Encrypt It Productivity Use It Web3

Why We Created a Web3 File System for Google Workspace


Google Workspace is designed to smoothly integrate the business solutions that organizations need in one place and includes the core cloud productivity and collaboration tools of Docs, Sheets & Slides as well as Gmail & Google Meet. 

OmniIndex’s Dropblock for Workspace add-on is available for Docs, Sheets & Slides and gives users the ability to store files in their own external blockchain as opposed to in Google Drive. It utilizes OmniIndex’s web3 data platform PostgresBC. 

The Drive Issue: Data Control

Google Drive allows users to store files in the cloud on Google’s servers, synchronize files across devices, and share files. It is the default option for file storage and sharing in Google Workspace.

Our experience from talking with business leaders in Finance, Education and Healthcare, is that while they want to use Workspace, they are unable to do so because of fears around their sensitive data being stored in the Cloud and on Google’s servers. This is because these organizations need tight control over their sensitive and regulated data due to data compliance and privacy requirements. This includes considerations such as file encryption/decryption and third-party access.

The Solution: Web3 Data Storage

Dropblock enables users to store files in their own blockchain storage where they can fully control access and encryption instead of in Google Drive. This not only means organizations can take control of their data while still using Workspace, but that their data is protected from ransomware attack due to the enhanced security benefits of blockchain storage over legacy cloud infrastructure. 

Crucially, while Dropblock is fully integrated with Workspace and utilizes Drive for temporary storage, no files are saved to Drive. 

For example, while editing a Doc Google Drive will autosave the file. Dropblock will then automatically remove that autosave and move it to a temporary folder instead. When you close the file or Workspace, those temporary files are completely purged leaving nothing but an empty folder. (Dropblock itself also saves these autosave files, but they are saved to your private blockchain on the OmniIndex Web3 data platform.)

Dropblock’s file structure is based on your organization’s Workspace Groups with only users within those set groups able to access the group’s sandboxed blockchain content. This ensures the same seamless collaboration and sharing functionality and workflow that users want and need from their Google Workspace.

What makes Dropblock different, however, is that each Group’s files are fully encrypted with their own unique fully homomorphic encryption keys. This patented OmniIndex technology means that the files can remain fully encrypted while they are searched. 

Additional Features: AI & Enhanced Security 

OmniIndex has been building AI models for almost a decade with our first AI chatbot (Boudica) demonstrated over 6 years ago. As such, you won’t be surprised to hear that Dropblock is powered by its own native SLM (Small Language Model) AI to provide additional security and productivity features to users beyond decentralized web3 storage. 

For example, all files stored on Dropblock and the OmniIndex platform are encrypted with homomorphic encryption and then processed by the AI (while still fully encrypted) to add additional data useful for insight generation and management. 

This includes:

  1. Sentiment
  2. Business Context
  3. Security issues

This means that within the fully encrypted data you can do an AI search to identify any saved Docs that have flagged security issues such as PII (Personally Identifiable Information) exposure and ensure they are compliant with regulations and internal privacy policies. 

One way to ensure compliance is by redacting PII in documents to ensure only those who have a right to this information can see it. Dropblock enables this through its fully integrated encrypted redaction which can be used either automatically or manually within a document to redact PII and other sensitive and confidential information with encryption to ensure only authorized people can read it. Items that are redacted by default include

  • Email Addresses
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Physical Addresses 
  • Telephone Numbers

You can also redact by highlighting text and clicking on to the Redact menu, or by surrounding blocks of text with double curly braces, which will redact on a save. 

This means you can share a single file across Groups with only those allowed to read the redacted information able to decrypt it, while others who need access to the document but not the redacted information can have access without exposure. 

Final Thoughts

Dropblock was created to enable security and privacy conscious organizations a way to use Google Workspace and its industry-leading suite of collaboration and productivity tools while retaining full control of their data. 

What was crucial for OmniIndex as part of this project was to make Dropblock as integrated as possible so as not to infringe on the user workflow and Workapce experience, while adding the security and privacy enhancements of our Web3, AI and encryption technology.