In general, data is any set of characters that is gathered and translated for some purpose, usually analysis. If data is not put into context, it doesn’t do anything to a human or computer.
There are multiple types of data. Some of the more common types of data include the following.
- Single character
- Boolean (true or false)
- Text (string)
- Number (integer or floating-point)
In a computer’s storage, data is a series of bits (binary digits) that can have the value one or zero. Data is processed by the CPU, which uses logical operations to produce new data (output) from source data (input).
DIFFERENT BETWEEN DATA & INFORMATION
|Description||Qualitative Or Quantitative Variables which helps to develop ideas or conclusions.||It is a group of data which carries news and meaning.|
|Etymology||Data comes from a Latin word, datum, which means “To give something.” Over a time “data” has become the plural of datum.||Information word has old French and middle English origins. It has referred to the “act of informing.”. It is mostly used for education or other known communication.|
|Format||Data is in the form of numbers, letters, or a set of characters.||Ideas and inferences|
|Represented in||It can be structured, tabular data, graph, data tree, etc.||Language, ideas, and thoughts based on the given data.|
|Meaning||Data does not have any specific purpose.||It carries meaning that has been assigned by interpreting data.|
|Interrelation||Information that is collected||Information that is processed.|
|Feature||Data is a single unit and is raw. It alone doesn’t have any meaning.||Information is the product and group of data which jointly carry a logical meaning.|
|Dependence||It never depends on Information||It depended on Data.|
|Measuring unit||Measured in bits and bytes.||Measured in meaningful units like time, quantity, etc.|
|Support for Decision making||It can’t be used for decision making||It is widely used for decision making.|
|Contains||Unprocessed raw factors||Processed in a meaningful way|
|Knowledge level||It is low-level knowledge.||It is the second level of knowledge.|
|Characteristic||Data is the property of an organization and is not available for sale to the public.||Information is available for sale to the public.|
|Dependency||Data depends upon the sources for collecting data.||Information depends upon data.|
|Example||Ticket sales on a band on tour.||Sales report by region and venue. It gives information which venue is profitable for that business.|
|Significance||Data alone has no significance.||Information is significant by itself.|
|Meaning||Data is based on records and observations and, which are stored in computers or remembered by a person.||Information is considered more reliable than data. It helps the researcher to conduct a proper analysis.|
|Usefulness||The data collected by the researcher, may or may not be useful.||Information is useful and valuable as it is readily available to the researcher for use.|
|Dependency||Data is never designed to the specific need of the user.||Information is always specific to the requirements and expectations because all the irrelevant facts and figures are removed, during the transformation process.|
Three reasons why we need strict data protection regulations
Data is becoming more and more valuable. Also, skills and opportunities for retrieving different types of personal data are evolving extremely fast. Unauthorized, careless or ignorant processing of personal data can cause great harm to persons and to companies.
Firstly, the purpose of personal data protection isn’t to just protect person’s data, but to protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of persons that are related to that data. Whilst protecting personal data it is possible to ensure that person’ rights and freedoms aren’t being violated. For example, incorrect processing of personal data might bring about a situation where a person is overlooked for a job opportunity or, even worse, loses current job.
Secondly, not complying with the personal data protection regulations can lead to even harsher situations, where it’s possible to extract all the money from a person’s bank account or even cause a life-threatening situation by manipulating health information.
Thirdly, data protection regulations are necessary for ensuring and fair and consumer friendly commerce and provision of services. Personal data protection regulations cause a situation, where, for example, personal data can’t be sold freely which means that people have a greater control over who makes them offers and what kind of offers they make.
If personal data is leaked, it can cause companies significant damage to their reputation and also bring along penalties, which is why it’s important to comply with the person data protection regulations.
To ensure that personal data is secure, it’s important to know what data is being processed, why it’s being processed and on what grounds. In addition, it’s important to identify which safety and security measures are in use. All of this is possible through a thorough data protection audit, which identifies the data flow and whether the data protection regulations are being followed. The audit can be carried out by answering a set of specific questions that have been prepared for that purpose. The results will give a clear overview of the procedures and possible data leaks, which can then be stopped
Data Security Threats:
Proper preparation and an understanding of the top data security threats are a necessity in today’s global marketplace. If businesses don’t want to pay hefty financial and experience dramatic client losses down the road, then they need to protect against the following data security threats:
- Employees Lacking Proper Data Security Training. In today’s digitally driven marketplace, one of the biggest threats to data security is a company’s employees. Employees need to be trained on best practice data security protocols. Simple training lessons in the following areas can greatly help protect a company’s sensitive data:
- Training on how to spot a phishing scam via phone, email, and social media.
- Understanding the importance of creating a secure password and changing passwords every 30 to 60 days.
- How to use encryption when sending sensitive data via email.
- Implementing a controlled environment, whereby a single employee doesn’t have access to all of the company’s sensitive data.
- Reporting protocols if an employee suspects that their credentials have been stolen.
- How to conduct the appropriate security updates on any work device (smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops).
