In today’s world knowledge is stored in vast amounts of data collected over long periods of time for purposes of learning trends or improving business processes. Such important data needs to be protected from existing and increasing threats from unauthorized access, cyber attacks or data espionage. There are several ways of to protect data from such threats and we will review a few methods of protecting your data below.
Disk encryption– This is the conversion of data in a disk to unreadable code which can only be deciphered by people with an encryption key. This technology uses disk encryption hardware or software to encrypt all the data on a disk, therefore, preventing unauthorized access.
Software and hardware-based data protection mechanisms – Software-based data protection systems encrypt data to unreadable code to prevent its theft. It has a setback because malware or hackers can infiltrate the system and make the data corrupt or delete the data making it unrecoverable. Therefore software-based systems are often used with hardware-based data protection solutions that prevent Read/Write access to making offering very robust protection against unauthorized access and physical tampering.
Backups – These are alternative storage locations for data to enable recovery in case data is lost corrupted at one location. Backups offer redundancy to information availing the same information easily if one source is missing, lost or corrupted.
Data Masking – This is a process of obscuring some sections of a database making it unreadable to protect sensitive information from unauthorized people. With these methods, users are only granted information useful for their use while sensitive information is blacked out to protect it.
Data Erasure- This is when software is used to overwrite on a disk containing sensitive data and in the process completely destroying all the data residing on the disk. This method is often used when retiring or reusing a disk that contains sensitive information that you don’t want leaking.
Laws – several countries have legislated on laws governing the protection of and use of data. In the UK, for example, The Data Protection Act ensures that personal data is protected from illegal use while making it available to only those it concerns. It also limits the sharing of personal data protecting the privacy of individuals. International standards also provide that stored data should be owned so that it is clear on who has the responsibility of protecting it.