Whitepapers

St. Valentine’s Data Massacre

The importance of ensuring data security, data integrity, data validity and database testing during software development

Whitepaper Overview

Download PDF St. Valentines Data Massacre

On the 82nd anniversary of the legendary US gangster slaying in Chicago, it’s perhaps appropriate to use the title of the massacre as an analogy to describe two of the most widespread but potentially dangerous practices that take place within QA and testing departments around the globe.

1. Illegal testing of live data

There are those who argue that verifying software quality by using live data is a necessity as it gives more accurate results. However, using customer, employee, or other confidential data straight from production for testing or developing applications violates data privacy laws and regulations and makes that data a ‘soft target’ for malicious attacks.

…two of the most most widespread but potentially dangerous practices that take place within QA and testing departments around the globe – illegal testing of live data and ignoring database accuracy.

2. Ignoring database accuracy

The second concern refers to how organisations value the integrity and validity of their data. Database errors are often the most costly and most difficult to detect and frequently the cause of severe and wide-ranging damage. There have been numerous cases, for example, where invoices, bills and statements have been sent in error to large numbers of customers because of a lack of data validity.

By the time the underlying data error is discovered, it’s usually already public and a combination of technical recovery and high profile PR are needed as emergency measures.

So, what can be done? Is there a way for QA staff to carry on testing with live data without leaving themselves and their organisation at risk? In short, can this ‘data massacre’ be avoided?

Original Software’s whitepaper, ‘St. Valentine’s Data Massacre’, explains the importance of data security, data integrity, data validity and rigorous database testing during software development and why only such policies will leave you satisfied that your entire application quality process is underpinned by legal and accurate test data.

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