Data security, also known as information security or computer security, refers to measures taken to protect the privacy of digital information, preventing unauthorized access to computers, websites and databases. Additionally, IT technicians apply data security safeguards to protect data from unexpected corruption.
Examples of technologies used in the field of data security include data backup technology, data masking tools, and disk encryption for software and hardware. Data security experts use a variety of highly sophisticated tools to ensure that data remains safe, such as data scramblers. A data scrambler renders data unreadable to hackers and unauthorized users, typically making use of a decryption key to allow authorized individuals to make sense of the otherwise useless data.
One of the most important fields for data security is health care, where intimate health care information needs to be protected by the medical practitioners and advocates who make use of it. Patients who release data to laboratories, clinics, hospitals and physicians need to feel confident in the level of privacy afforded by the systems those medical facilities use.
Information security, while used interchangeable with data security, typically refers to maintaining the confidentiality, control, authenticity, integrity, utility and availability of information in a system by handling risk management through cryptography and access control.