How to Approach the Challenge of Security and Big Data Proactively

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How to Approach the Challenge of Security and Big Data Proactively

Over the past several years, “Big Data” has not only become a popular business buzzword, but also an important tool in gaining deeper insights into customer buying behavior, as well as what motivates them to purchase from you in the first place. Part of this quest for more and more data involves mining diverse sources, in order to gain a more complete understanding of your customers, business operations, and competitors.

This increased reliance on these many sources of data comes with a huge responsibility: Keeping this data safe from prying eyes, both internal and external. As the volume of data increases, the risk of a data breach also rises. According to the Identity Theft Resource Center, 2017 has already seen 1,120 security breaches as of October, with over 171 million records having been exposed. To put this in perspective, there were 1,039 breaches during the entire year of 2016, and a little over 36.6 million records were exposed.

Clearly, the problem is getting worse, not better, especially when you consider the disheartening details of the hacks earlier in 2017 involving major brands like Equifax and Deloitte. With statistics like these, it’s no wonder the Pew Research Center reported that about half of Americans don’t trust social media platforms—or even the government—with their private information.

How Secure is Your Security?

Constantly evolving technology, especially regarding “the cloud,” presents a wide range of big data security challenges, as Cloud Security Alliance points out, “…large-scale cloud infrastructures, diversity of data sources and formats, the streaming nature of data acquisition, and high-volume inter-cloud migration all create unique security vulnerabilities.”

In an MIT Technology Review article, two main challenges to implementing effective data security are mentioned. They are:

Outdated approaches. Protecting the network from unauthorized intrusions is no longer enough. A survey by CSO Market Pulse found that fully two-thirds of corporations’ security budgets are used to protect the network, with less than a third used to directly protect the data and intellectual property that reside inside the organization. This is short sighted, to say the least.

Insufficient governance. The Dell End-User Security Survey found that 72 percent of employees said they would share “sensitive, confidential or regulated company information under certain circumstances.” This shows a definite need for businesses to have a data governance program in place, which many companies still don’t have.

Deal with a Security Threat Before It Happens

The big question is how do companies deal with this ever-increasing security threat? The answer is by being proactive regarding safeguarding data security and privacy. According to an eBook available from IBM, taking these four steps can help:

Discover and classify sensitive data. Before you can actually set up a system of protecting data, you need to identify what information needs to be protected.

Harden the environment. Once you identify the data you need to protect, you need to have a comprehensive security strategy in place and make sure it fits with regulatory mandates.

Secure and continuously monitor access to the data. Managing data security requires real time monitoring to detect any unauthorized access and to quickly alert key staff to any problems that arise. This also includes establishing barriers to protect sensitive data from internal threats and breaches.

Protect and remain vigilant. Confirm your security audits are compliant, and regularly implement additional protections as regulations and policies evolve and new sensitive data is created.

Today’s organizations require thoughtful and carefully crafted policies, procedures, and technology to effectively safeguard their sensitive data and information. These policies and technologies also require constant monitoring for effectiveness and regular updates to address the ever-evolving data security landscape.

How is your company dealing with keeping your important and sensitive data secure? What safeguards do you have in place and what are you doing to keep your company’s data security procedures and technologies current and up to date? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

More resource on the topic:

Watch: The Business of Cybercrime
How to tackle big data from a security point of view
IoT Means IT Teams and MSPs Must Focus on Security

Photo Credit: iebschool Flickr via Compfight cc

This article was first published on V3Broadsuite.

Shelly Kramer is a Principal Analyst and Founding Partner at Futurum Research. A serial entrepreneur with a technology centric focus, she has worked alongside some of the world’s largest brands to embrace disruption and spur innovation, understand and address the realities of the connected customer, and help navigate the process of digital transformation. She brings 20 years' experience as a brand strategist to her work at Futurum, and has deep experience helping global companies with marketing challenges, GTM strategies, messaging development, and driving strategy and digital transformation for B2B brands across multiple verticals. Shelly's coverage areas include Collaboration/CX/SaaS, platforms, ESG, and Cybersecurity, as well as topics and trends related to the Future of Work, the transformation of the workplace and how people and technology are driving that transformation. A transplanted New Yorker, she has learned to love life in the Midwest, and has firsthand experience that some of the most innovative minds and most successful companies in the world also happen to live in “flyover country.”

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