What is the digital trust? Digital data integrity and protection

The era of connectivity and digitalisation has brought all sorts of advances, but also new challenges.

what is digital trust

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Data has now become one of the most valuable resources, as it can be transformed into useful knowledge. In this context, it is essential for companies to ensure its integrity, as they manage the digital trust that customers place in them.  

Digital trust and data integrity 

Data is a fundamental resource in today’s world. Both users and companies, and the latter in particular, need to adequately protect data in order to build and maintain a relationship of trust. This is where the concept of digital trust comes in, which is a way of knowing the level of trust that a company or organisation manages to create not only with its customers, but also with its partners and employees in the online environment. 

Digital trust is closely related to data integrity, or IT integrity, i.e. the assurance that, on the one hand, data is reliable and of good quality, and on the other hand, the data is valid: it has not been modified without authorisation. Such data could be compromised in a number of ways, such as human error in entering information into databases, unauthorised access or a cyber-attack, infecting equipment with viruses or an accident, resulting in an error in the transfer between devices.  

Any of these can result in stored information being compromised, stolen or altered for a variety of purposes. In this way, not only is data of great value, the same applies to digital trust in how companies and organisations store and treat this data. 

Steps to ensure data integrity in companies 

Data integrity is based on the validity and accuracy of the data. A first step to ensure it has both characteristics is to validate the data is of the highest possible quality. After that, other actions can be taken, such as limiting access, so it is advisable to reduce the number of users who manage the data depending on the organisation’s level of security.  

When it comes to storing data, the software and hardware that contains and supports it must also be protected, as do the devices used to transmit and process it. It is essential that the data reaches its intended recipients unaltered, which mean coordinated cyber-security strategies must be deployed.  

Passwords and dual verification systems are also useful to confirm authorisation for access to databases or storage devices, e.g. by avoiding simple codes or storage on the equipment itself. This reduces weaknesses that are relatively easy for cybercriminals to exploit.

It is also important to monitor access to the servers where the data is stored. This is done by checking the logs, which helps to verify who has logged in and whether they have made any changes. It should be remembered that if information is lost or seriously altered, it will negatively affect the organisation’s image and the digital trust placed in it by users, employees and collaborators.  

Cloud Computing to boost digital trust 

Another way to secure data is to have backups. These enable rapid recovery of information in case it is lost or compromised. This is why such copies should be stored in secure locations, such as in the cloud, as Cloud Computing services act as a security measure. 

Cloud services serve all types of businesses, regardless of size, and eliminate the costs and hassles of maintaining the security of IT tools, and ensure complete accessibility. 

Why is digital data protection important for companies? 

With the digital transformation, the use of data has transformed the world and the protection of information is becoming so important that it has been necessary to develop specific laws to guarantee the privacy of individuals (and also the organisations themselves).  

The European Union, for example, has been working in this area for more than a decade. Various directives and regulations govern how the information handled should be managed. It aims to protect users from abuses by companies or other entities.

So, one important reason to take care of data is legal. Failure to comply with these regulations carries heavy fines, which can reach up to €20,000,000. But above all, poor data protection management affects users’ digital trust. Sectors such as healthcare are highly sensitive as patient information must be kept confidential.

In addition, stolen data are used for all kinds of criminal acts such as selling them to third parties, carrying out scams or committing other crimes, like blackmail. In any case, companies need to take care of their security measures and ensure integrity at any time and in any situation.

Companies have a responsibility to take care of the data provided to them by their customers and employees, and to ensure the long-term digital trust that society places in them.  


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