Acronis, a company that specialises in hybrid cloud data protection, has established a dedicated research and development team to develop applications of blockchain technology for secure data protection. The technology, created for transactions of cryptocurrency Bitcoin, has long been thought to be a viable technology for use within the finance industry, though Acronis believes it could help guarantee data authenticity, privacy and control.
Blockchain is a technology that provides a cryptographically-signed record of digital events distributed across different entities. It's typically used for financial transactions, but Acronis thinks the technology could be useful for keeping track of more than just monetary transactions.
Acronis wants to leverage blockchain technology to be able to provide 'tamper-proof' data protection, used for cases where the integrity of the original information or file being transferred is of the utmost priority — just a few examples include real estate and medical records, stock transfers, court documents, police video or security camera footage as well as 'consortium' data storage, where multiple entities can store and exchange massive amounts of data.
To this end, Acronis is extending its current data storage, file sync and share solutions with this new blockchain technology to be able to monitor data integrity and guarantee validity at all points in the process.
Not only is blockchain more secure for cases where integrity and authenticity is of the utmost importance, it's also cheaper to integrate. Blockchain technology employs a decentralised system, which has the potential to cut out a number of expensive middlemen and arbiters.
A prototype of Acronis's blockchain data authentication solution is now available and is meant to give partners and end user customers an introduction to a type of technology that, frankly, not many people fully understand right now. It's a simple example of how blockchain can be used to verify data with timestamps and certificated of authenticity, and Acronis is also hoping to get input on potential use cases for an extension of the tech used in the prototype. The prototype can be accessed here.