Who Is in Charge of Keeping Our Information Safe and Secure?


In the technological age, data has become one of the most precious commodities that we have. Whether it’s the information on our medical records to those found on our bank statements, it is this data that keeps various organisations running as smoothly as possible. But with all this information, the risk of it falling into the wrong hands is quite high. It is therefore the responsibility of companies to ensure that they keep our data safe and secure as well as accurate and up to date.

What Do Data Auditors Do?

The role of taking care of our data falls into the hands of diligent professionals known as data auditors. These individuals have the training and skills required to spot flaws in information systems and databases that could then lead to outdated, corrupt, or compromised data. They work tirelessly to ensure that our information is as secure as possible.

For some people, knowing that data auditors are working behind the scenes to keep our data safe is enough. However, others prefer to know a bit more about what they do on a day-to-day basis.

Reviewing Data Architecture

Reviewing the data architecture of an organisation is the first thing that the data auditor does. This means taking a good look at the way in which a database is structured and then monitoring how data is flowing between various systems. It is important to make sure that you have established logical relationships between data sets, allowing for the accurate compilation and retrieval of information. If the auditors find any structural weaknesses, they will make recommendations on any adjustments that can be made to reinforce data integrity.

Ensuring Data Security

Data security is the next step in the process, and this involves rigorous testing of things like encryption methods, access controls, network protections and backup systems. Auditors look to penetrate the system of the organisation in an attempt to identify areas that are vulnerable to hackers and cybercriminals. This is known as penetration testing and is a crucial part of the data auditor’s job. If they identify weak areas, these can be fortified with extra layers of security to keep data safe. This might mean stronger encryption protocols or stricter passwords.

Verifying Accuracy of Data

Auditors must also make sure that data is accurate and in order to do this, they will take random data samples and check it meticulously for any inconsistencies or errors. This might include screening the sample for missing information, invalid details, or information that does not fall within the permitted parameters. For example, on a customer record, an auditor might highlight the number 25 in the section for month on a person’s date of birth, indicating that the customer has filled in the day and month fields incorrectly.

Assessing Completeness and Data Relevance

It is also the auditor’s job to look for missing information or data that is obsolete and no longer required. It may be the case that the company is holding information beyond the required time frame or that flaws in certain collection methods are resulting in missing essential data. When such details are identified by the auditors, they will be removed or remedied.

Ensuring Compliance with Data Regulations

Keeping data safe and secure is vital for businesses who want to establish trust with their customers. But more than that, it is a legal requirement. Companies must adhere to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) or face steep penalties for failing to do so. A part of the data auditor’s job is to ensure that all rules, regulations and policies adhere to those set out by the GDPR.  

Reporting and Implementation

Once an audit has been conducted, they will create a report which will contain everything the company needs to know in terms of problem areas and recommendations for stronger data defences. With the information provided in the auditor’s report, the company’s IT specialists can begin implementing the necessary upgrades.

The Risks of Data Decay

Organisations need to be aware that the integrity of data will diminish over time if it is not maintained adequately. However, with regular audits and examinations, data decay is kept to a minimum.

There are a number of things that auditors look for in terms of data decay, data drift being one of them. Data drift is a term used to describe the gradual shift of values from a normal baseline over a period of months or years. Certain metrics can trend higher or lower due to a change in an algorithm rather than a change in customer behaviour. It is important to identify data drift because it can distort analytics and reporting and have a knock-on effect on business decisions.

Outdated information is also something that auditors are on the lookout for. Retaining old irrelevant information is something that a lot of companies do without realising. Auditors will look for such data and purge it in order to make databases more streamlined and more manageable.


Most people have never heard of data auditors and a large portion of those who have, have no idea what these highly skilled individuals do. Because much of their work occurs behind the scenes, they tend to remain under the radar but without them, our data and sensitive information would be vulnerable to attacks from cybercriminals and hackers. The work they do helps organisations to keep our information safe and secure.


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