Data integrity in the age of mobility
The world of information technology is extremely diverse. With millions of software offerings, thousands of device types and nearly infinite component combinations, it is difficult to find another industry that is of this gargantuan scale. However, with the advent of the internet, this diversity was enhanced tenfold as these devices became connected. This connectivity and the open nature of the internet gave rise to a new problem—data security and data integrity. Data security and\ data integrity in organizations is managed through a well-thought information security management plan.
What is data integrity?
Data available in a system must be trustworthy and reliable all through its lifecycle. This data must be reliable in the state (valid or invalid) and accurate. For organizations around the world, data reliability and accuracy are major concerns, and organizations spend a lot of time and resources in ensuring this.
The best way to maintain data integrity is to ensure a scientific process of error checking and validation. These processes can ensure that the data you have is safe, secure, accurate and reliable.
What is data security?
Data security deals with reducing the risk of pilferage or leakage of data, which may include intellectual property. This includes codebases, user data, emails, trade secrets, trademark information and much, much more. This is handled with an IT Security Management Plan.
What is the difference between data security and data integrity?
Data security is the process of creating policies and resources that help in the protection of data from being stolen or misused.
Data integrity focuses on ensuring that the data available is accurate and can be trusted to make business decisions.
Why is data integrity so important?
In the world of information technology, data is money. The more valid data you have, the better projections you can make, which can directly help you to make informed business decisions. These decisions can easily make or break your investment or your user base. Many application vendors take great pride in providing interest-based or usage-based choices to their customers. This aspect of AI and analytics is totally dependent on the quality and accuracy of the data available to you.
According to a report by KPMG, only 1 in 3 senior executives trust the way their organization uses and handles data and analytics. Nearly 9 in 10 are concerned about the negative impact of data and analytics on the reputation of their organizations.
What are the common threats to data?
Data can be compromised through dozens of ways. These can include malicious acts such as viral infections and ransomware as in the recent case of Garmin being affected by a massive security breach causing them to lose millions in ransom. Other problems that can infest quality data include:
- Security issues and configuration problems
- Cyber-attacks, malware and ransomware
- Problematic hardware
- Human error
- Error during transmission
How do you ensure information security?
Information security and management requires careful planning and implementation. However, all aspects of planning and implementation are dependent on the 3 features of quality data:
Data must be available in the right place at the right time. If you have the right data, but it is not available to be leveraged during a projection, it is worse than not having data, which can give your competition the edge it needs to succeed.
Data points can help organizations trace each touchpoint made with a potential customer. These data points can help decision-makers and security experts highlight any red flags, ensure information security and showcase any deficiencies before you are caught off-guard.
Ensuring data reliability depends on business metrics being robust, which can help your company to succeed.
Ensuring the security and integrity of data
Here is our checklist that will help you rest assured that your data is safe at Volumetree. We follow this checklist to the T, ensuring that your apps get high-quality, pilferage-free data at all times.
- Data input validation
This is the most important step in information security. Maintaining the validity of inputs ensures that malicious users or programs cannot compromise the integrity of data in your applications.
- Data validation
All data processes must go through an information security sanity check to ensure that your existing data has not been compromised. With specifications and policies in place, you must ensure timely and automated verification and validation of data to ensure the correctness and quality of available data.
- Addressing data duplicity
The most common problem with sensitive data is its availability in places from where it can be accessed by malicious entities or have unauthorized access. This includes spreadsheets, emails or shared folders. Data must always be in secure databases and accessed through a secure front-end by authorized personnel only. A robust information security plan will ensure that data cannot be accessed from third-party applications without proper validation.
- Mitigating data loss through backups
Any robust information security policy will have a data backup plan in place. Scheduled, automated backups help organizations prevent data loss in the case of ransomware attacks or hardware failure. Backing up as often as possible can keep the most recent data set available for retrieval.
- Restricting access
Access control and audit trails are an extremely important and often overlooked part of an information security management plan. Applications or individuals without the proper credentials can compromise the integrity of data and do grave harm to it. This can cause data theft, intellectual property loss and put you and the users of your applications at high risk, threatening the integrity of your company.
- Keeping an audit trail
An audit trail is extremely important in an information security management plan that can help personnel to find the source of the data leak. A robust audit trail must be automatically generated by a policy, limit user access to sensitive data, keep track of who accesses this data and timestamp these visits to ensure when the breach occurred. An audit trail is your best buddy in the case of a major breach.
Many years ago, the biggest problems for organizations was the collection of valid data. Now, with the advent of mobile phones and fast internet, coupled with AI and analytics, the real problem is managing and securing the data available with your organization. Keeping user and application data secure can enhance the credibility of your application or organization and will empower you or your organization’s management to make informed business decisions with confidence, helping your company succeed.
At Volumetree, data is of the utmost importance. Our highly robust IT security policies restrict unauthorized access at all levels and our information security management policies ensure that your data is valid, appropriate and of high-quality at all times. To know more about how we can help you keep your data secure, send us an email or schedule a consultation with us here.