Skip to Content

What risks are associated with the specific data I am working with?

Take action

  • Consider potential risks to data including format obsolescence, security breaches, data loss, and data corruption
  • Identify vulnerabilities in your data management strategies



  • Barateiro, José, Gonçalo Antunes, Filipe Freitas, and José Borbinha. “Designing Digital Preservation Solutions: A Risk Management-based Approach.” International Journal of Digital Curation 5, no. 1 (July 2010): 4–17. doi:10.2218/ijdc.v5i1.140.

Digital preservation aims to keep digital objects accessible over long periods of time, ensuring the authenticity and integrity of these digital objects. In such complex environments, Risk Management is a key factor in assuring the normal behaviour of systems over time. Currently, the digital preservation arena commonly uses Risk Management concepts to assess repositories. In this paper, we intend to go further and propose a perspective where Risk Management can be used not only to assess existing solutions, but also to conceive digital preservation environments.

  • Frisz, Chris, Geoffrey Brown, and Samuel Waggoner. “Assessing Migration Risk for Scientific Data Formats.” International Journal of Digital Curation 7, no. 1 (March 12, 2012): 27–38. doi:10.2218/ijdc.v7i1.212.

The majority of information about science, culture, society, economy and the environment is born digital, yet the underlying technology is subject to rapid obsolescence. One solution to this obsolescence, format migration, is widely practiced and supported by many software packages, yet migration has well known risks. For example, newer formats – even where similar in function – do not generally support all of the features of their predecessors, and, where similar features exist, there may be significant differences of interpretation.

  • Knight, Gareth. “A Digital Curate’s Egg: A Risk Management Approach to Enhancing Data Management Practices.” Journal of Web Librarianship 6, no. 4 (October 2012): 228–250. doi:10.1080/19322909.2012.729992.

This article provides a case study of work performed at King's College London to survey information management practices, policies, and procedures applied by data creators and managers within three research units and three business units, and to determine the risk factors that may limit access and use of their digital assets over time. The assessment framework adopted to assess practices brings together components of the Data Asset Framework to analyze ad hoc data handling processes performed within departments, and combines it with the system-level Digital Repository Audit Methodology Based on Risk Assessment evaluation framework to identify the potential risks that may occur and the consequences to the institution or individual unless action is taken.

  • IBM Global Technology Services. “Taming the Data Demons: Leveraging Information in the Age of Risk.” Thought Leadership White Paper. Somers, NY, September 2010. .

With data being the new world currency, and the cost ofmaintaining and protecting that data running exponentiallyhigher than the cost to capture it in the first place, data riskmanagement is assuming a new importance among IT andline-of-business executives alike.

  • Lord, Philip, Alison Macdonald, Liz Lyon, and David Giaretta. “From Data Deluge to Data Curation.” In Proceedings of the 3rd UK eScience All Hands Meeting, 371–375. Nottingham, UK: Citeseer, 2004. .

e-Science -- or e-Research -- enables new forms and layers of research. It generates massive amounts of data, at different research stages. Yet the many technologies used also transform data and put its integrity at risk. Readability and usefulness are jeopardized not just by technical factors. Data’s future quality – richness, trustworthiness –is a function of investment in it. But should all data be kept? What other issues arise, for whom? We highlight findings of the recent e-Science Data Curation report commissioned by JISC with the support of the e-Science Core Programme, and present the Digital Curation Centre, the first of its kind in the world, and its role in providing resources and support for digital curation and research.

  • National Research Council (U.S.). Panel on Data Access for Research Purposes, National Research Council (U.S.). Committee on National Statistics, and National Research Council (U.S.). Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education. Expanding Access to Research Data: Reconciling Risks and Opportunities. Washington, D.C.: National Academies Press, 2005. .

Policy makers need information about the nation ranging from trends in the overall economy down to the use by individuals of Medicare in order to evaluate existing programs and to develop new ones. This information often comes from research based on data about individual people, households, and businesses and other organizations, collected by statistical agencies. The benefit of increasing data accessibility to researchers and analysts is better informed public policy. To realize this benefit, a variety of modes for data access including restricted access to confidential data and unrestricted access to appropriately altered public-use data must be used. The risk of expanded access to potentially sensitive data is the increased probability of breaching the confidentiality of the data and, in turn, eroding public confidence in the data collection enterprise. Indeed, the statistical system of the United States ultimately depends on the willingness of the public to provide the information on which research data are based. Expanding Access to Research Data issues guidance on how to more fully exploit these tradeoffs. The panel's recommendations focus on needs highlighted by legal, social, and technological changes that have occurred during the last decade.

  • Rosenthal, David. “Format Obsolescence: Assessing the Threat and the Defenses.” Library Hi Tech 28, no. 2 (2010): 195–210. doi:10.1108/07378831011047613.

This paper aims to examine the approach to format obsolescence, preparing for format migration, that has guided most digital preservation work for the last 15 years. It asks why this approach has not rescued significant content in that time, and whether it would succeed in rescuing future content at risk of format obsolescence.

about seo | page