Notes from ICE71 x SFA Tech Showcase and Panel Discussion – Rethinking Blockchain’s $100B Problem Through Cybersecurity

Date: 23 Nov 2021

In the wise words of Solo Kombani, COO of ICE71 start-up Aiculus, “the more powerful a tool is, the more robust our security measures have to be“. While Blockchain has opened up a wealth of opportunities for the FinTech industry, it has also become a high-value target for cyber criminals. Just as DeFi made headlines as the newest $100B sector earlier this year, bigger news was made when the industry saw a slew of high-profile attacks on DeFi platforms such as Cream Finance and Poly Network, highlighting very huge and present security threats.

In this joint Tech Showcase and Panel Discussion with the Singapore Fintech Association, we invited experts to discuss what Blockchain’s biggest cyber threats are and how companies can mediate these challenges with innovative tech offerings.

Key takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • Although smart contract technology has proved to be a revolutionary development with seamless transactions, equally debilitating vulnerabilities remain a top concern. Nevertheless, Veronica Tan, Director for Safer Cyberspace at the Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, believes that there will be more cybersecurity companies innovating to tackle challenges in this area.
  • 4 key areas of smart contract vulnerabilities have been identified by Ant Group – code security, logic vulnerability, business logic vulnerability and cross chain security. To address these, Derrick Loi, General Manager at Ant Group (International Business), shared that a multi-angle contract security analysis may be employed through static scanning, fuzzy test and formal business logic analysis.
  • Cybersecurity risks faced by traditional finance and DeFi are similar. As demonstrated by the recent spate of high profile hacks, Veronica pointed out that blockchain companies are also not spared from hacking incidents, hence traditional cyber hygiene measures must continue to be practiced in all organisations to ensure a safer cyberspace environment.
  • Gene Yu, Co-Founder and CEO, Blackpanda, also added that blockchain and cypto-affiliated companies may actually be considered higher risk than traditional finance as seen from the absence of cyber insurance companies that offer related coverage.
  • The Blockchain industry cannot simply mimic traditional bug bounty practices to raise it cybersecurity protection. Unlike traditional bug bounties, DeFi’s ‘bugs’ are associated with actual monetary value, said Anson Zeall, Chairman of Association of Crypto Currency Enterprises and Start-ups Singapore (ACCESS) and Co-Founder & Chairman of the International Digital Asset Exchange Association (IDAXA). Therefore, hackers have more incentive to who exploit DeFi bug and take off with rewards more handsome than typically offered by traditional bug bounties.

→ Watch the full session on ICE71’s YouTube channel or Facebook page.

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