Storage vendor taps blockchain technology for data protection

Singapore-based data storage and security vendor, Acronis, says it has set up a research and development team to build data protection tools based on blockchain technology.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Acronis has unveiled plans to use blockchain technology to develop data protection tools, forming a research and development team that will focus exclusively on such initiatives.

The data storage and security vendor believed blockchain technology had the potential to offer new data protection use cases based on its distributed architecture, which could be leveraged to ensure authenticity and privacy.

Most commonly recognised as the core technology behind Bitcoin, blockchain is a distributed database, or public ledger, shared by participants in a given system and validated with a set of technical rules. It is formed by a growing list of data records, each containing timestamps and information linking it to the previous block. Transactions are not recognised until they are added to the blockchain and because every participant has a copy, tampering is evident, making it difficult to hack and steal.

"With blockchain, data and transactions can be updated only by rules of consensus between participants in the system," Acronis said in a statement. "And when new data is entered, it can never be erased."

The Singapore-based company added that the technology also helped reduce cost and complexity commonly associated with managing centralised systems. It said it was applying blockchain technology to its range of data storage as well as file sync and share offerings, using it to monitor data integrity and authenticity.

It noted that blockchain could be used to protect data such as property and medical records, stock transfers, chain-of-evidence in court documents, as well as long-term data archives for IT audit.

Acronis also would offering its service provider partners and customers a prototype software running blockchain technology, to demonstrate how it could be used to verify and protect data with timestamps and authentication certificates. By doing so, the vendor was hoping to seek input from the public on potential use cases based on blockchain technology.

Acronis Co-founder and CEO Serguei Beloussov said: "When harnessed to its full potential, blockchain will bring levels of data authenticity, privacy, and control to data protection that we have not seen before."

Other IT vendors also have jumped on the blockchain bandwagon including IBM, which just last month said it had created cloud services for blockchain networks that support applications for the public, financial, and healthcare sectors.

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