Data integrity is essential for the efficiency of the business processes as well as for decision-making within enterprise businesses. Without integrity, decisions can have a dramatic effect on the company’s bottom line goals.
Data integrity is the assurance that digital information is uncorrupted and can only be accessed or modified by those authorized to do so. Integrity involves maintaining the consistency, accuracy and trustworthiness of data over its entire lifecycle.
Data quality is a perception or an assessment of data’s fitness to serve its purpose in a given context. The quality of data is determined by factors such as accuracy, completeness, reliability, relevance and how up to date it is. With GDPR and the risks of data breaches, fixing data quality issues is a priority for many companies.
There are several challenges associated with data integrity. Data integrity can be compromised in a number of ways, including: human errors when data is entered, errors that occur when data is transmitted from one computer to another, software bugs or viruses, hardware malfunctions, such as disk crashes and natural disasters, such as fires and floods.
Data integrity issues are often pegged as the source of inaccurate reporting , illconceived strategies, poor decision-making and financial loss. To maintain integrity, data must not be changed in transit and steps must be taken to ensure that data cannot be altered by an unauthorized person or program. Such measures include implementing user access controls and version control to prevent erroneous changes or accidental deletion by authorized users. Other measures include the use of checksums and cryptographic checksums to verify integrity.
Network administration measures to ensure data integrity include documenting system administration procedures, parameters and maintenance activities, and creating disaster recovery plans for occurrences such as power outages, server failure or security attacks. Should data become corrupted, backups or redundancies must be available to restore the affected data to its correct state. Measures must also be taken to ensure integrity by controlling the physical environment of networked terminals and servers because data consistency, accuracy and trustworthiness can also be threatened by environmental hazards such as heat, dust or electrical problems.
The concept of data integrity ensures that all data in a database can be traced and connected to other data. This ensures that everything is recoverable and searchable. Having a single, well-defined and well-controlled data integrity system increases stability, performance, reusability and maintainability. There are many leading companies that offer data integrity solutions. Many blockchain startups signal new approaches to data integrity as well.
The block chain is a series of data records – timestamped transactions – stored in a database. The hash of each block is used to link to the next so that there is a single forward pathway through the blocks: this is the “chain.” Each new block is broadcast in near real-time all across the Internet, with almost every miner (or node) maintaining a current copy of the transactions log.
Our channel partners are promoting data integrity solutions as they are crucial for enterprises to maintain data integrity. Ingram Micro as a VAD offers product awareness events, enablement trainings and channel marketing activities to help promote these solutions.
Article Written by Julie Varghese, Business Unit Manager – Ingram Micro Gulf