What is Data Integrity?
To start, what is data integrity? Data integrity refers to the accuracy and consistency of data over its entire lifecycle, as well as compliance with necessary permissioning constraints and other security measures. In short, it is the trustworthiness of your data. High data integrity means data hasn’t been altered, corrupted or misused. Achieving data integrity requires asking questions such as, how is the data being transferred? and what is the risk of corruption during that process? Is data access limited to the right people or has sensitive data been compromised? Does the data remain consistent during routine updates?
For an organization to ensure high data integrity, it must invest in proper physical data storage with data integrity constraints. But data integrity is rarely static; once achieved, it must be monitored and maintained. In that sense, data integrity is as much a process as it is a state—there are myriad ways that data integrity can be compromised, either consciously or by human error, which means organizations can never simply check data integrity off their to-do list.