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The Future of Data Integrity

Continuous Data Audit for the Financial Industry

July 30, 2020

Introduction

In times of digitization and home office, it is no wonder that data traffic has exploded. From grocery shopping to receiving your paycheck, everything can be done digitally, and many things already are. The trend says: go digital!
By moving to the web, we have reduced redundancies, enabled connectivity, and increased the speed and efficiency of many processes. However, at the same time, this has increased the available attack surface for internal and external attacks on that data.

One of the more obvious industries affected by this is the financial industry. Here, the impact is immediately and easily quantifiable. Furthermore, governmental regulation is putting more and more pressure on organizations to prepare, prevent, and protect against such incidence. In the case of higher tier crime like money laundering or even financing of illegal organizations, governments actively seek to press hard on compliance. Having fully auditable data and detecting any data manipulation greatly increases the detection rate of both internal and external threats.

Continuously Auditable Data against Financial Crime

To overcome challenges of data manipulation, companies must increase efforts in security and in threat detection. For companies in finance – like payment processors or different types of banks – it is essential to detect manipulated data. Hence, organizations need to verify financial data before processing or modifying it or they risk fraud and more penalties

To keep data integrity throughout the entire data’s lifecycle, it must be verifiable from the point of ingestion into the system until it is archived and every step in between. With a shareable digital proof, the verification in processes can be made more easily, it increases the verification speed and ease of auditability for internal and governmental agents. Moreover, having both data repositories and shareable proof for the entire data lifecycle can create a continuously auditable dataflow. Having data continuously auditable will eliminate the possibility of undetected data tampering from internal and external sources.

This would not only decrease the impact of data manipulation by uncovering it but also decrease time and money spent on constant data vetting, curation and analysis by data scientists. According to a Harvard Business paper, knowledge workers waste 50% of their time researching for and the validation of data.

Using portable digital proofs, the search can be simplified, and original data kept from illegitimate access or viewers by searching and identifying data through meta-data attached to the proof instead of the data directly. Once relevant data is identified it can be instantly verified with the digital proof.
Immutable digital proofs can be created by anchoring the unique hashes of data to a distributed consensus mechanism like blockchain. This process can run parallel to the main system and creating a digital proof connecting original data to its immutably stored ‘fingerprint’. The proof would be shareable so that anyone with the data and its proof can verify its integrity.
Having fast, non-intrusive verification mechanisms and continuously auditable data will safeguard your digital work environment from manipulated data. It also helps with compliance and prevention of financial crime. Further, the time saved helping your data scientists opens them up for more productive tasks.

If you want to find out how to prove the integrity of your data, contact us here!