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Data Security and Integrity: Software and Physical Restrictions

Table of Contents Page # Introduction Introduction Maintenance of data security and integrity in reference to: Software Access Restrictions These are inserted for the purposes of protecting computer software. A few forms of software access restrictions are as follows: Passwords Definition: -A string of characters that allows access to a computer, interface or system. How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? When a person creates a password for access to a computer, folder, program etc.

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they are creating a code that must be implemented every time they wish to access the software. This means that if any unknown or unauthorized personnel were to attempt to view the material and were unaware of the password then they would be unable to do so, thus securing the data.

The integrity of the data is also highly protected when using a password because if any unknown or unauthorized personnel attempt to access any data that is password protected without knowing the password, they will be denied access. Thus the data cannot be altered in any way and its trustworthiness would remain the same. * Data Encryption Definition: -This is the encryption (encoding) of data for security purposes. How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? By encrypting, we change the original plaintext version of data into ciphertext, which is an unreadable format that will protect against unauthorized parties.

Only those who possess the key to trigger the algorithm that will decrypt the data, hence making it readable, can access it. A higher bit encryption is much more secure than a lower bit encryption, for example a 256 bit encryption is much more secure than a 128 bit encryption because a hacker will need to try out more possibilities when trying to breach the encryption. Once data is encrypted the integrity of it is safeguarded just as long as it isn’t breached by a hacker or accessed by any unauthorized party who somehow got the key to the algorithm, and was able to decrypt the data. Virus Protection Definition: -This is the protecting of a system from a file that replicates itself without the consent of the user. How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? Typical anti-virus software protects a computer system from viruses, Trojan horses, worms etc. by means of routinely or manually scanning files and programs to check for the aforementioned malware and if any malicious content is found, it either notifies the user of its presence and suggests steps that can be taken to remove it, or automatically starts doing so by itself.

Any malware that is located early enough by anti-virus software can usually be removed before it can cause any irreversible damage to data. Though there are viruses that can take effect almost immediately and corrupt data very quickly before the virus protection can take action or even notice it. In this case having better virus protection software is necessary. * Firewall Definition: -This is an integrated collection of security measures designed to prevent unauthorized electronic access to a networked computer system.

How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? A firewall protects a computer system or network from any malicious activity from the internet, for e. g. hackers, viruses and Trojan horses. They do so by filtering any incoming packets of data to decide which data will be let through the firewall and which will be discarded. This means that data already on the computer or network will be better protected against hackers, viruses etc. and any incoming data will be ‘clean’ i. e. without any malicious software attached.

Firewalls assist in maintaining data integrity by its ability to filter data. As long as the firewall prevents malware from entering a computer system or network the data will not be adversely affected thus maintaining its trustworthiness. Physical Access Restrictions These consist of biometric systems as well as other forms of physical access restrictions that are used to protect data. A few forms of physical access restrictions are: * Voice Recognition Definition: -This is a device used for the identifying of individuals by the sound of their voice.

How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? Voice Recognition is a biometric system i. e. it identifies individuals by a unique human characteristic, their voice. The way this aids in protecting data is as follows: if someone wishes to gain access to something, in this case data, they would need to verify to a computer that they are permitted to view or manipulate the data by speaking. If they are not registered to gain access to the data then the computer would deny them the ability to view or interact with it, thereby maintaining its integrity.

If the speaker is registered with the voice recognition, then it would grant the speaker access. This allows data to be viewed by authorized personnel only. Voice recognition is considered to be more secure than passwords because of the fact that, instead of depending on a secret string of characters to gain entry to the data, it identifies them by their voice hence removing the possibility of guessing. * Retinal Scan Definition: -This is the biometrical identification of individuals by scanning the retina of the eye.

How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? A retinal scan operates similarly to voice recognition, this is because they are both biometric systems. The way this assists in securing data is as follows: The retina of the eye, which is unique to everyone, is scanned. The computer can identify people by the use of camera technology which can differentiate individuals from one another because of the subtle differences in their retina. If the person is recognized as authorized personnel, then they are allowed to view the data.

If however, they are not authorized to view the data, they will be denied access from doing so as well as from manipulating it, this allows for the safekeeping of data and the maintenance of its integrity. * Fingerprint Recognition Definition: -This is the automated method of verifying a match between two human fingerprints. How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity? This is another biometric system, and the most popular one at that. Fingerprint recognition is widely used for the protection of data because of its accuracy and dependability in identification.

Just as there are no two people who share the exact same voice or retina, there are no two people who share the exact same fingerprints. Because of this, fingerprint recognition can be used to allow someone access to data once the person accessing the data places his finger onto the scanning device. If his fingerprints match those that are registered then he/she is allowed access to the data, otherwise access will be denied. * Fireproof Cabinets Definition: -A fire resistant cupboard/box which can house computer hardware that contains data. How does it assist in securing data and maintaining its integrity?

Data is located inside software, however software cannot function without hardware. Therefore, in order to protect the software which houses data, we must also protect the hardware which houses the software. Fireproof cabinets are an excellent way of doing so. They assist in securing the hardware by allowing it a special area so that it is not lost or misplaced. Also, if there is a fire which could potentially be disastrous, the fire resistant cabinets will protect the hardware from being destroyed while also indirectly protecting the data. Summary Bibliography