Tuesday, December 12

Securing Electronic Data

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Tavani states that there are three important qualifications for electronic data to be secure. These include confidentiality, integrity, and accessibility [Tavani 2010]. Confidentiality deals with keeping data on a need to know basis. Only those who have access to a file should be able to see it. Integrity is all about preventing unauthorized access and modification of data. Finally, accessibility, just like the definition of the word, focuses on letting those with access to data the ability to read and modify it. If these three areas can be applied to some data, then it is true that electronic records can be secured more effectively than paper records.

                If one were to compare the safety of electronic records to paper records, a lot of differences would have to be noted. A piece of electronic data secured behind a good cybersecurity network requires a smart and clever person with a large knowledge of computer science in order to access those files. Paper files, on the other hand, must be kept in a physical vault in order to be truly safe. Someone looking to steal these files would have to be not only a good tactician, but also a physically strong individual. Stealing electronic data also allows the hacker to conceal his identity while stealing paper files would result in putting your physical being in danger. There is a larger pool of people who have the ability to steal paper files rather than electronic files, however the risk is higher.

                As with almost all pieces of data, the people setting up the defense have access to the data and thus if misused could violate the personal privacy of the owner of the data. Depending on the content of the data, this may or may not be a major problem. If the data is unimportant or has no relevant connection to someone, then it does not matter if the data is seen by those that handle it. However, if the data is extremely important to a business or person, then it is important that the data is not purposely or accidently read or modified. In order to truly protect data, whether electronically or physically, you must trust the ones who will be securing it.

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