What You Need to Know About Data Integrity
In a time where data holds so much value in organisations, preserving the integrity of data is becoming increasingly important.
Data is the new oil in an information society that keeps many aspects of our lives running. Data integrity is what makes it all go smoothly.
Compromised and inaccurate data isn’t much use to organisations. Like data security, maintaining data integrity should be a core focus for modern businesses.
When stakeholders are confident in their data’s accuracy, they can move forward with making data-informed growth strategy decisions.
What is Data Integrity?
Data integrity refers to the overall accuracy, completeness and consistency of an organisation’s data. Similarly, it encompasses the safety of the data regarding compliance. It also ensures that the data can only be viewed and modified by the authorised individuals.
While strongly related, data integrity and data security are not synonymous. Data security relates to protecting data against unauthorised access or corruption, whereas data integrity refers to the data’s accuracy and validity.
Integrity is ultimately the result of the good data security measures being taken.
Regardless of whether it’s a case of an attack or accidental leak, data security plays the important role in maintaining the organisation’s data accuracy and consistency.
Why is it Important to Maintain Data Integrity?
The integrity of an organisation’s data is necessary to make informed business decisions. Relying on inaccurate data could have detrimental effects on your organisation’s campaigns.
Research from KPMG International has shown that only 35% of senior executives have a high level of trust in the way data is used within their organisation. 92% are concerned about the negative impact of data on their organisation’s reputation.
Data integrity instils a sense of trust in an organisation when it comes to using data in the future.
Ensuring your data’s integrity is maintained is key to comply with data protection regulations such as GDPR. Non-compliance can easily result in massive penalties for businesses.
While we’re still in the early days of GDPR enforcement, reports have indicated that a total of €102.5 million in fines have been imposed on businesses throughout Europe since its introduction in 2018.
The Risks Posed
Unintentional changes to your data can easily render it useless. Below are some of the risks and threats to your data’s integrity:
Data accuracy is always susceptible to errors when being data is inputted manually. Duplications, incorrect inputs and missing data is always a possibility.
Human error mistakes throughout data inputting processes can easily put an organisation’s data integrity in jeopardy.
Errors aren’t just present when humans are involved. Database errors can occur when transferring data from one location within a database to another.
Bugs & Attacks
Software used regularly to process company data can be prone to having vulnerable areas.
The more the software is supported by developers, the lower your chances are of having potentially damaging bugs. Similarly, an up to date solution limits the possibility of being maliciously attacked from external sources.
Cyber security measures such as file encryption help minimise the risk. Similarly, antimalware software protects organisations against the harmful threats posed.
Hardware crashes, server glitches and incapable devices all pose a risk onto an organisation’s data integrity.
Most data integrity risks can be avoided with regular data back-ups, authorisation permissions, logging records and internal audits.
Protecting your organisation’s data integrity may seem like an overwhelming task. However, with an appropriate integrated data management solution in place your organisation can minimise the risks posed.
Has your organisation embarked on a challenging data-focused project? Be sure to get in contact with us today on +353 1 8041298!