Using blockchain for efficient management of data access

Market Overview:

The number of data breaches is steadily growing and is prompting the need for new approaches to encrypting data access. Current methods for encrypting data are rapidly reaching the end of their lifespan due to the capabilities and effectiveness of quantum computing. However, the demand for blockchain security is currently growing. Several companies are in dire need of encryption technologies that effectively address the new generation of cyber security threats. Clemson researchers have created a new method managing data encryption that uses blockchain to enable streamlined data and access storage. This invention allows audit and compliance staff to identify the individuals who had access to which versions of specific data in a privacy preserving manner. 


Application                                                   Stage of Development

Cyberinfrastructure; cyber encryption           Preliminary Prototype



  • Efficient management of data access
  • Access right indelibly documented
  • Distribution of rights can be anonymous and is resilient to denial of service attacks


Technical Summary

This technology enables the management of data access by leveraging blockchain. The method utilizes key encryption keys (KEK) to efficiently add and remove access to data. The system is self-documenting, which allows data forensics personnel to determine who had access to which version of the data. Using the blockchain to update data access permissions allows this to be done in an anonymous way. It is also resilient to denial of service attacks, since the distributed ledger is more resistant to those attacks.   

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Inventor:                       Dr. Richard Brooks, Tony Skjellum, Lu Yu

Patent Type:                  Provisional

Serial Number:             NA 

CURF Ref No:              2019-026

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Andy Bluvas
Technology Commercialization Officer
Clemson University Research Foundation
Richard Brooks
Lu Yu
Tony Skjellum
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