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The Importance of Data Security in ICT

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Introduction

The Importance of Data Security in ICT Data security is the process of preventing and detecting unauthorized use of your data and making sure that data is not accidentally misplaced or deleted. The security of the data saved on computers is important as many individuals, businesses and major companies rely greatly on their computer system. Information such as accounts and tax details, payroll and personnel files could be very difficult to replace and could cause significant problems for the company or person if the data is not secure. Violations of data security can lead to disclosure of personal data, forgery of personal identity, tampering of data and abuse of resources, with effects of real damage or financial loss. On a large scale, lost or stolen information can have a horrendous effect. The Government keeps important records and personal details of everyone in the country; if these are lost it can cause problems for a large number of individuals as well as members of the government. For example, a lack of data security caused the government to lose the names, addresses and bank details of over 25 million people stored on two CDs. If the personal details of these people were found by an untrustworthy individual it could lead to issues such as theft or identity theft, which could have devastating effects on individual people or society as a whole. ...read more.

Middle

Steps in protecting data need to be taken to ensure that the risks of these happening are minimal. To prevent these risks data needs to be protected against unauthorized access and use, modification or destruction. One possible way to take precautions against hacking is to use a firewall to inspect what goes into and out of your system, and deny or permit access according to a set of rules. Access can be permitted by the user, so if used insufficiently and allowing all programmes access to the computer system by default a firewall can become useless. Creating a password can also be an effective method of protecting information from unauthorised access. Ideally the password should consist of letters and numbers but be possible to memorize for the user, and kept secret to anyone except the user. Passwords should be changed regularly for information that is at a higher risk of unauthorised access. Alternatively data could be encrypted, so that information is made unreadable so that it is unintelligible until it is unscrambled by the intended recipient or made readable by the deciphering software. In addition, physical security such as data kept in a locked room or a room without windows on the ground floor, and with fire and flood proof walls. This makes it difficult to break in and steal equipment or information and prevents natural causes from destroying the information. ...read more.

Conclusion

The department shop Marks & Spencer breached this act when it allowed the details of 26,000 employees to be held on a laptop without protection of encryption. The laptop and the information was stolen, therefore the data is at risk of being misused. This could have been prevented if adequate security procedures were put in place to protect personal information before the personal information was allowed to leave the companies premises. A password and encryption of the data would be important measures to be taken to prevent these circumstances. Mobile operator service Orange has also been accused of breaching the Data Protection Act by way in which it processed personal information, in particular the way in which new members of staff were allowed to share usernames and passwords when accessing the company ICT system, and was also accused of not keeping its customers' personal information secure. If a company is not in compliance with the Data Protection Act when processing individual's personal information they may risk losing the trust of their customers as well as causing action to be taken by the Information Commissioners Office, which could result in prosecution. Security and protection of any data, whether personal details, or important company information, is essential in all circumstances to a varying degree. There are many processes that exist to prevent any violation to data, and ensure that individuals feel confident that their information is safeguarded by organisations. ?? ?? ?? ?? Sarah Johnson 11E ...read more.

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