Blockchain technology is coming to enterprise document storage thanks to a deal announced Wednesday by decentralized-storage company Storj Labs Inc. and secure document sharing service provider CapLinked Inc.
With distributed ledger or blockchain technology, it’s possible to build storage that does not rely on centralized databases and management. This is the paradigm behind Storj Labs, the developer of a blockchain-based technology that allows for the decentralized storage of documents that are broken up across the network and privately encrypted so that only the owner can unlock them with the proper key.
CapLinked’s service provides secure enterprise storage for documents that allows for the sharing of confidential and proprietary information. Using a software-as-a-service platform, the company delivers an application programming interface for developers to build into their apps the capability to protect, track and recall access to files – all of this along with role management and permissions to allow groups to handle the who, what and where of secure access.
“Our platform is frequently used in mergers, licensing deals, financings, audits and other projects that involve sharing data and other content between companies,” Arons Lee, chief technology officer of CapLinked, said in the announcement.
This partnership with Storj, Lee said, would bring the blockchain-based decentralized cloud capability to bolster CapLinked’s current encrypted access management for documentation.
“Encryption and decentralization are an excellent combination that ensure data can only be accessed by file owners and those they give permission,” said John Quinn, Storj Labs’ co-founder and chief revenue officer.
Enterprise document storage solutions already exist in the market from big companies such as Dropbox Inc., Box Inc. and Citrix Systems Inc., not to mention Microsoft Corp.’s and Google Inc.’s cloud solutions. Connecting with Storj’s blockchain-based protocol, CapLinked would differentiate its service by allowing for highly secure but decentralized storage, so files are not stored on a single server or even across a single private, public or hybrid cloud.
Storj’s blockchain network breaks apart documents and files across numerous, separate and distributed nodes each with their own encryption keys to protect the data stored in them. Across the entire network, individual nodes also share highly redundant backups of the portions of each split-up document or file. As a result, if some nodes go offline, it is still possible to reconstruct the original file. Because the original file is also encrypted and protected by access management – now even more sophisticated with the addition of CapLinked – only the owners of the file’s encryption key can read the reconstructed document.
Additionally, using blockchain technology would provide an auditable transaction log for any document stored in the document with a high level of trust. Within the nature of a blockchain, every transaction is recorded and secured by future transactions, meaning that each time a document is acted upon, the action is recorded in the “chain,” which can include metadata such as who, when and what. And that information can be later verified to see how the current state of any document came to be.
This capability of blockchain technology has led to pilot programs and experimental use across numerous industries such as financial technology, shipping logistics and healthcare, where auditability and adherence to regulatory bodies is a necessity.