Blockchain and IoT technologies combine for document authentication

Blockchain and IoT technologies combine for document authentication

Blockchain and IoT technologies combine for document authentication
Blockchain and IoT technologies combine for document authentication

Blockchain firm Factom and Smartac, a company that creates radio-frequency identification (RFID) products for the Internet of Things (IoT), are launching a vital document authentication system.

The companies have teamed up to create dLoc, a product that aims to help people keep information on paper-based documents secure and private.

It is being aimed at industries where security is crucial. For instance, the technology would be useful in the context of a hospital, where medical records can be compromised easily. The system has been created in a bid to bridge the physical and digital world, and to promote the idea of smart authentication technology.

High-tech authentication system with Blockchain

A number of different technologies have been implemented in dLoc, including Smartrac’s popular IoT platform Cosmos and its range of NFC transponders – all of which are combined with Factom’s Blockchain tech.

Almost any document can be used with the system, the company has confirmed. You just have to attach a printed barcode to the paper and link it to personalised data.

These stickers are also packed with technology. There’s a Smartrac Bullseye NFC inlay, which consists of a personalised security chip. The capacity is between 1kB and 64kB.

They’ve been built to support a variety of security features too, including UV print, micro text, latent image or guilloches – which are the norm for highly-protected document.

Related: Isle of Man tests distributed ledger to secure IoT devices

Securing important documents

Document data is also protected, with the tech featuring a unique NFC ID for 32-bit hash value. This, according to the company, means the documents will only be accessible to certain people via a special key.

All this information is stored in the Smart Cosmos system and aided in a public blockchain. As a result, people will be able to use a mobile app or desktop scanner to access the document securely,

Abhi Dobhal, VP of  business development at Factom, believes that this system will revolutionise the way documents are handled in a number of public and private sector scenarios –  such as government, banking, healthcare and education.

“dLoc is the first practical document authentication system that uses the Factom blockchain to bridge the data integrity gap between the physical and digital world,” he said.

“We now have a reliable way to secure information on paper-based documents with digital data using blockchain technology. dLoc’s data and identity authentication solution holds great promise for both public and private sectors where paper-based documents are widely used.”

Mitch Deyoung, VP of  product management secure ID & transactions business division at Smartrac, said: “We are proud to be the first to market with a document authentication solution that combines NFC’s convenience, the IoT’s capabilities and blockchain’s security,

while integrating into any issuance authority’s existing system.

“Offering convincing advantages over traditional QR code-based solutions, dLoc will definitely strengthen our position as a systems integrator in document security, and will meet the needs of governments, banks, hospitals, universities or any other institution that issues vital records.”

IoT security to the max

This IoT-enabled document authentication system is one of the first of its kind, and the firms have submitted it for the 2016 Sesames Awards. It comes at a time when more people are exploring ways connected tech can revolutionise security processes.

Blockchain tech is proving to be popular in other aspects of IoT security too. The Isle of Man Government recently partnered with on-Island tech start-up Credits to become the UK government’s first approved supplier of distributed ledger technology.

Brian Donegan, head of e-business operations for the government’s department of economic development, said: “Isle of Man was the first jurisdiction to address the issue of regulation for blockchain in 2015 and it is by deploying blockchain technology and developing a product trial with local company Credits, that the Isle of Man is able to create a definitive solution to the IoT hack issue.

“The concept of the trial revolves around the idea that an IoT platform could be protected by encasing it in a technical ecomesh (a “technomesh”, if you will), composed of – in the main – private, permissioned, blockchain technology (as opposed to open source public blockchain, such as bitcoin blockchain).

“In an ideal world, this concept will result in a safer IoT and, in our opinion, greater global investment flows into both the blockchain and IoT technologies in the near term.”

Related: IoT alliance to deliver security for connected devices