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.

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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...)