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Semantic Heterogeneity

Data Security Challenges

This chapter presents an overview of data security requirements, and examines the full spectrum of data security risks that must be countered. It then provides a matrix relating security risks to the kinds of technology now available to protect your data. This chapter contains the following sections:

Top Security Myths

The field of data security is rife with mistaken beliefs which cause people to design ineffective security solutions. Here are some of the most prevalent security myths:

  • Myth: Hackers cause most security breaches.In fact, 80% of data loss is to caused by insiders.
  • Myth: Encryption makes your data secure.In fact, encryption is only one approach to securing data. Security also requires access control, data integrity, system availability, and auditing.
  • Myth: Firewalls make your data secure.In fact, 40% of Internet break-ins occur in spite of a firewall being in place.

To design a security solution that truly protects your data, you must understand the security requirements relevant to your site, and the scope of current threats to your data.

Understanding the Many Dimensions of System Security

In an Internet environment, the risks to valuable and sensitive data are greater than ever before. Figure 1-1 presents an overview of the complex computing environment which your data security plan must encompass.

Figure 1-1 Scope of Data Security Needs

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You must protect databases and the servers on which they reside; you must administer and protect the rights of internal database users; and you must guarantee the confidentiality of ecommerce customers as they access your database. With the Internet continually growing, the threat to data traveling over the network increases exponentially.

To protect all the elements of complex computing systems, you must address security issues in many dimensions, as outlined in Table 1-1:

Table 1-1 Dimensions of Data Security