How to Secure Your Digital Data

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Digital World

Today’s world is called the digital world where our day-to-day life is directly/indirectly impacted by technology. The digital world is the world of digital fluency and digital literacy. We use various digital mediums and tools to communicate on the Internet, digital or smart devices. And our generation is fortunate enough to live in this era that has been never seen before.

Digitization

Digitization is the process to create a digital representation of physical data. For example, we scan a paper document and save it as a digital document (e.g., PDF). In other words, digitization is about converting something non-digital into a digital representation. Computerized systems can then use it for various use cases.

How Digitization Impaced the globe

Global digitization has made our lives super easy. Most of our personal and professional data, reside online. We do our banking, bill payments, social planning, and even parts of our job, on the digital platform.

Today’s world is more interconnected than ever and for the first time in history, more than 60% of global trade happens over digital platforms. This has evolved the global economy significantly and brought down the cost of international interactions and transactions.

This increased reliance on the internet and hence digital networks brings risks along with convenience.

How to Secure Our Digital Data

As internet users, we can secure our digital data against the outside world.

Data security is the practice of protecting digital information from unauthorized access and corruption or theft throughout its entire lifecycle. It also includes organizational policies and procedures.

Here’s a guide to the few simple changes we can make to protect ourselves and our information online

Secure Your Account

Protect Your Web Browsing

Use Two-Phase Authentication

Digital Data Security Process

Robust data security strategies help us to protect an organization’s information assets against cybercriminal activities. It helps secure the digital data against insider threats and human error which causes data breaches today.

Comprehensive and centralized data protection solutions, monitoring, and policy enforcement can simplify the task.

Why Digital Security is Important

Cyber attacks becoming more common in our day-to-day life. During Equifax ( American Credit Bureau) data breach (2017), 147.9 million Americans along with 15.2 million British citizens and about 19,000 Canadian citizens’ private records were compromised in the breach. This was one of the largest cybercrimes related to identity theft.

Online criminals, hackers waiting to commit fraud, steal the identity. Therefore, digital information security has become a serious concern and is the key challenge of the digital world.

Types of data security

Encryption
Using an algorithm to transform normal text characters into an unreadable format, encryption keys scramble data so that only authorized users can read it.  File and database encryption solutions serve as a final line of defense for sensitive volumes by obscuring their contents through encryption or tokenization. Most solutions also include security key management capabilities.

Data Erasure

Data erasure uses software to completely overwrite data on any storage device. It is more secure than standard data wiping, data and also verifies that the data is unrecoverable.
 
Data Masking

It masks personally identifiable information (PII) for compliance and security purposes. By masking data, organizations can allow teams to develop applications or train people using real data.

Data Resiliency
The Data Resiliency process determines how well an organization recovers from any type of failure. It could be hardware problems to power shortages and other events that affect data availability (PDF, 256 KB). Speed of recovery is critical to minimize impact.

Encryption And Signing

Data Encryption and Signing are the most common methods to protect our digital data ( data-at-rest or in-motion) over the internet.

Encryption and digital signing are used together to protect data and authenticate the sender at the same time. They are also both used to fulfill compliance standards for companies. Standards, like the Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS) or the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), require companies to protect data as securely as possible along with authenticating data received from others.

Digital Signature

The digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software, or digital document.

It’s the digital equivalent of a hand-written signature or stamped seal, but it offers far more inherent security. A digital signature is intended to solve the problem of tampering and impersonation in digital communications.

Digital signatures can provide evidence of origin, identity, and status of electronic documents, transactions, or digital messages. Signers can also use them to acknowledge informed consent.

In many countries, including the United States, digital signatures are considered legally binding in the same way as traditional hand-written document signatures.

How do digital signatures work?

Digital signatures are based on public-key cryptography, also known as asymmetric cryptography. It uses a public-key algorithm, such as RSA (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman). Two keys are generated, creating a mathematically linked pair of keys, one private and one public.

The individual who creates the digital signature uses a private key to encrypt signature-related data, while the only way to decrypt that data is with the signer’s public key.

Digital signature technology requires all parties to trust that the individual creating the signature has kept the private key secret. If someone else has access to the private signing key, that party could create fraudulent digital signatures in the name of the private key holder.

Digital Signature Processing

Digital signature Vs Electronic signature?

Though the two terms sound similar, digital signatures are different from electronic signatures. The digital signature is a technical term used for a cryptographic process and uses a mathematical algorithm to authenticate a sequence of data.

The term electronic signature or e-signature is a signature that can be expressed digitally in electronic form. It is associated with the representation of a record can be a type of e-signature. It is simple as the signer’s name is entered on a form on a webpage.

Data Security And the Cloud ?

We require a different approach than the traditional defenses to secure cloud-based infrastructures. It demands comprehensive cloud data discovery, ongoing monitoring, and risk management. Cloud monitoring tools monitor data in transit. This allows for policies to be applied uniformly no matter where the data resides.

What is Cloud Digital Signature

Good cloud security starts with complete visibility into the security and compliance of each resource deployed in our cloud environment.

We can encrypt data in transit between the facilities and at rest, ensuring that it can only be accessed by authorized roles and services.

Cloud Key Management Service supports elliptic curve (EC) and RSA algorithms for digital signing. Both of these industry-standard algorithms offer choices of key size and digest algorithms.

Conclusion

Technologies can help make our world fairer, more peaceful. Digital advances can help us achieve universal development. But technologies can also threaten privacy, erode security, and fuel inequality. They have implications for human rights and human agency. Like generations before, now also we – organizations, governments, businesses, and individuals – have a choice to make it how we harness and manage new technologies.

knoldus

Written by 

Work as a Vice President, Engineering at Knoldus Inc. A Result-driven Techno-Functional Professional with over 20 years of extensive IT experience in Project Management, IT Delivery Operations, Team Management & Leadership. She is a Sun Certified Enterprise Architect (JAVA) professional with core expertise in Managing and Executing Real-time Trading /Foreign exchange / Capital Market/ Investment Banking projects using Java/J2EE/Cloud technologies.