Data Integrity vs Data Security
Data are the most important asset to any organization. Therefore, it must be made sure that data is valid and secure all the time. Data integrity and Data security are two important aspects of making sure that data is useable by its intended users. Data integrity makes sure that the data is valid. Data security makes sure that data is protected against loss and unauthorized access.
What is Data Integrity?
Data Integrity defines a quality of data, which guarantees the data is complete and has a whole structure. Data integrity is most often talked about with regard to data residing in databases, and referred to as database integrity as well. Data integrity is preserved only if and when the data is satisfying all the business rules and other important rules. These rules might be how each piece of data is related to each other, validity of dates, lineage, etc. According to data architecture principles, functions such as data transformation, data storage, metadata storage and lineage storage must guarantee the integrity of data. That means, data integrity should be maintained during transfer, storage and retrieval.
If data integrity is preserved, the data can be considered consistent and can be given the assurance to be certified and reconciled. In terms of data integrity in databases (database integrity), in order to guarantee that integrity is preserved, you have to ensure that the data becomes an accurate reflection of the universe it is modeled after. In other words, it must make sure that the data stored in the database corresponds exactly to the real world details it is modeled after. Entity integrity, referential integrity and domain integrity are several popular types of integrity constraints used for preserving data integrity in databases.
What is Data Security?
Data security deals with the prevention of data corruption through the use of controlled access mechanisms. Data security makes sure that data is accessed by its intended users, thus ensuring the privacy and protection of personal data. Several technologies are used for ensuring data security. OTFE (on-the-fly-encryption) uses cryptographic techniques for encrypting data on hard drives. Hardware based security solutions prevent unauthorized read/write access to data and thus provides stronger protection compared to software based security solutions. Because software based solutions may prevent data loss or stealing but cannot prevent intentional corruption (which makes data unrecoverable/unusable) by a hacker. Hardware based two factor authorization schemes are highly secure because the attacker needs physical access to the equipment and site. But, the dongles can be stolen and be used by almost anybody else. Backing up data is also used as a mechanism against loss of data. Data masking is another method used for data security by which data is obscured. This is done to maintain the security and sensitivity of personal data against unauthorized access. Data erasure is the method of overwriting of data to ensure that data is not leaked after its life time has passed.
What is the difference between Data Integrity and Data Security?
Data integrity and data security are two different aspects that make sure the usability of data is preserved all the time. Main difference between integrity and security is that integrity deals with the validity of data, while security deals with protection of data. Backing up, designing suitable user interfaces and error detection/correction in data are some of the means to preserve integrity, while authentication/authorization, encryptions and masking are some of the popular means of data security. Suitable control mechanisms can be used for both security and integrity.
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