Data at Rest vs. Data in Transit: Understanding the Differences

Dec 6, 2022

Today’s IT world runs and relies on data. Communicating, organizing projects, and setting goals all require a clear picture of the operational landscape, and data is the driving force for each of these tasks.

Whether they are being stored or sent to another location, businesses must be able to properly manage their digital assets at all times. Doing so requires a good understanding of how data must be protected across environments. Controlling data at rest and data in transit is just the first step in this process.

What Is Data at Rest?

Data at rest refers to any digital information that’s being stored in a physical medium, whether it’s onsite or in the cloud via another organization’s hardware.

Examples of data at rest include files or documents stored on a computer, an external HDD, SSD, or a flash drive. Similar to a bank vault or safe, data at rest exists in the form of persistent storage, and it must be actively preserved or maintained to ensure it isn’t at risk of being compromised.

The information included in data at rest can be encrypted to guarantee that only authorized users have access to reading what’s already there or writing new information altogether.

For most organizations, data at rest often comprises incredibly valuable information, such as user data, legal documents, and financial information, and it needs to be protected at all costs.

What Is Data in Transit?

In contrast to data at rest, data in transit comprises digital information that is currently being transmitted from one point to another, which can refer to everything from data being sent across a network to transferring data between storage devices.

Still, whether it’s through email or physically accessible hardware when data is in transit, users should be aware of the need for security.

Data in transit is especially vulnerable to malicious actors, so businesses often make extra efforts to ensure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. Encryption is often employed, as tunneling important traffic through a secure connection reduces the potential for data to be stolen.

What’s the Difference Between Data at Rest and Data in Transit?

The biggest difference between data at rest and data in transit is that data in transit doesn’t have one specific location in which it exists, making it more difficult to protect. Data at rest can be protected through trusted mechanisms associated with storage and access, but data in transit must be delivered without unwanted actors being able to gain access to it.

In either case, it’s essential to protect vulnerable data from malicious actors. For businesses that want to protect their data, a trusted partner capable of protecting data throughout its lifecycle is the best solution.

Protect Your Stored Data with SEAM

For many businesses, data protection efforts end once the data has reached the end of its lifecycle and can therefore be deleted. However, it isn’t always so simple. Storage devices of all types often retain important data that can’t be fully erased through normal means.

Secure Enterprise Asset Management (SEAM) is your certified partner for managing data from start to finish. We’ll take care of all aspects of asset disposal, giving you maximum ROI for your equipment so you can focus on your bottom line. At SEAM, we know the process of asset destruction, recovery, and recycling inside and out.

If you’re a business in North Dakota or South Dakota, we want to help you get more for your IT assets. Find out how SEAM can improve your asset lifecycle. Call now!

SEAM provides IT recycling and data destruction services including onsite shredding and hard drive wiping to South Dakota, North Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, and Nebraska.

Schedule a pickup or contact us for more information.