The science of data denudation

Understand how data is handled, how servers and other data handling equipment behave, and the security implications of data management

Before getting into data denudation; let’s first see, what is denudation? The meaning and the examples shared in this article will give you the detailed explanation about what the data denudation is all about and how important it is in today’s data handling and data manipulation world.

The idea centres on how various forms of data are handled, how servers and other data handling equipment behave, and the security implications of data management.

Before I proceed further, I would like to clarify that Data denudation is the word coined by me. There are various scenarios described below with the examples that will make this concept clear.

The idea centres on how various forms of data are handled, how servers and other data handling equipment behave, and the security implications of data management.

What is Data Denudation?

According to geology, the term "denudation" refers to the wearing away of the earth's surface by flowing water, ice, wind, and waves, which results in a decrease in height and in relief of landforms and landscapes.

Data denudation is similar in that it refers to the wearing or removing of data from one memory region to another by a system or a person, resulting in a different set and kind of data, mixing data so that the original data is lost or changed. This is one of the biggest changes that can happen to a data. This can be either good or bad. So, data denudation is divided in to two types:

Good Data Denudation

When a data architect wants to migrate data from one database to another, and from one table to another, for a better purpose, to use a new database version, or for any other good reason, this is referred to as good data denudation. This is highly confidential, responsible and the thoughtful work that can be done by the data architect to make use of the specific database tools in a proper way.

The following benefits come from effective data movement:

  • Memory is freed up
  • Server clusters can be used effectively
  • Servers can function effectively
  • Server maintenance costs can be decreased
  • Data movement from client to server can become leaner
  • Channel connections can be significantly improved

Bad Data Denudation

Bad Data Denudation is the denudation that is mostly done purposely to destroy or mix the data to make the system useless. This sometimes can be done by the systems itself; it is in both the cases the output is disastrous. This is not at all acceptable and the serious action needs to be taken when this happens. The issues that can arise from this are as follows:

  • The memory can get exhausted or emptied
  • The servers can become over busy
  • The clusters can turn in to clutters
  • The channel connection can get blocked
  • The databases and the table can get deleted or any useless data can get added

Data Denudation is data addition, data subtraction, data changes and data mixing all in one. Data Denudation can be divided in to three categories based on its pace, they are:

  • Slow: When the movement of data from one server to another is slow and steady, at various time intervals that are also not too close, is called slow paced data denudation. In this the time intervals can be set as the triggers or scheduled jobs on times every morning, to move the data from one server to another.
  • Medium: When either the movement of data, or the time intervals are slow, then it is called medium paced data denudation
  • Fast: When both the movement of data and the time intervals are too fast, then it is called fast paced data denudation

All the three can fall in to good or bad data denudation types, so again we need to be careful of these denudations taking place.

Categories of Data Denudation

Data Denudation can be divided in to two categories based on its amount of denudation, they are:

  • Semi: When some or half of the data is wiped off or moved or changed then it is called Semi data denudation
  • Full: When the entire server is wiped out or moved or changed then it is called as Full data denudation

Agents responsible for Data Denudation are:

  1. People
    1. Malicious user: The user who may purposefully or by mistake move the part of data and do the data mixing in such a way that the original data gets vanished
    2. Legal user: The user who does it after carefully accessing the data and decides what is not required can be moved to the archive or can be moved and mixed with another data so that it can enhance the data.
  1. System
    1. Hardware: The memory space gets filled up and if it is not emptied on time, then the data can be lost. So, there should be check on the memory location for adequate space.
    2. Storage Devices: The storage devices, external as well as internal used to store the data, gets corrupted and we can’t recover data from them. Sometimes the data gets vanished for ever or sometimes we can retrieve it in some way or other.
    3. Software: The scheduled job is written, and that program runs on a specific time or can get triggered by the amount of data, to be moved from one server to another.
    4. Database Servers: This is the server that holds database tables and adds, updates the data, for a project, so the program run on these servers can do the data denudation on it
    5. Data Centres: The data centres are very secure areas where only few responsible people can go and do the necessary changes in the databases. The data denudation here can get very expensive.
    6. Clients: The clients that connect to the database servers, can get more dangerous as it is in the hands of the programmers to manage the data.
    7. Servers: the servers are the starting point where if there is no authentication and authorization of the users who can go to the servers, can do any data denudation in it.
    8. Middle Ware Servers: In some projects there are middle ware tools that transfer the data from one application to another, and this is the data that is very old and huge data. The data denudation here should be not allowed.
  1. Group of People
    1. Team or teams: The project teams can come together and decide to move the data from one to another server based on the requirement.
    2. Firms: The IT firms are mostly responsible for managing the IT projects end to end, so it’s their responsibility to see the data and decide its further action.
    3. Cyber security groups: The legal cyber security group of officers doing a check on a malicious user can also do a valid data denudation for their procedures.

The two types of Data denudation are:

  1. Manual: The data denudation can be manually done, by the data centre team or by the project team.
  2. Automatic: When the system is set to run a scheduled job to move the data on a time, it is called automation data denudation

In both the cases, there can be good and bad data denudation.

For e.g:

  • After checking the data, and deciding which data is old and move it to archiving folder is an example of good data denudation
  • And any other malicious user who can delete or move the data purposely to spoil the project. This is an example of bad data denudation.

Security a key concern

Data denudation is also concern of the security. How much secure the data is; hence, this is classified in to following based on security guidelines, they are:

  • Unsecure: There are several types of data that don't need any protection or security. These can be the non-personal data, non-banking data, non-transactional data. There are very few types of data that can be transmitted without a safe envelope. These data can be transmitted via the http protocol and without the use of any form of firewall.
  • Secure: The data that must be secured, like the banking, personal, and the transactional data that requires some level of security and that cannot go from one end to another without that is called the secure data.
  • Low: This level of security can be achieved by https protocol and nothing more security level is required. For e.g.: The username and password page, must be an https protocol
    1. Medium: This is the level when little more security than the https protocol is required. For e.g.: the https protocol for the login page, and the session begins and ends when the person logs out. This can be used in any transactional data but non-financial data transactions.
    2. High: This level of security is when https protocol, with session and with the encryption and decryption of data is done along with the firewall and Z security. All the transactional attributes like roll back and success to be achieved. For e.g.: During the financial transactions.

So, when the data denudation occurs for the above listed secure and unsecure transactions then these above listed things must be kept in mind.

Data Denudation Cycle

The data denudation is a process with various steps and all these steps happen one after another and hence it forms a lifecycle of the data denudation process.

The four steps of Data Denudation Cycle are:

  • Data Weathering: When the data that becomes too old and not accessed by anyone, and needs to be preserved, not necessarily to be moved is called data weathering
  • Data Erasing: The data that is too old and its too huge amount of data that needs to be preserved and moved to another folder is called data erasing.
  • Data Transportation: The movement of the data from one location to another is called data transportation
  • Data Deposition: The movement and the preservation of data in another location is called data deposition

The author is a Software professional, based in Mumbai

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