Seagate, IBM Partner To Combat Global Hard Drive Counterfeiting Using Blockchain

Data storage solution provider Seagate and tech giant IBM have joined forces to fight counterfeit hard drives using blockchain and security technologies.

The project will combine IBM’s blockchain latform with Seagate’s advanced “electronic fingerprinting” and product tracking to help prove provenance over hard drive life cycle. The goal is to help manufacturers, integrators, and business partners combat counterfeit hard drives and bring a new level of multi-layered security protection to the data management industry.

“Blockchain technology can be extremely effective in confirming provenance and authenticity of assets,” said Bruce Anderson, global managing director, electronics industry, IBM. “The ability to work with Seagate to combine blockchain with advanced cryptographic product identification technology is what sets this work apart, and signals blockchain’s potential to reimagine the electronics product life cycle management processes. Counterfeit electronic components are a global issue that requires an ecosystem-wide effort to address.”

To verify hard drive authenticity, IBM’s blockchain platform will be updated by Seagate on the IBM Cloud using its product authentication data, which is based on the Seagate Secure Electronic ID (eID), at the point of manufacture. A unique identifier, which will serve as an electronic fingerprint, will enable technology vendors, service providers, and end users to confirm the product’s provenance on the blockchain, which provides an immutable record of events.

“IBM has a proven history of technology innovation as evidenced by its market leadership in blockchain technology for product provenance in various industries,” said Mark Re, senior vice president and chief technology officer at Seagate. “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.”

Analysts believe that the selling of counterfeit goods and products under the name of reputed brands not only brings the immense financial loss to the original brands but also poses a great threat to the economy. According to The Global Brand Counterfeiting Report 2018, in 2017, online counterfeiting was estimated to have been responsible for losses of $30.3 billion in the high-end consumer goods sector, which accounted for 31% of the total losses ($98B USD) from counterfeiting of the sector. Of all industries and sectors, losses suffered due to online counterfeiting globally has amounted to $323 billion in the year 2017.

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