What Does Depository Mean?

A depository in the context of security is a central place
where important data is stored. This data is typically very sensitive, such as
medical records, fingerprints or financial records. These records are kept in a
secure facility, and ideally very few people can access them except when they need
the data for authentication.


Techopedia Explains Depository

A depository keeps important data safe by putting it in a central place. An example would be credit monitoring agencies keeping financial records and U.S. state motor vehicle departments keeping identity information. Depositories can also keep biometric information, such as fingerprints, voice prints and iris prints. This information might be stored on hard drives, tapes and CDs.

Because this information is so sensitive, it must be accessed with care. The principle of least privilege would apply ideally. Only people who need this information, such as a credit agency preparing a report, would have access only when they needed it. The fact that all this information is so centralized makes it an attractive target for hackers and thieves.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.