Marist Sophomore Alissa Sytsma Presents at Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (CURSCA) on Jointly Developed Hyperledger-based Blockchain Application


Poughkeepsie, NY (April 19, 2018) – Computer Science and Mathematics’ sophomore Alissa Sytsma, who is majoring in Computer Science with two minors, Cybersecurity and IT, will present a Hyperledger-based blockchain application collaboratively developed with BlackRidge Technology at the 2018 Celebration of Undergraduate Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity (CURSCA) annual showcase.

As a student researcher and developer, Alissa Sytsma collaborated with BlackRidge Technology experts, Marist faculty, and IT technical staff to jointly develop a Hyperledger-based blockchain application that eliminates fraud from philanthropic contributions.  The solution developed and hosted at Marist requires only a web browser and integrates BlackRidge endpoint software to secure all transactions to and from the Hyperledger-based Assets and Transaction system. The Hyperledger Fabric records an immutable record of all transactions and BlackRidge Technology provides ‘person-based’ authenticated linkages between all parties engaged in the transactions.

“The research we have done with BlackRidge is a great example of how Marist approaches innovation. Including our students as young paraprofessionals with the institution’s strong applied research culture makes Marist unique within higher education,” said Bill Thirsk, Vice President of Information Technology/CIO at Marist College.  “Having BlackRidge as a joint research and technology incubation partner further differentiates us. By leveraging this solution, we are able to offer simple, innovative, and secure blockchain services to our constituents and lower the barriers of entry for enterprises to take advantage of blockchain technology. Marist will continue to develop the fraud avoidance system in conjunction with BlackRidge Technology to provide an immutable Hyperledger blockchain and secure transactions using BlackRidge Technology’s cybersecurity stack.”

“Our partnership with BlackRidge has been tremendous in understanding blockchain technology, how to secure it, and drive innovation in this space.  We collaborated with BlackRidge, Marist students, faculty, and IT staff to architect and design the solution. Both our students and faculty developed the Hyperledger Fabric routines utilizing Hyperledger Composer,” said Dr. Roger Norton, Dean of the School of Computer Science and Mathematics.  “BlackRidge developed the nodejs and browser code utilizing Hyperledger Composer, Composer Rest Server, and Visual Studio Code.  This is also a great example of the use of open source software to drive innovation. All of the code in the solution is licensed under Apache License v2.0.  We have the solution fully functional and are now moving toward production deployment in our IT shop.”

“Marist College has been a tremendous cybersecurity research partner for BlackRidge, providing access to IT resources and faculty and students to collaborate on our products and solutions.  Most recently we collaborated on providing an active cyber defense for distributed network-based applications including blockchains to protect them from unidentified and unauthorized discovery and access and from DDoS attacks.  We look forward to working with Marist to bring to market their hosted blockchain solution secured by BlackRidge,” said Bob Graham, CEO of BlackRidge Technology.

About Marist
Located on the banks of the historic Hudson River and at its Florence, Italy campus, Marist College is a comprehensive, independent institution grounded in the liberal arts. Its mission is to “help students develop the intellect, character, and skills required for enlightened, ethical, and productive lives in the global community of the 21st century.” Marist is consistently recognized for excellence by The Princeton Review (Colleges That Create Futures and The Best 381 Colleges), U.S. News & World Report (9th Best Regional University/North), Kiplinger’s Personal Finance (“Best College Values”), and others. Marist educates approximately 5,000 traditional-age undergraduate students and 1,400 adult and graduate students in 47 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate programs, including fully online MBA, MPA, MS, and MA degrees. www.marist.edu To read more about CURSCA visit http://www.marist.edu/academics/cursca/

About BlackRidge Technology
BlackRidge Technology provides an adaptive cyber defense solution that enables our customers to deliver more secure and resilient business services in today’s rapidly evolving technology and cyber threat environments. The BlackRidge Adaptive Trust solution provides end-to-end security that proactively isolates cloud services, protects servers and segments networks. Our patented First Packet Authentication™ technology authenticates user and device identity and enforces security policy on the first packet of network sessions. This new level of real-time protection blocks or redirects unidentified and unauthorized traffic to stop attacks and unauthorized access. BlackRidge was founded in 2010 to commercialize its military grade and patented network security technology. For more information, visit www.blackridge.us.