacks: ensure that all systems and software are up-to-date; install new manufacturer patches as soon as possible; always change manufacturer default passwords; perform regular penetration testing; continuously monitor networks for anomalies; and address the human factor by training employees on cyber security best practices.
Cryptocurrencies have another failsafe to prevent devaluation and other forms of abuse: The problems miners must solve suck up enormous amounts of processing power, which means that miners who want to use their own equipment are looking at a capital investment in highly specialized hardware. For those who don’t want to spend the money, cryptocurrency mining malware such as Adylkuzz has emerged. Although Adylkuzz takes advantage of the same Windows vulnerabilities as WannaCry, it behaves more like the Mirai botnet. It does not lock down systems or access data; instead, it goes after a machine’s processing power, hijacking it and using it to mine units of a Bitcoin competitor called Monero, a next-generation” cryptocurrency that is growing in popularity among cyber criminals because it promises even stronger anonymity than Bitcoin.
Not everyone is against government cryptocurrency regulation. Morgan Stanley claims that government oversight is inevitable if Bitcoin wants to grow and truly go mainstream. But with technology advancing so quickly, the wheels of government moving slowly, and most politicians barely able (if at all) to grasp how the technology that powers cryptocurrencies works, cryptocurrency regulation faces an uphill battle, at best. Even if one technology were banned tomorrow, another one that gets around the new law would undoubtedly replace it. Governments need to tread lightly here, lest new regulations cause more problems than they solve.