Secure/Seamless B2B Data Sharing

With Atsign’s Networking 2.0 Technology


Securing data sharing between multiple businesses is extremely difficult today, because it needs to be addressed at the networking level, often by spinning up separate cloud services for sharing the data. However, there are new technologies that can make this much easier and more secure by abstracting data sharing away from networking. Using Atsign’s Networking 2.0 technology, the time-to-market on your next data sharing project can be drastically reduced, allowing you to be far more agile than your competitors – all while providing better data protection and security.

Why Is Sharing Data So Hard?

Privacy legislation such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in Europe and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have made enterprises more responsible for the data that they collect, share, and store. At the same time, the world is becoming more collaborative, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices are generating far more data than ever before. All this at a time when the instances of ransomware are skyrocketing. Oftentimes, subsets of that data need to be shared among multiple companies. When using the current (Networking 1.0) approach, sharing this data securely with multiple parties has become a nightmare with substantial costs and huge security risks.

Networking 1.0 – An Outdated Data Sharing Model

Companies typically follow these steps:

  1. Set up a shared database server. Often in the cloud in the form of data lakes or data warehouses, with some enterprises using demilitarized zones (DMZs) for this purpose.
  2. Set up security for that server through firewalls and figure out access (often through VPNs) for both parties.
  3. Configure an authentication service to make sure the right people from both companies are the ones actually accessing the data.
  4. Figure out how to keep the data updated by both parties through some synchronization to their internal databases. Many enterprises use Extract, Transfer, Load (ETL) technology for this purpose.

This method is extremely costly to manage and maintain moving forward. Additionally, there are extra monitoring layers that must be added to make sure the data is not being compromised.

Client/server data sharing

Needless to say, the time to set all this up and get it working is substantial. The only thing that has changed about this architecture in the last 20 years is moving it from in-house to the cloud, it is still very complex to set up and maintain securely.

Now imagine this scenario where there are multiple companies involved. Imagine wanting to send subsets of sensor data to different vendors. For example, if you run a smart city you may want to send data from traffic lights to a third party vendor that is helping you with traffic control. But there is also a subset of data from those lights that needs to go to the vendor providing maintenance. Camera data from the lights needs to be routed to the citations and violations department. The bottom line is that you definitely don’t want all data being captured going to all other vendors. 

Setting up a server-centered architecture for this extremely complex scenario is challenging even for the most highly skilled IT staff. Using Networking 1.0, the city example above might look something like this:

Client/Server data sharing – Smart City example

Now imagine adding four or five more vendors to this scenario. It is not scalable or sustainable.

Introducing Networking 2.0

The Era of IT Simplification

Nick Lippis of ONUG notes that, “The IT industry is entering a transformative phase focused on simplification. This shift is a response to the complexity that arose from the overbuild during the 2020-2021 phase. The rapid expansion in IT infrastructure during this period has resulted in systems that are now overly complex and challenging to manage, necessitating a streamlined approach.”¹

The era of blockchain technology brought us decentralization, but it was both complex and resource intensive. Networking 2.0 brings us a simplification of decentralization and an abstraction from the network itself, delivering both quick deployments and privacy

If You Can Map It, You Can Build It: Streamlining Data Flows For Business Agility

Networking 2.0 technology makes it possible to directly address any person or device on the network. By using Networking 2.0 technology, the data sharing is completely abstracted from the network architecture which substantially decreases costs and time-to-market, all while increasing security and data privacy. Permission is attached to the data itself, and subsets of the data can be unlocked for different parties depending upon their assigned access credentials. All this is as easy to set up as mapping out which data goes to which vendor.

New Advances In Data Sharing


This data control can go even further by setting time controls on the data itself. The data could be shared for a limited period of time with share dates and expiration dates built in. This is particularly useful for AI model training.

Real Time Updates

This model requires no additional duplication or synchronization of data, allowing for real time updates from the source to be propagated instantly.

How Atsign Makes It Easy – Leveraging Networking 2.0 Architecture

With Atsign® technology, every vendor and every device has a unique, self-controlled identifier called an atSign. Each atSign has a Personal Data Service (PDS) called an atServer–a PDS for everything including people, entities, and things–where the encrypted data is stored, and each device has a public/private key pair that is cut out on the edge, so the keys for the encryption are on the device and not centralized where they could otherwise be compromised. The data subsets are uniquely encrypted for each atSign, so everything is encrypted from the device to its final destination. The atDirectory provides the location of all the atServers on the network.

Atsign’s Networking 2.0 Architecture: Peer-to-Peer end-to-end encryption

With this distributed model you can quickly and easily map data flows, and ensure that the right data always gets to the right party. There is no need for an additional authentication service as Zero Trust is built into the Atsign technology, resulting in better security.

Here is an example data map for a smart city:

Data flow map for smart city with multiple vendors


Adding more vendors in the data flow above is simple, expedient, and inexpensive.

These data flow maps work for multiple industries. Here is a mining example:

Data flow map for mining

Here is a healthcare example:

Data flow map for healthcare

Leveraging Atsign’s Networking 2.0 technology for data sharing and integrity provides the following benefits:


  • Drastically reduced set up time, fast implementation
  • Better data stewardship and lower liability concerns
  • Far better data security and privacy
  • Consistently up-to-date data
  • No data silos or data duplication

IT Staff

  • Little to no costs for IT staff
  • Far better data security

There is no need to replace existing systems to implement this streamlined secure data sharing. Atsign technology lives alongside existing networks, offering frictionless time-to-market on a new project. Explore open-source SDKs from Atsign and contact info@atsign.com for in-depth guidance.


Share This