Why Should You Care About Information Security?

The digital era presents novel opportunities and challenges for collecting and analyzing data. Today’s researchers enroll and engage research participants online, use wireless technology to collect data, store data online, collaborate with colleagues in the cloud, and much more. While digital technology makes collecting, analyzing, and sharing data faster and easier in many ways, it also presents new risks of unauthorized access, use, tampering, or destruction.

Some Good Reasons to Care About Security

  1. Your data may be attractive to attackers for a variety of reasons. Attackers are interested in valuable intellectual property, trade secrets, and important or sensitive information that can be held for ransom.
  2. Failure to protect data from unauthorized access can undermine years of work, bring your project to a total stop, damage your reputation as a researcher, and undermine public trust in your discipline and institution.
  3. Minimizing the risk of harm to research participants and communities, including protecting their privacy, is often a requirement of federal, state, and industry regulations and is a core tenet of many professional codes of ethics.
  4. Research sponsors and partners may require a plan for research and data security.