Previously, I brought attention to what I believe is one of the biggest cybersecurity challenges: data integrity. As I note in a different piece, we have entered a strange phase in our history where questioning “evidence” is not such a ludicrous idea.

For example, altering photographs digitally so you can’t tell there have been alterations is a full-time job. This is great for art as we try to clean out any imperfections. It’s not so great when used to conceal a crime. Or alter a map or financial statement or design schematics. I’m confident you get the point.

And just to be clear, there are benign mistakes that can happen. Not all acts are nefarious. Here’s the key that ties everything together: it’s crucial to have the confidence that the data you have in your possession is accurate.

In the previous article, I showed you a technique that is quite helpful in ensuring your data has not been tampered with: running your data through a hash calculator. In this article, I’ll give you a quick rundown of a few more techniques that help protect the integrity of your data. Some are easy, while some are a bit more complicated.


Perhaps the easiest way to keep a clean copy of your data. Back up your data, run it through a checksum, encrypt it, run it through another checksum, keep it offline, and you’re pretty much golden. Having multiple backups is never a bad idea because backup media sometimes fails.


Always a good idea to ensure your storage media is acting as it should. The reasons as to why storage media fail are a bit technical (such as fragmentation), but there are IT professionals who can ensure your disks are operating as they should. If physical storage starts (Read more...)