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data in motion

Contributor(s): Laura Fitzgibbons

Data in motion, also referred to as data in transit or data in flight, is a stream of data that is moving or being transported between locations within or between computer systems. It can also be used to describe data that is within a computer's random access memory (RAM) that is ready to be updated, processed, accessed and read. Data in motion may be moving within a computer system, over a wireless connection or along a wired connection.

Specific examples of data in flight could be data moving between cloud storage and local file storage, data transferring from one network to another or files being dragged within an FTP site. Once the data arrives at its final destination, it becomes data at rest.

Data in motion is a crucial component of data analytics as information needs to be processed and transmitted in real time. Securing data in motion and being able to send sensitive data digitally helps organizations gain more valuable insights from trends as they occur.

Data is considered to be more vulnerable when it is in motion and like data in the other common states, should be encrypted in order to protect it from interception by hackers. Common forms of encryption for data in motion include encrypting the data before it is transmitted, known as its resting state, or encrypting the passage along which the data is sent. Encryption platform solutions can be used to integrate with existing ERP systems to keep data in motion from email accounts and mobile devices or applications confidential.

This was last updated in February 2019

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