What is Data security?
The most crucial thing in today’s world is data. Data is something which is the most expensive asset owned by someone, and its security is something which is the most restrained. The process of securing data by following a set or rules and standards is data security. The goal of data security is to make sure the data is kept safe from unauthorized access and safe from alteration, modification and accidental loss.
Along with securing the data physically by keeping the data drives and disks safe, the virtual security is also mandatory. Because hackers in today’s era have gotten so strong that the tiniest leaks can be easily identified by them and the data can be stolen, with or without any malicious purpose. Data loss and malware can not only result in the loss of an individual, but world giant ones can be heavily affected resulting in a total loss of a fortune.
To keep the data safe virtually, a number of techniques are applied and the data is transformed (encrypted) using some internal secret key which the hackers are unaware of. Without the data being into its original format, the data is seamless and near to being completely useless.
Data Security Technologies:
Securing the data is indeed one of the most mandatory tasks in today’s world. Certain operations can be performed on the data to keep it safe, amongst which are:
- Data Encryption: This is the method widely used and is the most demanded technique in the world of technology. It uses the data to transform it into a type which cannot be identified by someone who is not directly authorized to access the data. Anybody who is not granted the permission gets to view the encrypted version of that data, completely useless without the key. That key is generated along with the encrypted data and is the only thing to bring that data into original format (to make sense to users). The key terms in data encryption are the input data, encryption key, decryption key and the output data.
- Data masking: Masking generally means to hide a part of something. In this regard, data masking is to make some part of the data hidden from the outside world, or even the company personnel to save it from leakage. Its example may be a shopping center which enables payment by card, the database will be designed in a way to mask some digits of the credit card number entered to the system to keep it safe. This technique is generally used by the banks because hiding one single digit can even lead to multiple attempts of theft, which can be easily caught.
- Data erasure: The name explains it all, it means to erase the data completely or move it from some specific location to keep it safe from direct unauthorized access. In this technique, the data is erased from that location it already existed in. An example can be anyone’s personal information from the company’s manual. As soon as the employee resigns from the organization he has the complete right to ask the HR to delete his information completely to keep it hidden from identity theft.
- Data resilience: Data security is not only keeping the data from being stolen or keeping it safe from unauthorized access, it also means to keep it secure and in the same format for use, whenever required. The data can be misplaced or accidentally altered by the authorized event, and to protect it from getting altered, multiple copies of it shall be stored in either physical or virtual storage. Technology giants nowadays extensively use virtual storage systems such as the cloud or blockchain as both of these not only grant unlimited data storage but also keep it safe and sound.
Data security solutions
There are multiple solutions to keeping data secure but the main kinds of data which require the most security include data encryption, cloud data security, hardware security model, key management, payments security, web browser security and e-mail security etc.
Data Encryption Types:
- In the data and information security world, the most extensively technique used to keep the data safe from unauthorized access is data encryption. Data encryption is a process of using a key (encryption key) to transform the data into cipher text (changed text) which isn’t readable without the key it was generated from. In order for the data to be transformed back to the original format (the output text), a key (decryption key) is then used. This process is carried out in multiple ways; and all the encryption techniques are of the two types:
- Symmetric Encryption: This is the type of encryption where a single key acts both as the encryption and decryption. Means both the forward and backward process is carried out using the same key. In order for the data to be accessed by a group of people, all of them shall be provided with the key.
- Asymmetric Encryption: This second type of encryption is usually called the public key cryptography where the encryption and decryption keys are not the same. Here, the key used to encrypt is publicly announced and can be ‘open source’ and is shared with everyone. Where the decryption key is only sent and disclosed to the people intended to access that data. This technique is generally much safer and guarantees much higher privacy levels.
The three main types of encryption techniques used in encryption are:
- Advanced encryption standard (AES algorithm): This encryption technique encrypts fixed blocks of data (128 bits) at one single time. In this, the rounds possess substitution, transposition, mixing of plaintext and more.
- Rivest-Shamir-Adleman (RSA algorithm): This technique is used where two large prime numbers are used and their factorization is performed. RSA works slower where the volume of data to be encrypted is huge.
- Triple Data Encryption Standard (Triple DES): This is similar to the AES but encrypts 56-bits of blocks of data. The DES cypher is applied three times and multiplied to form this new cypher. Triple DES is mostly used in encrypting UNIX passwords and Bank related data.