Why is it important to certify digital data and content?
Digital data/content is central to our daily and business lives now, whether it be text, images, audio or video. With the advent of the Internet and mobile computing we are avid creators and users of digital content. As creators we are concerned with ensuring what we create whether it is an email, document or image as examples, remains and is used as we intended and is not misused in any way. As consumers of digital information we want to be able to trust in digital content we receive and use, know its source and that it is accurate and authentic. However we all know how easy it is to copy or change digital content/data either accidentally or maliciously. One of the big advantages of the digital world is that digital content/data is easy to view, copy, manipulate and process. Its strength is also its weakness. So the question is how do we protect the integrity of digital content/data we create? And how do we trust digital data and content that we receive and use?
Let us consider some of the reasons we need to consider doing more than we do today:
Why we need to certify Digital Data & Content?
- Want to be able to prove ownership and copyright of digital content
- Want to know if content published on web site or issued has been tampered with
- Want users of content/data to be able to trust it
- Want to be able to prove to authorities and management that the information is in compliance with process, standards and regulations
- Want to be able to use it as irrefutable evidence of ownership and the authenticity of their original content or data as evidence in a court.
- People, Organisations and 3rd parties make important decisions based on digital data/content, these decisions can have negative consequences so creating confidence and an audit trail for digital data can create that confidence and history
- Should there be a question, concern, audit or challenge to the integrity, authenticity and provenance of digital content/data being able to prove beyond doubt these elements will avoid issues and possibly penalties.
How can I quickly and cost effectively create an independently certified record for the provenance, authenticity and integrity of my digital content/data?
Using a service like Digiprove will quickly solve the problem, it is fast to register, use and integrate into your process and software. You can then automatically (Autoprotect), manually or at scheduled time or events ensure some or all of your digital content/data is certified.
A good solution like Digiprove will:
- Create unique digital fingerprint for each piece of content and/or data using industrial strength encryption algorithms such as SHA-256.
- Send that fingerprint to the secure independent proof engine in the cloud where it will be date, time and location stamped and combined with your metadata into a digital certificate.
- All details will be recorded in a traceable and verifiable audit file and the certificate returned to you as well as being stored.
This is in effect your insurance certificate that is fully traceable and can be verified at any time. It is your undisputable evidence that you own the exact content, at a point in time.
That’s all very well, but how do I know the integrity, authenticity and provenance of the digital content/data remains intact and as originally intended and it has not been changed?
There are two key areas that must be considered, and these are covered in the Digiprove technology.
- Verification of the integrity of digital content/data. You decide how you want to do this, it can be done manually at any time, automatically using “Autoverify” or integrated into your process-application to occur on specific events and/or at specific times with warnings highlighted should there have been a change or tampering. (Positive verification re enforces confidence and trust)
- Evidence, It’s your digital certificate and the Digiprove record that enable you to prove ownership and integrity beyond all doubt, and in the event there is an incident or case where there has been inappropriate use or tampering you have certainty as to provenance, integrity and authenticity.
Again using the insurance analysis, your certificates are the evidence you are protected, verification provides the evidence to the assessor of the circumstances that exist at a later point in time, and should there be a legal or regulatory case the authorities can trust.
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