Let’s face it: the world is full of cyber-criminals looking to steal your data online and use it in malicious ways. We all recognize the need for heightened security when it comes to sharing and securing information.
But what about the information that should be shared with the world? Information like distributed records, information and other documentation that should be available and accessible to others—how do you keep some information transparent while also safeguarding it?
That was the mission that Paul Snow, David Johnston and Brian Deery set out to accomplish in 2014 when they started Factom. RewardExpert recently had the pleasure of speaking with Courtney Roberts, Digital Marketing Manager for the company, about what they have accomplished so far and what the future looks like.
Factom’s founders recognized that the world’s systems needed to be more transparent and honest. “In the past, distributed records, information and documents have been difficult to protect, challenging to synchronize and impossible to truly verify because of the manual effort involved,” explained Roberts. “Factom’s mission is to provide blockchain data provenance for complex industries.”
They have started an incredible endeavor, claiming the possibility of a future where fraud, corruption and forgery are a thing of the past. By creating a software that makes it impossible to change the past, they are definitely on to something.
The Security in Blockchain
Blockchain is a relatively new method of securing data that became popular with the sudden upsurge in Bitcoin. Basically, it works in a way that protects the data by making it nearly impossible to tamper with it. The other critical part of blockchain technology is that it makes the information open for others to see. This adds transparency to the transactions and keeps the data pure.
Blockchains are made up of different blocks that contain data. Each block also has a unique hash or fingerprint that belongs to it alone. It also contains the hash information for the previous block. Basically, any time the data in a block is changed (by adding to or changing the data in some way), a new block is created that has it’s own unique fingerprint as well as the fingerprint of the former block. This makes it nearly impossible to tamper with the data since doing so would change the fingerprint of the block, making it not line up with the other blocks in the chain.
By applying this technology to data in the real world, Factom has essentially created a way to safeguard the world’s most critical information, while allowing it to be transparent for everyone to see. Factom’s product, known as Factom Harmony, is the first of it’s kind to incorporate this blockchain technology, publishing evidence for enterprise data.
“With the power of blockchain technology, our API integrates directly with your existing software, allowing you to share, audit and exchange sensitive documents stored privately behind your firewalls,” explained Roberts. “Factom Harmony reduces the liability of lost documents, incomplete or older versions, reduces audit time and prevents costly litigation.”
Honesty. Trust. Immutability.
The technology created by Factom is trusted by many when it comes to safeguarding data. Some of their projects include a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to secure IoT cameras at the U.S.-Mexico border. They have recently been awarded Phase IV of this contract.
They are also working with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to secure immunization records in Africa on a blockchain. This innovative and unique approach will continue to secure critical data long into the future.
To learn more about Factom and their products, visit www.factom.com today.