Data storage giant Seagate is currently facing major counterfeiting problems. The problem remains larger than expected because cyber-crime and the counterfeiting of products continue to rise. There are multiple avenues where counterfeiting arises from fraudulent hard drives to dressed up USB sticks. According to a reverse supply chain the fake products penetrate the major markets such as eBay.
The Cupertino based company devised a two-fold plan. They aim to eliminate the $100 billion in counterfeit products affecting the hardware industry. In addition, the company seeks to introduce cryptographic signatures that makes their products unique. However, to ensure that the entire supply chain is free from fraud Seagate partnered with IBM. The process aims at introducing blockchain technology to help with boosting security. If the process runs smoothly, Seagate expects to reduce the level of fake products in the market.
Enhanced Security for Seagate using Blockchain Technology
According to Seagate managing technologist, Manuel Offenberg, as quoted by Forbes, “We found a unique way of tying the physical product to the virtual world, through the blockchain,” the managing technologist noted. “We think that’s where some of the novelty is, where we really can go from a physical product to the virtual blockchain world.’
While this marks the first push for the implementation of blockchain technology in the communication sector, Seagate remains hopeful. The relationship between the two companies goes back over a decade with Seagate providing hard drives for IBM manufactured products. Similarly, it was this collaboration that made Seagate decide to embrace the blockchain concept to reduce the influx of fake products.
In the initial stages of the partnership, Manuel, together with his six-member team pursued an enhanced concept in dealing with the existing challenges. The concept incorporate Hyperledger, which will track goods from the point of manufacture to the end user. While the traditional technology incorporated several middlemen, the new technology will facilitate faster transportation and tracking of goods.
Therefore, the IBM blockchain solution will assist with the integration of their own accounting software. This will offer a solution to the database problem. Additionally, Mr. Offenberg notes that with the introduction of new tracking technology, the IBM and Seagate partnership is going places. In the process, the company plans to use electronic IDs. These will serve as a fingerprint for each piece of hardware released.
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