Monday, June 17, 2019

IBM and Seagate to Use Blockchain Technology in Combating Fake Hard Drives

The Data storage company, Seagate Technology PLC has partnered with IBM to combat the number of fake hard drives in the market. The company made it known that IBM’s Blockchain technology will be used to achieve this. As a result, integrators, manufacturers,  and businesses will be able to identify these counterfeit hardware devices easily.

Blockchain, a Possible Solution to Counterfeits

According to Seagate, the Blockchain technology will be employed in tracking all newly manufactured hard drives to discourage the production of these counterfeits. Blockchain was relied upon because its data cannot be modified by a single party unless there is a general agreement on the network.

The Managing Technology of Seagate, Manuel Offenberg said;

We found a unique way of tying the physical product to the virtual world, through the blockchain. We think that’s where some of the novelty is, where we really can go from a physical product to the virtual blockchain world.

New Hard Drives to Have Seagate’s Unique ID Authentication

The data storage company now plans on placing cryptographic signatures based on a Seagate’s Secure Electronic ID (eID), on its hard drives at the point of manufacture. This unique data on its devices will then be uploaded to IBM’s Blockchain platform where it will remain throughout the product’s cycle.

Mark Re, senior vice president of Seagate stated that:

By combining Seagate’s innovations in product security with IBM’s blockchain expertise, we want to prove that we can help reduce the incidence of product counterfeiting in the future.

Consequently, manufacturers, integrators, and businesses will be able to confirm the genuinity of the hard drives they receive because their IDs have already been stored on the network. On the other hand, retailers will not be able to access this data for the time being, but there are expectations that privileges will also be granted to them in the future.

The Risk Associated With Counterfeit Hard Drives

Seagate like most companies replaces a purchased hardware component returned by an unsatisfied customer. By receiving these fake devices which they had not manufactured, it means that it’s also possible to buy a low-quality hard drive from the original manufacturer. Equally, losses are made when a product which was not produced is replaced for a genuine one.

Other than tracking hard drives, Seagate also intends on using the blockchain platform to improve its supply chain where there will be minimal manual administrative cost and losses can be reduced if not entirely. Also, it will eliminate most of the paperwork associated with the distribution of these products.

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