As a follow-up to my post about data processing, this post discusses data output. For those who are not data-savvy or immersed in the world of data, it might seem like output is just output, right? No need to worry about output if you do input and processing correctly, right?
case! Data output offers up some unique security risks and challenges that you
need to fend off. Here are a few data output areas to assess.
output gets seen or delivered to a person—whether it’s city staff looking at a
paper report or a citizen using your city’s website—that data must not reveal
confidential information. For example, it should never be easy to see a social
security number online with only a few data inputs. Or, personnel records
should not be made available in a paper report that may get passed around to
unauthorized people. Place controls over who sees outputted data.
employees and citizens who need to see certain information, data output needs
to be highly available. That means your hardware and software needs to perform
at a high standard. Lack of availability to data affects the jobs of your
employees and interferes with citizen services (such as paying property taxes
Ever run a
report and get a spreadsheet full of gobbledygook and unstructured, unformatted
data. Outputted data is not helpful if it can’t be read or interpreted. The end
result of data input and processing must be understandable and usable. Work
with your software vendors and IT staff or vendor to ensure that you receive
data output in a digestible, user-friendly form.
our suggestions for data input and data processing, it’s always a good idea to
monitor data output. Not only do you help quality control by detecting errors
and anomalies but you also stay alert for security risks and breaches.
to security and usability, cities must also ensure that they comply with all
federal and state laws. This includes laws that balance privacy (such as
keeping personal information like social security numbers private) with freedom
of information. Data breaches can occur and lead to fines and lawsuits when
outputted data gets in the wrong hands as a result of careless policies and
these best practices, it’s clear that a few patterns emerge.
about securing your data? Reach out
to us today.
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