Data security: does data integration put your data at risk?
By Henning Lund - March 02, 2021
According to the ITRC Data Breach Report 2020, over 300 million individuals were impacted by publicly reported data breaches in 2020. This is almost twice as much as in 2015 (169 million). This number is even expected to increase in 2021.
The recent COVID-19 global crisis has significantly increased online shopping and remote work. As a consequence, the threat landscape is stronger and the risk of a data breach gets higher.
In other words, and more than ever, no organization is safe from a data security breach. Companies should carefully think about data security. This is especially true as we place more and more data in data warehouses, on public clouds, or within big data systems.
What is data security and why does it matter?
Protecting personal data and sensitive data is a key concern of IT leaders worldwide. Regardless of the type of data, data security refers to the actions needed to protect digital data from unauthorized access and unwanted attacks.
Data security is not a new challenge. It has been a thing ever since companies started collecting and storing customer data in a digital way. Today, computing environments have become more complex with public cloud, enterprise data centers, Internet of Things (IoT) or remote servers.
This increased complexity makes it more challenging to guarantee data security.
Data security in data integration projects
What happens when you integrate two systems? Does the transfer of data from one system to the other expose and potentially endanger the security of your data? How does data integration impact data security?
Can data integration make your company more vulnerable to a data security breach? How do you handle data integration security?
Data security in data integration can be handled very differently from solution to solution. Custom-made solutions rarely have the level of data security data integration platforms have.
Many of the large data integration solution providers have done thorough thinking about how to avoid data corruption and data breaches. However, they usually have very different approaches to data protection.
Some might use data encryption, data masking, data tokenization.. There are many methods. Data encryption converts data into another code that can only be accessed with a specific and secret key or password.
Data tokenization basically replaces the sensitive data element with a “token”, i.e. data with no exploitable meaning or value. The token is like an identifier that maps back to the sensitive data.
Data masking consists in hiding the sensitive data with modified content, for example other data or different characters. This data protection method is not certain to stop the more sophisticated attacks.
There are many ways to handle data security in data integration - unfortunately, many of them with no encryption of data. It is not uncommon to come across a data protection method based on plain .csv text files or XML files sent by mail or via an FTP server for download and import to the other system(s).
These files are also stored on removable devices such as a usb-stick or memory cards. This is a simple and practical solution. However, it has a lot of constraints and limitations. Not only in regards to security, but also in regards to data error handling when such occur.
How to ensure good data security in data integration?
Data integration does not systematically imply a potential data security issue. The risk is not so high if system integrations can be handled with data encryption. Many data security breaches are due to the faults of traditional systems. Such systems have security technology and security operations that fail to keep attackers outside.
The risk is limited If SSL encrypted data is transferred between two systems with no staging of data on a ftp server or any other media. Data is read and written directly to and from the databases via the provided APIs.
Secure Salesforce & MS Dynamics integration solutions
At RapidiOnline, we have specialized in providing secure data integration solutions for many years. Data security has always been top of our minds and we have had a very simple but effective approach to it.
Many organizations use a CRM system like Salesforce and an ERP solution such as Microsoft Dynamics 365 (and its many business integrated apps). Combining data between these systems allows companies to improve customer service and generally customer satisfaction. It also streamlines their business processes.
RapidiOnline, our Microsoft Dynamics - Salesforce integration solution is a service that runs with a technology called the RapidiConnector. The RapidiConnector ensures compressed and secure data transfer between RapidiOnline and different on-premise systems such as Microsoft Dynamics 365. To ensure efficiency and security the data is compressed and encrypted.
In the RapidiOnline data integration process, the RapidiConnector resides in your on-premise network. From there, it connects outbound to the central RapidiOnline Service and enables two-way communication between RapidiOnline and your legacy systems.
With RapidiOnline, you don’t have to change anything in your network or firewalls in order to deploy RapidiOnline integration. The connection from the RapidiConnector is outbound only to RapidiOnline. No inbound ports have to be opened in your firewall. That way, we can make sure that your internal systems stay secured and protected.
The communication between RapidiOnline and the RapidiConnector is using a highly efficient proprietary protocol. The total amount of data and the number of packages sent and received is reduced optimally. Packages are compressed before sending, resulting in fast and efficient data transfers.
The RapidiOnline method has proven to reduce the amount of data to be sent by a factor of up to 50. For example, instead of sending 1000 bytes for each customer record, the RapidiConnector only needs to send 20 bytes. Transfer time goes down - as does the bandwidth required to perform the transfers.
With this proprietary protocol and the compression, it is practically impossible to decipher the data transmitted – thereby ensuring data security. RapidiOnline also applies SSL encryption on top to make it even more simple and secure.
Learn more about how you can integrate Salesforce with your ERP in this e-book:
About the author
With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.