As data is stored on hard drives, flash drives, discs, and such it would be satisfying to have a peace of mind that its integrity will maintain uncompromised. Data can become vulnerable to devastation by hard drive failures or malfunctions in the electronics of the PC. It is for this reason data backups are created, or arrays of disks for data retrieval is established by having it spread out amongst other discs and create an index of where it all is stored. But while data remains intact and appears to be safe from hardware failures, the need to protect it from prying eyes or foreign systems has become a must. Several ideas in the form of intellectual property, or system designs for a corporate airline are desired to be kept secure and away from those that would benefit from their exposure. There are many cases of data or information being stolen and used to profit the scandalous. In recent years, we’ve seen medical records from government agencies, credit card users’ personal information, including social security numbers, and even financial records from banking institutions taken and become the illegal property of the common criminal. Efforts are made to secure the data by keeping them behind locked doors, posting data handling policies, and examining critical areas of business for data abduction. A common exertion to safeguard steady state data is, amongst the aforementioned methods, to also password protect or encrypt the data. In the undesirable event the data is then stolen, thieves are then less easily able to retrieve their bounty.
When data is propagated across a network, it is obviously more vulnerable than data stored on hard drive. Like a parents’ sixteen-year-old taking his first drive by himself, network traffic is more susceptible to harm or confiscation due to traveling within unsecured zones and without the protection of a guardian. There are many various software programs that allow hosts, other than the proper recipients, to retrieve packets unbeknownst to the source host. When data, such as a business’ mission critical data, is transmitted, it is best to secure it with an encryption method. The art of encryption, cryptography, has been in existence for ages. Cryptography’s origin dates back to the Egyptian’s practice of hieroglyphics around 2000 B.C. and then again with Julius Caesar, overwhelmed with suspicion, encrypted his messages to his governors and officials (Pawliw, 2006). Data transfers over networks are simply another method of this century for communication with an understandable need for discretion.
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