News Article

Taekion Wins NSF Innovation Seed Capital R&D Contract
Date: Oct 29, 2020
Author: David Cohen
Source: Company Press Release ( click here to go to the source)

Featured firm in this article: Taekion of Boulder, CO

In January 2020, Taekion was awarded a prestigious innovation seed capital grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The project titled "Defense-hardened Blockchain File System using aBFT Consensus" represents novel and game-changing innovation in distributed consensus and fault tolerance protocols to enable secure, resilient, and trusted computer networks. Our invention is based on distributed consensus methods which combine our Taekion File System (TFS) innovation with flexible and optimal Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerant (aBFT) consensus mechanisms to achieve high data integrity and maximum network resiliency (retains all transactions and guarantees liveness) within disconnected, flaky, and constrained networks which we have market validated with the Department of Defense (DoD) and other customers needing critical data protection.

Asynchronous (disconnected) networks are subject to various sources of uncertainties that influence their behavior, including randomly changing topologies, link failures, data arrival times, network nodes turning on and off randomly, as well as bad actors (Byzantine Faults). Our innovation is designed to retain all transactions and is the first innovation to maintain local state integrity under these types of conditions. During disconnected times, or under crash and Byzantine faults, the system will store relevant data on the local host and ensure the integrity of this data before it is inserted into the blockchain using TFS and pluggable Asynchronous Byzantine Fault Tolerance (aBFT).

The software platform that is being commercialized and integrated with the Taekion CORE addresses an exponentially increasing problem in cybersecurity called information security (IS). Information Security is concerned with protecting information from unauthorized access, use, disclosure, disruption, modification, or destruction related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of data. Mission and life-critical systems data used to operate our critical infrastructure are increasingly at risk from cyber-attacks. According to George Gilder, the Internet suffered a billion breaches to private data last year. Mission-critical systems data is constantly under attack by adversaries at the rate of 250,000 times per year for Department of Defense (DoD) networks according to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). A serious concern is that only 1 in 500 data breaches are detected and reported. According to IBM, the average cost of a data breach for corporate customers is $8.6 million in the USA and the costs persist more than 3 years after the breach. IBM estimates that mega data breaches are increasing 8-10 percent yearly and can cost $350 million . For mission-critical systems, compromised data is a serious problem including huge economic losses, potential for mission failures, and in some situations, life-critical consequences. Protecting that data/information is one of the biggest market opportunities of this decade. Existing, centralized solutions will not protect data that has been compromised due to single points of failure. As well, current approaches are designed to find the problem "after the fact", when it's simply too late assuming the breaches are found at all.

The Taekion overall platform is designed to be an easy-to-use software platform that keeps data safe, tamper-resistant, verifiable, and trusted over the system's life cycle protecting data from source to destination. We are targeting large Enterprise customers, SmartGrid, Defense, and other follow on markets in critical infrastructure and are hopeful that we will continue the NSF project into Phase 2 in Q1 of 2021.