Data integrity is one of the most important components of data security. It will ensure that the data is consistent and accurate during its lifecycle. Data is the most important thing for modern companies. Companies rely on data for making business decisions. Thus, it is important to make sure that your data is accurate. If you are using inaccurate data, then most of your business decisions will go wrong.
Data integrity is mostly applicable to digital data only. But, you can apply it to any data collection. Field technician that do repairs is also collecting data. They have to also ensure that their data is accurate. There are various protocols that you can use for making sure that your data is intact.
Threats to Data Integrity
Your data can get damaged due to these reasons:
- Hardware failure: Sometimes your storage device can fail. Thus, all your data will get corrupted.
- Human error: Humans can various mistakes while handling your data. Thus, they can accidentally damage your data. Sometimes insider threats can also modify your data.
- Breach: Sometimes a software or person can hack into your computer. They can modify your data. This will destroy your data integrity. For example, attackers can use ransomware to encrypting your data. You need to pay money to the attacker for decrypting your data.
- Misconfiguration: Sometimes a misconfiguration in your security or software application can damage your data.
Why is Data Integrity Important?
Companies can use their data for making better business decisions. Thus, they rely on accurate data for making critical decisions. They can also use this data for measuring the effectiveness of their processes.
If the data is modified or damaged, then you can’t make accurate decisions. For example, many organizations are using tracking cookies on their website. They use it for collecting the number of sign-ups and visitors. If someone has misconfigured this cookie, then it will report the wrong data. You will think that you are getting a high sign-up rate. Thus, your business might think that their business strategy is working. They might up decreasing their marketing budget. This will decrease the traffic on your website.
Data integrity will ensure that your business is making the right decisions. If your data is damaged, then you can end up taking bad business decisions. This can damage the growth of your business.
How to check data integrity
Your data must have the following properties for ensuring data integrity:
- Accessibility: It is important to ensure that you have the right data in the proper location. Your data must be accessible all the time. If your employees are working on a presentation, then they need to access your data. Thus, it is important to ensure that they can easily access your organization data.
- Traceability: In the modern world, you can trace any touchpoint you want. You can use data points for tracking your data. This data will help decision-makers in taking better business decisions. You have to ensure that all these touchpoints are correct.
- Reliability: You must have consistent and reliable business metrics. This will help you in setting your business goals.
How to maintain data integrity
Validate your input
You must check your input before storing it. For example, most websites have a contact form on their website. Customers can use it for reaching to your business. But, you have to ensure that the user is sending the correct data. You can check this by validating their email address. The best thing about digital input is that you can automate them. You can use electronic forms for validating your input. Log files will help you in correcting all errors.
You can also use input validation for blocking cyberattacks. Most of the attackers use attacks like SQL Injection for hacking into business websites. If you are using input validation, then they can’t exploit SQL injection vulnerability. Thus, you can ensure both data security and data integrity.
Validate your data
Your collected data will be in a raw form. You should validate this data. Data validation will ensure that your collected data is meaningful, secure and correct. There are various scripts that can automate this process. It will automatically scan your data for ambiguities. Also, it will automatically organize your data. If you have paper data, then you can convert it into a digital format.
This process can happen during data transfer. For example, you can perform this when downloading any file from the Internet. This will ensure that you are downloading accurate files. Data validation is the most important step in ensuring integrity.
You can create multiple back-ups of your data. This will ensure that you will never lose your data. If you have very little data, then you can store multiple USB drives. But, it is best to upload your data on cloud storage. This will ensure that you can access your data from anywhere in the world.
Your backup must contain the original data. The raw data is irreplaceable. Thus, it is important to maintain multiple copies of your data.
Access control is very important for maintaining data integrity. Make sure that only users with proper authorization can access your sensitive data. For example, your tech agent doesn’t need to access your financial data. This will ensure that only legitimate users are accessing your data. If you have physical data, then you must secure your sensitive records. Make sure that they are locked in a safe place. This will help you in reducing the chance of data loss and corruption.
Data integrity will ensure that your data is intact and accurate. Thus, you can use your data for making critical business decisions. You can apply these principals to physical data also. It is important to ensure both your digital and printed data is secure. Data integrity will help your business in taking better decisions. If your data is inaccurate, then you can end up taking wrong business decisions. Hence, you must ensure that your data is intact. If you want more security tips, then you contact Bleuwire.