Data Migration Chain of Custody

Data migration chain of custody refers to the process of tracking and documenting the movement, handling, and changes made to data during a data migration project. See Chain of Custody.

This chain of custody concept is borrowed from the field of forensics and evidence management, where the chain of custody ensures the integrity and admissibility of evidence in legal proceedings. In data migration, the chain of custody serves a similar purpose, helping organizations maintain the integrity, security, and traceability of their data as it moves from one location or system to another.

Primary components and principles of data migration chain of custody

  • five-industry-data-migration-use-cases-blog-THUMBDocumentation: The process begins with the creation of detailed records documenting the data being migrated. This includes information such as data source, data destination, metadata, data ownership, and the purpose of the migration.
  • Data Identification: Each piece of data is identified and assigned a unique identifier or tag. This identifier is used to track the data throughout the migration process.
  • Secure Handling: Data must be handled and transported securely to prevent unauthorized access, tampering, or data breaches during the migration. Encryption and secure data transfer methods are often used.
  • Transfer Records: Detailed records are maintained at every step of the data migration process. This includes information about when data was transferred, who performed the transfer, and any transformations or modifications made to the data.
  • Data Validation: Before and after each data transfer, validation checks are performed to ensure that data remains accurate and intact. Any discrepancies or errors are documented and addressed.
  • Access Controls: Access to data during the migration process is restricted to authorized personnel only. Role-based or (share-based in the case of data storage migration) access controls and permissions are often implemented.
  • Data Integrity: Measures are taken to ensure data integrity is maintained throughout the migration, including checksums, data verification, and error correction.
  • Versioning: If changes are made to data during the migration, versioning is used to track these changes and ensure that previous versions of data can be restored if needed.
  • Auditing and Logging: Comprehensive auditing and logging mechanisms are employed to record all activities related to data migration. These logs are critical for tracking any unauthorized access or changes.
  • Reporting: Regular reports are generated to provide stakeholders with updates on the progress of the data migration project. These reports include information on the status of data, any issues encountered, and the actions taken to address them.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Organizations must adhere to relevant legal and regulatory requirements when handling and migrating data, such as data privacy laws (e.g., GDPR) and industry-specific regulations.
  • Data Retention: Data migration chain of custody may include provisions for the retention of migration-related records for a specified period to address potential future audits or inquiries.

By implementing a robust data migration chain of custody process, organizations can ensure that data remains secure, accurate, and compliant with regulations throughout the migration. This not only minimizes the risk of data breaches or data loss but also provides a strong foundation for successful data migration and ongoing data management projects.


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