Discovering Hypersign’s Decentralized Identity and Access Management Infrastructure

By withhimu | The Crypto Underdogs | 23 Aug 2021


Today’s digital landscape is rife with privacy and data violations. Either implicitly or explicitly, our identities have been handed over to social media platforms and big tech, or outright stolen by bad actors. Privacy is quickly becoming a quaint ideal of the past rather than the fundamental right it deserves to be.

Fortunately, solutions like Hypersign’s decentralized identity and access management infrastructure are changing the way people access, manage, control and share their personal information - consequently returning power to the individual.

Issues With The Status Quo 

The challenges being faced with our personal data stem from the way organizations collect and store this data. While the evolution from floppy disks to the Cloud has brought about unprecedented performance and efficiency, it has done so at the cost of widespread security and privacy vulnerabilities. 

With the rise of the digital economy and web 2.0, consumers have unintentionally turned banks, governments, and marketplaces into identity management organizations, responsible for the storage and protection of an unprecedented amount of personal data. We have given up online security and privacy in exchange for convenience. 

Unfortunately, as the constant news of hacks and data breaches are highlighting, most organizations that hold our data are incapable of handling this responsibility. 

As the world edges towards the next phase of trust-based internet, Web 3.0, Decentralized Identity puts that power and responsibility back in the hands of the individual, giving us the ability to control and protect our personal information. This concept is made possible by the decentralized nature of the blockchain along with the trust created by consensus algorithms and governed by institutions such as the WEB3 Foundation, Decentralized Identity Foundation [DIF] and others. This is helping manifest a not-too-distant future where we will truly be in control of our digital identity.

How Big Is The Problem?

In recent times, we’ve seen numerous security vulnerabilities, hacks and data breaches from organizations of all sizes and across industries. Our current approach of centralizing trust around a handful of organizations creates attractive honeypots for bad actors that are constantly leveling up their ability to expose vulnerabilities and wreak havoc. 

This also creates an arms race between security providers and hackers that is hugely expensive to maintain and ends up guaranteeing that bad actor capability will continue to adapt and improve over time. It seems clear that this unfavorable trend will continue until there is a systemic change towards decentralization.

Data breaches can also be extremely detrimental, where hackers can outright steal data or impersonate individuals, employees or clients after getting direct login access to a system. Moreover, while current security protocols commonly in place may seem secure to inexperienced individuals, they are actually made up of several practices that can be easily compromised, making them prone to hacks and attacks.

And the examples are numerous:

From Yahoo’s 2013 attack that affected 3 billion user accounts and impacted the company’s acquisition by Verizon;

To the Equifax scandal of 2017, which became one of the worst data breaches in corporate history, exposing the personal information of nearly 150 million people, including Social Security numbers, dates of birth, home addresses, driver’s licenses, and credit card information;

To 2018, where the Cambridge Analytica scandal about user data misuse has continued to unfold, as the F.B.I and Justice Department are investigating Facebook for failing to safeguard 87 million user profiles.

These are just some of the many examples of how current systems for sharing and storing personal information have proven to be not as safe, secure, or trustworthy as previously thought. The cost and impact are felt by everyone, across the board. 

Governments have been stepping in to implement more stringent laws and regulations for consumer protection. In May of this year, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a standard for data collection and storage, went into effect. In July, California passed the California Consumer Protection Act enacting similar standards. This is probably just the first in a wave of consumer protection and privacy policies that will be introduced in the near future.

Consumers are concerned as well. In a recent Deloitte study, 81 percent of U.S. respondents felt they have lost control over the way their personal data is collected and used. 

The ability to prove you are who you say you are is critical to engaging with the world and being a part of the economy. Decentralized Identity gives that control back to people. 

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, where working from home has become the new normal, security threats have reached an all-time high, leading to the global need for the development of more robust and reliable authentication systems. The simple use of passwords alongside other 2-factor authentication methods, including OTP (One Time Passwords) that are based on “proof of possession” and social logins such as those from Google and Facebook, are highly centralized solutions and a honeypot for identity theft and data compromises. Moreover, in addition to their security inefficiencies, these exact solutions can also be very expensive and do not represent cost-effective methods that secure individual and company data interests.


Enter Hypersign’s Cross-Chain Identity Protocol

Hypersign is a Decentralized Identity and Access Management solution built on public-key cryptography. The Hypersign network securely connects users to applications (web apps, DApps and DAOs) without the need for usernames and passwords. 

This infrastructure creates secure environments and enables connections between hardware, users, and any other virtual or real entities that can connect to the network - such as the vast gamut of IOT devices rapidly entering your home, workplace, and everything in between. From home appliances to connected automobiles, your ability to stay connected securely in an increasingly “always-on” world relies on Hypersign’s privacy solutions. 


Decentralized Trust Distribution

Imagine you move to a new country and need to register for all kinds of services like voting, driver’s licenses, banking, electricity, and entertainment subscriptions. Presently, you have to register individually with each service provider and prove your identity every time to open an account. And whenever you need to access these accounts, you’re required to prove your identity once more, either by password or other credentials. A decentralized identity radically simplifies this process and reduces the risks associated with constantly proving your identity via valuable credentials and passwords.

