The Data Blog
Each type of database and database management system has its associated advantages and disadvantages, but when should you use one over the other? Is there a certain situation that one of these will be much more beneficial than another, or is the reverse true where using one will make it even harder for you to store and retrieve data?
Database management systems alike allow user access and data manipulation within a database but the way users actually interact with each database differs per usage of the DMS. For example, in a relational database management system typically users will use SQL for data manipulation and the process is inherently easy, making RDBMS' historically very popular. However, relational database management systems are not without their limits; it is hard to scale relational databases horizontally, or adding more to machines to your resources to allow for faster processing. As such, you may want to look into a different type of database management system if your work will involve horizontal scaling opposed to vertical scaling, the upgrading of system hardware.
So what other types of database management systems can one use? NoSQL databases such as graph databases and key-value store databases use document store objects to match a certain key to its one to one value such as integers, strings, and JSON objects. As opposed to relational databases, NoSQL databases tend to be highly scalable while also being quite efficient. Typically they are used for session management, account creation and set-up, and message-queuing. NoSQL databases are not without their disadvantages however; their 'eventual consistency' as part as their BASE structure as opposed to ACID results in some periods of time without updates rather than on the fly updates every time a change is made. Additionally, there isn't much of a standard in terms of uniformity for many NoSQL databases yet.
Network database management systems, invented by Charles Bachman, use network structures to define relationships between different entities, typically on larger networks of hardware. In network database management systems, parent nodes can relate to "member" or children nodes through many-to-many relationships. Thus, each node can connect with another making the database structurally simple and easy to follow. Consequently, this structure is difficult to change because of how connected each node is to one another and therefore one change can affect the whole database. Network database models are most commonly used when one needs a flexible way to represent entity relationships but not necessarily modify them.
There are many other types of database management systems one can use to interact with their database, and each have distinct advantages and disadvantages, Thus, it's always important to carefully examine your database, your goals for it, and how you'd like to interact with it to establish which database management system is right for you.
When one thinks of cyber security, cyber attacks and hackers, one doesn't typically associate the manner with terrorism. However, cyberterrorism and foreign intelligence cyber attacks are becoming more of an issue as the internet evolves into a more mainstream medium around the world. Just this past July, hackers from Russia have been accused of electronically meddling in international affairs and general elections of the United Kingdom and of trying to steal information relating to a potential COVID-19 vaccine. Likewise, The United States has reportedly launched cyber operations against countries such as Iran, China, Russia, and North Korea via the CIA to 'cause disruption and leak information to the public.'
Cyber attacks can take many different forms; phishing emails, keystroke monitoring, malware downloads, and web activity monitoring, which makes tracing them hard to begin with. Additionally, attacks can be historically hard to trace due to the sophisticated nature the operations tend to take. Why, anyone can download a VPN to fool online tools and fool browsers and companies by placing their signal in another country; if just about any computer user can change their location on the internet, just imagine what the most advanced hackers are capable of.
Fortunately, there are several ways to combat cyberterrorism which range from flooding the internet with fake data to discredit the findings of any successful cyber operations to full fledged task forces and commands to fight it such as the United States Cyber Command or China's Blue Army. For more information about how the United States combats cyberterrorism, visit the United States Cyber Command website.
One newly emerging but very important aspect within the financial and banking industry is the element of cryptocurrencies like BitCoin which are constantly fluctuating in market value. While some praise cryptocurrencies for being more secure and manageable compared to regular currencies, skeptics criticize it for being less traceable, less stable, and more susceptible to being stolen through hacks and cyber attacks. In 2019 alone, more than $4 billion worth of cryptocurrencies had been stolen, so if banks and other financial institutions were to start using cryptocurrencies at a higher level, they would need to invest in their own defense and cybersecurity activities first.
This means mobile and web portal security would both have to be upgraded tremendously to remain as safe as possible. Online banking already poses a big threat to security due to the risk of potential cyber attacks, but with cryptocurrencies coming into play, web and mobile portals will have to be monitored more closely than ever.
So the ultimatum is, should banks and financial institutions begin carrying cryptocurrencies if their consumer groups have a demand for it? Would that ruin the point of or demonetize cryptocurrencies? Only time will tell, but as these financial technologies become more advanced so will those who will attempt to hack them.