Data Security – Protecting Your Data

Posted: October 30, 2013 in Articles
Tags: , , , , ,

dataSir Frances Bacon once said, “Knowledge is power.” While he was likely referring to the type of knowledge found in classic literature and scientific exploration, this memorable and often used phrase is just as applicable to today’s digital databases.

Major corporations and everyday individuals keep large amounts of information – everything from store inventories to credit card accounts – stored digitally. Because of its personal and financial ties, that information is very powerful. If it falls into unscrupulous hands or is compromised in some, way the results can be crushing. For that reason, it is imperative that sensitive data be protected from those who seek to use it for personal gain and from other destructive forces.

What Is Data Security?

Data security is precisely what it sounds like – it is any program, software, technology, and strategies that have the goal of protecting your data from deleterious factors. Data security prevents your information from becoming corrupted or being accessed by unauthorized parties.

What Are Some Methods for Securing Data?

  • Data Encryption

Encryption employs the use of complex mathematical algorithms in order to “scramble” the information into a form that is unreadable and thus unusable. The owner of the data is able to access and decode the information because they have the appropriate key. For the best protection, you should opt for full disk encryption (FDE) which means that the encryption algorithm is applied to every single piece of data – it can be used to encrypt a disk or an entire hard drive.

  • Security Hardware

Hardware based data security solutions are advantageous because they are generally more tamper-proof than their software counterparts. Their superior level of protection is achieved by their ability to prevent read and write access.

  • Data Masking

Data masking is a term used when structured data, often in a form, is obscured in order to protect sensitive information. A very common example of this is when certain forms show only the last four digits of an individual’s social security number with the other digits replaced by the letter X.

  • Data Erasure

Data erasure is used when you want to wipe all of the data off of a disk or hard drive in order to prevent it from being accessed in the future by those who aren’t authorized to see it. This technique is typically only implemented when a device is no longer going to be in use, or if it is being repurposed.

  • User Authentication

Most of us are familiar with simple user authentication tools. For example; when you have to type in a password and/or username to access your computer or email, this is authenticating. These are referred to as “single sign-ons”. There are also stronger and more advanced user authentication systems. These may require additional inputs such as a temporary password, the answers to pre-set security questions, or even your fingerprint.

How to Prevent Data Loss

All of these data security methods are practical means to protecting your information. However, sometimes in spite of our best efforts, the unthinkable happens and our data is compromised or corrupted. That’s why every data security plan should also address the issue of data recovery – a way to backup your valuable and sensitive information. Data recovery solutions allow you to recover your information and get things going again as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Written by Steven Bishop.

Steven loves spending time with his family.

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