With Hypersign, you only need to prove your identity once to a trusted third party and store the proof of your identifier on the Hypersign network. The Hyersign Network connects the service providers, issuers and verifiers securely handling all requests for authentication, authorization, verification and Identity management.


Leveraging PKI and the Blockchain for More Robust Security

Leveraging Public key infrastructure (PKI) and blockchain enables Hypersign to provide passwordless authentication alongside authorization and verification services that can integrate with existing IAM systems quickly and at a minimal cost. Perfectly suited for any size of business.

Hypersigns protocol enables users to authenticate without login credentials. Each application is accessed using a private / public key pair, where the private key is only accessible by the user stored in on their mobile device and the public key on the network for open and easy verification. 

Through the Hypersign protocol, users no longer need to manually enter credentials like usernames and passwords when they want to log in. Instead, they can just scan a QR code and gain access with the click of a button. Moreover, user onboarding becomes much easier as there is no need to fill out registration forms allowing a system that users can be onboarded more efficiently by providing them with verifiable blockchain-based credentials.


Hypersign Identity Token (HID) and its Utility


HID is Hypersign's native token. It's currently trading on UNISWAP.

In addition to creating a more robust security protocol, Hypersign can also be utilized as a basic payment infrastructure platform for any party or service provider through HID.

Through the adoption of HID, there is no need for service providers to integrate third-party payment providers or maintain billing, manage accounts, keep records, develop payment user interfaces, etc. All these tools are built-in to the Hypersign ecosystem that allow actors to pay for actions including the issuing of credentials on demand. 

Another key feature of HID is to incentivize identity and service providers to earn revenue by verifying transactions. This alternative revenue stream will maintain the network’s integrity and prevent the selling of private user data to 3rd parties for advertising purposes.


Advantages for Enterprises

Along with improving user privacy and security, decentralization also helps organizations mitigate risk. 

Many international organizations are subject to regulations governing the collection, processing, and storage of user data as well as for any related transitions that use said data. They risk harsh financial and reputational penalties for lapses in data security or privacy violations. 

By collecting and storing less user data, organizations simplify their compliance obligations. They also limit the risks of misusing information and being targeted by opportunistic cyber-attacks. Hypersign ends these data silos by distributing and decentralizing data back to the users; rather than storing them in large silos within companies; whilst simultaneously empowering users and alleviating organizations from their data security responsibilities and ensuring jurisdictional compliance.

One of the most popular use cases for Hypersign’s access management solutions is with Remote Access systems that most organizations deploy for their employees and customers. The elimination of passwords through our services effectively removes what is by far the weakest link in digital security. Virtually every single major global data hack, leak or breach is caused due to password vulnerabilities - with users either creating overly simplistic passwords that are easy to hack or storing and sharing their passwords in unsafe ways. 

Rather than expect every individual to maintain exemplary security behaviour, the obviously better solution is to redesign the system away from the archaic passwords-based mechanism. This is precisely what  Hypersign has built using cryptographically secure public-key technology which is more secure than the current system of passwords and OTPs.

Advantages for Blockchain Projects

Adoption is the fundamental issue being faced by blockchain projects today. This is primarily due to inefficiencies in the way these decentralized applications are accessed by users. Due to the nature of the ways these distributed systems are created, Web 3.0 applications are fundamentally different from their Web 2.0 predecessors and their designs need to cater to a user base largely unfamiliar with these new applications. 

Hypersign drastically simplifies the access management problem by eliminating the need for usernames and passwords whilst simplifying the management of private and public keys that are used to access decentralized environments, thereby boosting adoption in a drastic way.


What's it in for the Consumer

With Hypersign’s decentralized system, the wallet acts as a secure repository of user identifiers. It protects users with encryption and biometrics, solicits informed consent whenever credentials are requested, and conceals metadata that could lead to credential tracking. 

Additionally, we feel that in order to bring the blockchain to everyone, centralized and decentralized systems have to work together. Hypersign is bridging this gap by building adapters. For instance, we are currently working on plugins that will bring WordPress users to the blockchain and give them access to our decentralized and passwordless authentication solutions. 


Hypersign’s Vision for the [not so distant] Future

The  Hypersign network will eventually empower humans to have full control over their personal data and anyone wanting to access someone else’s personal information will only be able to do so with explicit consent from the owner of that data. 

With Hypersign, you will never have to fill out another application form nor go through tedious KYC procedures ever again. When applying for a loan at a bank, for instance, the bank will merely ping you on your Hypersign application and, with you simply clicking a button they will be able to verify you without gaining access to any of your personal information. Basically, the bank will know it’s you, without you needing to give them your name, address, phone number or any other personal and private information. 

Our Decentralized Identity (DID) technology will also eliminate the need for phone numbers in the future. People will be able to connect with each other directly [P2P], without the need to exchange any personal information, thereby eliminating all privacy and security risks.

Hypersign’s fundamental goals are to end the era where our most private information is packaged and sold to the highest bidder, empowering the individual by returning control of their identity to themselves, and building a future where privacy is, once more, an inalienable right.

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Human in #Crypto. Marketer, Consultant, Advisor, ex-developer. Seen on Forbes, CoinTelegraph, Thrive.

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