In today’s digital age, a new threat presents itself to businesses that are heavily reliant on data. Many data-driven organizations rely on data integrity to be able to conduct their business operations without issues. These businesses must take great care to ensure the consistency, accuracy, validity, and safety of data. Failure to do so can result in the corruption of information that can negatively affect all aspects of a business. To avoid being put in a vulnerable position, there are many steps that can be taken to help overcome data integrity issues.
What is Data Integrity?
Data integrity refers to the reliability and trustworthiness of data over the course of its lifecycle. Data can be either valid, invalid, or in the process of becoming valid. Error-checking and validation processes are methods often used to ensure data integrity.
Why is Data Integrity Important?
Data is perpetually vulnerable to corruption of any kind. The degree of its vulnerability depends on the efforts taken to preserve its original state over time. These efforts exist to preserve the reliability and trustworthiness of data to ensure proper decision-making within an organization. Any impactful decision within a business requires data to be accurate and consistently valid in order for any progress to occur.
What Are the Threats to Data Integrity?
Threats to data integrity can appear in many different forms. Threats can be accidental or voluntary, taking the form of cyber attacks with the intent to alter or destroy data. Some of the most common threats, however, are often internal. Examples include:
- Human error
- Unintended actions
- Security errors
- Compromised hardware
How Can Businesses Overcome Data Integrity Issues?
- Validate Input: Documented evidence of validation is a crucial way to ensure that input data is accurate. Once a data set is received, it should always be systematically verified.
- Validate Data: Ensuring data meets pre-determined specifications and key attributes is crucial to ensuring its validity and the system in which it passes through.
- Remove Unnecessary Data: Duplicate files and unidentified data can potentially open doors to unwanted intruders set on exploiting or corrupting information.
- Data Back-Ups: Permanent data loss is a real threat to businesses. Staying on top of routine backup checks is crucial to avoid losing critical information. Businesses should be proactive in creating a recovery strategy in the event of an unexpected data loss or application error. This will help to restore any losses that could potentially occur.
- Manage Access Control: Setting limits and controls on who can access certain information within an organization is crucial in protecting data from unauthorized users, including intruders and impersonators. Actions must be taken to ensure that the unwanted spread of sensitive information is limited. Furthermore, the importance of physical access controls must not be neglected. Businesses should take care to protect places like server rooms that can be especially vulnerable to corruption.
- Traceability: Data integrity relies heavily on the ability to track down the source of a breach at any point within operations. Ensuring that audit trails are consistently in place helps to provide security in the event of a breach and allows organizations to identify the source.
Overcoming Data Integrity Issues
Data is useless without the underlying assumption that it is reliable and accurate. Management is dependent on the accuracy and integrity of data to be able to make decisions. In addition to the methods mentioned above, automation technology can help businesses secure their data and other information. GlobalVision’s inspection technology features audit trails and other controls developed to meet compliance and data integrity requirements for regulated industries. To learn more, visit globalvision.co.