Introducing Xage, a new blockchain cybersecurity startup

Xage is a new startup that uses blockchain technology to link oil well industrial machinery to smart meters. The company’s main focus is to provide cybersecurity solutions and prevent cyberattacks on industrial IoT equipment.

What’s not so typical about them is the fact that they’re using blockchain technology to create a distributed network of devices with the capability of authenticating the digital footprint of each machine.

According to Duncan Greatwood, CEO of Xage who used to work for Apple, distributed security is becoming increasingly urgent. The energy industry is aiming to achieve remote access to distant windfarms and oilfields, but the potential cyberattacks are quite a concern.

He explained that even two years ago, these locations were disconnected from the outside world in order to contain the risk. Now that they’re gradually moving the data to the cloud in order to analyse it, this opens the floodgates to a whole new exposure that has never existed before. Becoming compromised in one particular place could affect as many as 20,000 drills.

To address this, Xage is using blockchain technology to detect anomalies on just one connected device, effectively preventing a hacker from compromising the entire centralised network.

Chuck Drobny, a chief executive of GlobaLogix, a contractor for SME gas and oil companies, commented that his customers were often paying $1,000 just for employees to travel to a field in order to change passwords, because these devices were not connected remotely. Now, detecting problems from afar will be a realistic possibility.