Cybercrime is a very dark cloud with a bright silver lining. Every online threat that has been developed by cybercriminals has been met with equally vigorous retaliation by cybersecurity enforcers. And, ironically, the result of cyber attacks has not been a total collapse of our information systems. In fact, it seems like every new online risk has actually helped us respond with innovative solutions to the problems malicious individuals create.

To illustrate, let’s take a look at three impactful technologies that have been developed as a reaction to cybercriminal activity.


Gone are the days of the venerable hypertext transfer protocol (HTTP), one of the original technologies that made the Worldwide Web happen. Most of the websites you visit these days use a more secure way to transmit data all over the Web, rather creatively named the hypertext transfer protocol secure (HTTPS). A quick glance at your browser’s address bar ought to confirm this.

Instead of “http://” the URL leads off with “https://”. The “s” in the URL makes a world of difference and is an answer to the shortcomings of HTTP. It indicates that the data transmitted between your browser and the web server that served up the page you are looking at has been encrypted.

During the HTTP days, it was easy for anyone with the skill, the tools and the motivation to “listen in” on what was being sent and received through the network. HTTPS does not prevent these passive attackers from intercepting communications, but because the data is now enveloped in a layer of encryption, they won’t be able to read it. 

Besides providing better security, HTTPS offers other conveniences. Some browsers like Google Chrome, for example, will mark a non-HTTPS websites as “Not Secure”, and this can adversely affect people’s reaction to the site as well as impact its search engine rankings. 

Context-Aware Behavioral Analytics

As you may know, most conventional security measures merely provide perimeter defenses that try to keep attackers out or alert users when attacks are detected. These approaches, however, are often helpless in the face of more sophisticated exploits by threat actors. User behavior analytics (UBA) appeared as a response to this problem. It provides tools that scrutinize the details of the event and try to understand what is happening within the context of normal, routine behavior.

UBA borrows heavily from big data concepts in order to develop a set of key indicators and metrics. It uses machine learning to shape the data into models of normal behavior, which then allows the system to assess the risks of user activity, particularly anomalous behavior.

Beyond security, UBA analytics may eventually be applied in marketing and market research, human resources management, and healthcare. It is now also used in urban planning and is a key component in developing smart city concepts. 

Blockchain-Powered Cloud

Attacks on cloud computing providers are on the rise, and threats have gotten more persistent and creative. These include cloud malware injections, cross-cloud assaults, side-channel attacks that target the service’s cryptographic implementation, and more. As a response to these perils, developers have started building cloud infrastructures using blockchain technology. 

Originally designed to disrupt the financial sector, blockchain features protective measures that appear to be superior to existing centralized cloud systems. First off, all data in blockchain are encrypted, which isn’t surprising. But the main security feature is its ledger system distributed within its decentralized structure. In this system, data is disseminated across multiple nodes in its network. Even if one server is compromised, any changes to data it keeps must match the copies on all the other nodes for it to be relevant. Otherwise, the compromised node is simply cut off from the rest.

Blockchain is not perfect, and the blockchain-powered cloud needs to develop further. But it is a step up in terms of security compared to existing cloud architectures.

The threat of cybercrime is real and will continue to put pressure on industries to be vigilant. But at the same time, it has also worked as a catalyst for innovation that is pushing newer and better technologies out the door.

About the Author

Alexandre Francois is a serial entrepreneur and tech enthusiast who believes that knowledge about innovations and emerging technologies should be easily understandable and available to everyone. Walking the talking, he is also the publishing director of Techslang — a tech awareness resource where cybersecurity and IT is explained in plain English.

Similar Posts