Data security is about keeping data [data: information without context, eg a list of students with numbers beside their names is data, when it's made clear that those numbers represent their placing in a 100 metre race, the data becomes information ] safe. Many individuals, small businesses and major companies rely heavily on their computer systems.
If the data on these computer systems is damaged, lost, or stolen, it can lead to disaster.
Key threats to data security
Data may get:
- lost or damaged during a system crash [crash: When an application or operating system no longer responds. Crashes can be caused by software and hardware. ] - especially one affecting the hard diskhard disk: a device used to store vast amounts of data, the data is stored on a disk
- corrupted as a result of faulty disks, disk drives, or power failures
- lost by accidentally deleting or overwriting files
- lost or become corrupted by computer virusesvirus:ultramicroscopic non-cellular organism that replicates itself inside the cells of living hosts
- hackedhacked: if a computer has been hacked, someone has gained unauthorised access to it into by unauthorised users and deleted or altered
- destroyed by natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or war
- deleted or altered by employees wishing to make money or take revenge on their employer
Keeping data secure
Measures that can be taken to keep data [data: information without context, eg a list of students with numbers beside their names is data, when it's made clear that those numbers represent their placing in a 100 metre race, the data becomes information ] secure include:
- making regular backups [backup: to copy data onto a separate storage device in case the original device should fail, be damaged or the data stored on it get corrupted ] of files (backup copies should be stored in fireproof safes or in another building)