ReLiAbiLiTy and iNtEgRiTy



Reliability refers to the operation of hardware, the design of software, the accuracy of data or the correspondence of data with the real world. Data may be unreliable if it is entered incorrectly or if it becomes outdated. For example, a medical record that becomes dissociated from the patient it refers to becomes unreliable. The reliability of machines, software and data determines our confidence in their value.


Integrity refers to correspondence of data with itself, at its creation. Data lacks integrity when it has been changed accidentally or tampered with. For example, a hacker might change driver licence data resulting in arrests of innocent people.


Data integrity

Refers to the validity of data. Data integrity can be compromised in a number of ways:
  • Human errors when data is entered
  • Errors that occur when data is transmitted from one computer to another
  • Software bugs or viruses
  • Hardware malfunctions, such as disk crashes
  • Natural disasters, such as fires and floods
There are many ways to minimize these threats to data integrity. These include:
  • Backing updata regularly
  • Controlling access to data via security mechanisms
  • Designing user interfacesthat prevent the input of invalid data
  • Using error detection and correction software when transmitting data

Online Resources

Dumaine, Brian. "The Driverless Revolution Rolls on." Fortune Tech Technology Blogs News and Analysis from Fortune Magazine RSS. N.p., 12 Nov. 2012. Web. 09 Jan. 2013.

Pan, Jiantao. "Software Reliability." Software Reliability. N.p., Spring 1999. Web. 09 Jan. 2013.