- Patch Management System Lapses.Data security is about more than protecting against a digital hacker. For your business to truly be secure, you must take the steps needed to protect your network devices. These devices include routers, servers, and printers that use software or firmware as part of their operation. Occasionally these devices either don’t have a patch for an existing vulnerability, the patch was not created or sent, or their hardware is not capable of updating after the discovery of a vulnerability. If any of your company’s devices are vulnerable, then hackers can exploit them and lay in wait to gain access to your company’s data. Review the patch management systems in your devices today to avoid a data hack your business can’t afford.
- Failing to Hire the Right Data Security Talent.As discussed our latest blog post on cybersecurity C-level management needs to hire the necessary technology experts now to protect against future attacks. By staying up-to-date on the latest data security roles, companies can remain better protected against the latest cyber attack tactics. It’s important to note that as cybersecurity threats continue to evolve and expand, so too will the professional skills needed to combat current and future threats.
In this vein, the right technology experts will identify and implement the policies, procedures, management tactics, and methods needed to protect company networks, information, and brand reputation. Through an up-to-date and intimate understanding of the latest data security risks, a high-quality team of IT experts is well-equipped to immediately detect any unauthorized activity, so that a breach can be stopped before it has negative impacts on company data, resources, clients, and personnel.
Attacks that can be prevented if a user understands viruses and malware include:
- Credential theft: Often users with high threat ignorance use passwords that are too easy to guess or use the same password for every account. Once this password is identified, the entire system and any data that person has access to can be compromised.
- Phishingand spear phishing attacks: This is an attempt to access an individual’s personal information by tricking them into allowing malware onto their device. Since these attacks are disguised, users that do not know how to identify them are at risk.
- Email spoofingattacks: This is when emails are sent with fake email addresses made to look like it is from a known person. A more specific example of this is CEO fraud, when an attacker impersonates an important member of an organization to gain the trust of an unsuspecting user.
- Denial-of-service attacks: Attackers prevent legitimate users from accessing resources with these attacks, making it hard for users with high threat ignorance to regain control over the system.
- Automatic update attacks: This type of attack takes advantage of the automatic update functions to push spam to the device. Since most device or software updates are unsuspecting, this makes it easy to infect an unaware user.
Best practices to minimize threat ignorance
While most users or organizations will possess some level of threat ignorance, the goal is to make it as minimal as possible. Ways to accomplish this include:
- Train staff to be able to detect common security threats.
- Educate employees to stay on top of updates and maintain proper anti-virus and anti-malware programs.
- Dedicate a single employee or team to handle security for the organization.
- Stay updated on risk analyses.
- Enforce password rules, like complexity, confidentiality and routine changes.
- Require that devices are password protected or use two-factor authentication (2FA).
- Classify the levels of protection for different sets of resources and create appropriate security protocols for each level.
- Follow up after security trainings to check employee comprehension.
What is Data Security?
Data security refers to protective digital privacy measures that are applied to prevent unauthorized access to computers, databases and websites. Data security also protects data from corruption. Data security is an essential aspect of IT for organizations of every size and type.
Importance of Data Security for Businesses
Data security is when protective measures are put in place to keep unauthorized access out of computers, websites, and databases. This process also provides a mechanism for protecting data from loss or corruption. No business today, be it a small local company or a large corporation, should overlook implementing security measures. Not having an adequate plan in place for information security can result in steep consequences for businesses in Des Moines. Here are three reasons why security is important.
1. Ensure Business Continuity
In today’s data-driven environments, most organizations cannot function without data because it’s become a primary asset found at the core of most business operations and decisions. Imagine waking up one morning and finding all data has disappeared due to a breach, equipment failure, or natural disaster. Any of these events would render a business unable to function. Data security ensures routine backups are made and available in the event original data is otherwise lost or inaccessible, ensuring business continuity takes place.
2. Avoid Data Breaches
Every organization has a responsibility to perform due diligence when it comes to their client and employee records and transactions. Data breaches result in several negative consequences for Des Moines businesses.
- Financial costs.
- Loss of public trust.
- Damaged brand reputation.
- Impact on future profits.
- Legal or regulatory consequences associated with breaches.
Considering the fact a data breach costs small and medium businesses (SME), on average, $120,000 per cyber incident, security is a task no business wants to ignore.
3. Prevent Unauthorized Access
Hackers have become increasingly savvy as they develop advanced techniques to evade security measures. Companies that put little to no emphasis on security are essentially leaving their front doors open with a welcome mat. Areas of business vulnerability include:
- Computers, laptops, and smart devices.
- Peripheral equipment.
- Lack of employee awareness about good security practices.
Adding increased layers of information security will go a long way in deterring unauthorized access to business systems and equipment.
Many wrongly believe exploiters primarily target enterprise companies because they offer the largest payoffs. While it’s true larger companies do possess more data to abuse, realistically hackers are going after SMEs because they tend to have easier systems to penetrate. According to a recent report about data breaches, 58 percent of exploiters targeted SMEs in 2018.
Could your company use a boost in its data security? For more information about increasing security for your Des Moines business, contact artechnology Office Systems today for additional details.
What are the Main Elements of Data Security?
The core elements of data security are confidentiality, integrity, and availability. Also known as the CIA triad, this is a security model and guide for organizations to keep their sensitive data protected from unauthorized access and data exfiltration.
- Confidentialityensures that data is accessed only by authorized individuals;
- Integrity ensures that information is reliable as well as accurate; and
- Availabilityensures that data is both available and accessible to satisfy business needs.