Threats to data security and data integrity have increased significantly in the past few years. In today’s world, it is important for each and every organisation to protect its information due to its confidentiality and privacy. The terms data security and data integrity are related to each other.
Data security is the protection of data from getting lost, destroyed, or getting accessed in an unauthorised manner.
Data integrity means the accuracy, consistency, and completeness of data. It means that the data should not be modified or corrupted in any manner.
Data security is necessary to ensure data integrity. It plays an important role in maintaining data integrity.
The possible threats to data security and data integrity are discussed as follows:
Having very easy passwords are the worst possible way of getting your system hacked. It is very important to incorporate very strong and complex passwords for each and every application and system which is storing sensitive data.
Non-existent or improper Security Architecture
Due to lack of appropriate security architecture in the organization, the networks of these organizations are vulnerable to data security threats. Inadequate network security leads to increased threats to data. The networks are also susceptible to viruses, hacking, etc.
Outdated Software and Applications
Organizations use a variety of software applications on their systems. These applications have to be updated to ensure smooth functioning of the system. If the applications are not updated, they may be vulnerable to malicious attacks.
A system can be vulnerable to attacks through websites also. If the website is not secure and has not undergone security updates, then it can lead to malicious software getting downloaded into the system. Install reliable anti-virus software and firewall to prevent such attacks.
Through these attacks, our personal information can be put at stake and the sensitive information can be compromised. It is therefore recommended to protect your digital privacy.
Poor Configuration Management
If the system does not follow appropriate configuration management policy to connect hardware devices to the network, then the system can be vulnerable to data security threats.
Insufficient Backup and Recovery
If the data is not fully backed up, then also it is vulnerable to security attacks. Sufficient backup and recovery plan has to be established to ensure security.
Sometimes employees use mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, etc. to work outside the organization’s general network security boundaries. Due to this, data breaches can occur if the device is lost or stolen. To prevent this, all the data stored in these devices should be encrypted.
With the increased usage of cloud storage to store large amounts of data, data is vulnerable to several types of attacks. To ensure the security of data on these storage platforms, it is necessary that the cloud provider should comply with the company’s security requirements.
Removable storage devices
Various removable storage devices such as hard disks, pen drives, CDs, etc. are used in the organizations. If these storage devices are not protected efficiently, they can pose a significant threat to the organization.
Instant Messaging application
Instant Messaging (IM) applications are widely used in organizations for communicating and transferring documents and other files. The demerit of these apps is that they are vulnerable to malware attacks and getting accessed by hackers.
Almost all the companies rely on sending emails for official purposes. The disadvantage of email is that an email can have malicious software in attachments which can infect the computer to a great extent. Emails are also used to carry out phishing scams.
With the growth of social media, it has become much easier for the attackers to target big companies. As all the information about the company is available on the social media platform, hackers are using social media more and more day by day.
Network vulnerabilities consist of attacks such as spyware, zero-day attacks, viruses, Trojan horses, worms and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks. All these attacks can have a different impact depending on the severity of the attack.
Software vulnerability refers to the weakness found in the operating system or software application. If the vulnerability is not detected at the appropriate time, then it can pose a serious security risk to the organization as it makes it easy for the hackers to enter into the system.
Intrusion attacks involve the usage of hacking tools to attack the systems. The hacking tools can be either password-cracking tools or protocol manipulation tools.
All these threats are equally dangerous for the organization and each one should be considered seriously and respective security measures should be incorporated appropriately. Suitable procedures and policies should be established for maintaining data integrity and ensuring data security. When the data is financial data, then the protection of sensitive information becomes more and more important.