DVS - An Added Level of Assurance

December 21, 2023

Digital and trust, two words not always closely associated together. That is, until now. In a world where tampering and hacking are persistent realities of our online world, the ability to verify documents with absolute certainty couldn’t be more crucial. TAAP’s Document Verification Service (DVS) is the solution to this problem.

Establishing a Mirror Image

It’s paramount to a wide range of industries to have the ability to assert, with absolute certainty, if documents have been altered. Be them blatantly obvious or almost indistinguishable modifications, having a tool at your fingertips that establishes whether two documents exactly mirror one another helps to provide assurance and confidence that the documents are trusted.

The testing, inspection and certification (TIC) sector provides a variety of services, ranging from auditing to testing to quality assurance, that all follow strict evidential protocols. Thanks to governments imposing an increasing number of strict standards and regulations, partly because of the rise in illicit trade of forged and pirated goods, the TIC market is growing, and fast. In 2020, the testing services segment accounted for the largest share of the overall TIC market. As such, it’s never been more important for clients to firmly trust TIC companies, and it’s never been more important for TIC companies to be able to trust themselves.

Keeping Up to Standard

With operations taking place across a wide variety of industries (for example, automotive, oil and gas, agriculture), identifying and mitigating risk in these processes can be difficult to navigate and keep abreast of. Supported by strong recommendations from regulatory authorities, we’re in an environment that is demanding high-quality, safe, efficient products. TIC companies need increased assurance that their procedures and employees are performing properly, with no open gaps to their data-storage networks.

Let’s say a surveyor has been contracted out to a construction site to inspect equipment assets. They’re looking to ensure the business complies with relevant company and industry guidance. It’s a textbook job, and the employee carries out their usual manual tests and probes, making a record of their findings. But a few weeks, months, or even years, later, their inspection is questioned. It’s been flagged by a third party due to some data irregularities. How is the TIC company meant to justify if the record of flagged data differs to the original record?

This is where having our DVS comes into play; it’s been designed to provide confidence and total piece of mind about data’s authenticity. It complements compliance with regulations by reducing the risk of malicious alterations that could cover up non-compliance, fraud, or financial crimes. Such claims could end up in court, costing not only money but reputational damage too. The DVS provides evidence that is immutable by nature, helping to prevent legalities and ensure the upmost standards are held.

Let’s Get Technical

So, how does it work? Our platform is based on Microsoft’s Azure SQL Database Ledger which allows users to cryptographically attest to third parties that data hasn’t been tampered with. The DVS allows for documents of any type (from MS Word and Excel to videos and photos) and files of any size to be loaded into the system via an application programming interface (API). When a document is uploaded to the DVS, metadata specific to that document is created. A digital receipt is supplied to confirm the document’s successful upload; this contains a unique QR code that can also be scanned to verify that the document is successfully in the DVS, an additional level of assurance.

The Ledger has updateable tables; when a row is updated, the latest version of the row remains in the ledger table, while the earlier version is inserted into the history table. This happens transparently to the application, enabling users, partners, and auditors to analyse all historical operations to detect potential tampering. All documents are cryptographically encrypted and stored in tamper-proof cloud Blob storage, too.

Remember the data that was flagged earlier on? Well, now the two sources of information can be compared, the ‘suspicious’ data against the original data in the history table. And, if you realise that they do, indeed, differ, each row operation is accompanied by the ID of the transaction that performed it, so the user responsible can be easily identified.

Rounding It Up

TAAP’s DVS is an affordable, simple solution that strengthens trust between parties, giving businesses a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Additional cost, complexity, and performance overheads of decentralised blockchain technology are eliminated, while similar benefits, like tamper evidence and immutability, are still present.

If you’re ready to find out more, contact us today to find out how TAAP’s DVS can be implemented into your business.

See how TAAP can work with you today.