Data Integrity: Digital transformation facilitates data storage, especially concerning costs and technology access. However, the changes came with a growing concern for data integrity.
Have you ever thought about the importance of this attribute to ensure your company’s security? Much of today’s organizations’ wealth is made up of the information produced daily in their activities. Therefore, tampering, fraud, loss, file corruption, and other problems can damage your business seriously.
In this content, you will understand data integrity and the main threats to information security. Keep reading and ask questions about the topic!
What Is Data Integrity?
Information security tries to ensure that the data has specific vital attributes and guarantee the user’s risk-free use. They are confidentiality, availability, authenticity, and integrity.
Going quickly through the attributes, confidentiality is the conservation of information restriction levels. It is common, for example, for files to be restricted only to authorized users on a system.
Availability is being able to track and retrieve information whenever necessary. Ransomware is an example of a virus that affects availability, as the victim has encrypted data and needs to pay a “ransom” to the criminal to retrieve the files.
Authenticity consists of guaranteeing the origin of the data. The simplest example is scams practiced over the internet, in which the victim installs malicious software, believing it to be a legitimate program.
Finally, integrity is an attribute related to the data itself. The word comes from the Latin “integrity,” — which, in addition to referring to what is whole, can indicate the purity, righteousness, or impeccability of something.
In this sense, the complete data would convey reliable and valid information because it preserves its content. No wonder it is a pillar exposed to both intentional actions and failures in the work environment.
The opposite of integrity would be data that has had information tampered with or lost. Soon, they lost the ability to preserve knowledge generated by the company through errors, breaches, or virus attacks.
What Are The Types Of Data Integrity?
Data integrity is often measured by applying compliance rules — which evaluate data content from different perspectives. These patterns form different types of integrity. Meet the main ones.
Physical integrity concerns the protection of the data repository. If an earthquake, storm, hurricane, or fire destroys the company’s servers, the data contained there will be lost, for example.
Not by chance, this requirement is greatly affected by the need for more electronic document management. If the company adopts manual and analog processes to maintain its files, there are great chances of losses caused by errors, lack of backups, and other physical factors.
Logical integrity considers the rationality of the information entered in the database if it remains consistent and valid. It is subdivided into four groups.
Entity integrity concerns the data. When opening a database, for example, the information contained in the tables cannot be duplicated, null or missing, as such problems demonstrate the inconsistency of the materials.
Referential integrity considers the database’s relationship to foreign access keys, i.e., from other tables. In this sense, referential integrity validation uses matching with an external index to verify the reliability of the data, not just the table.
Domain integrity, on the other hand, places restrictions on the data inserted in the column, in which only the one that contains the defined characteristics can be added. For example, you can create a domain restriction so that only letters can be entered, prohibiting numbers and other characters.
User Defined Integrity
User-defined integrity follows a model determined by the programmer, deviating from the criteria above.
It is worth noting that professionals who do not work directly with data analysis tend to be more directly faced with the consequences of a lack of data integrity:
- unused files;
- difficulties in accessing information;
- consequences of malware attacks ;
- damage caused by data breach;
- malfunction of programs and applications.
Data security is such a relevant topic that it is already recognized in our legislation with obligations for companies, as is the case with the General Law for the Protection of Personal Data (LGPD).
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