On Wednesday, Dell EMC (the information technologies branch of the computer company) announced a new partnership with software company SAP Solutions and Camelot Innovation Technologies (Camelot ITLab) in a bid to increase the security of private data storage on a blockchain. Camelot ITLab is the "leading SAP consultancy for digital value chain management."
The three companies will attempt to change the way private data is stored on a blockchain through what Dell's white paper calls "trusted computing." According to Dell, "This approach keeps private data completely off-chain while registering the private data on-chain by storing a hash of it for later verification of its integrity."
The approach allows involved parties to choose an algorithm via on-chain voting, which is then "distributed to all parties as an executable program." The danger in this system, as Dell points out, is that once off-chain, a malicious actor could change the algorithm. As a countermeasure, the "trusted computing" system's hardware prevents "unauthorized modification" and stops parties from interfering with the algorithms' execution at runtime, purportedly solving the "never trust the client" problem.
While the trio is hoping to make improvements to the healthcare and oil industries, it is still unclear if and where the blockchain platform will have a significant impact.
Steffen Joswig, managing partner of Camelot ITLab, praised the collaboration:
"Camelot and Dell EMC have been working together to enable organizations to capitalize on the unique capabilities of blockchains in a manner that protects the privacy of sensitive data."
Other companies have been working on blockchain solutions for storing sensitive data. In August 2017, Vault One announced an Ethereum-based solution to allow small businesses to secure sensitive data. In April of this year, five healthcare firms, including Humana, joined forces to create a blockchain platform designed to improve the accuracy of data for providers and reduce costs related to data storage and analysis.