By Mehul Shah, Chief Strategy Officer, Indusface
“Information is the oil of the 21st century, and analytics is the combustion engine.”
– Peter Sondergaard, Senior Vice President, Gartner Research.
In the age of such severe competition, it’s necessary to collect and analyze all the data you have, observe the trend and use the business insight gained to benefit your business. Like every technology, this also has its challenges, and the one challenge which unfortunately had been left for the end to tackle is its security. The data that is so important for you is, unfortunately, a gold mine for Hackers as well, and with so much data stored at one place, is too tempting for them to leave it alone. So while organizations are laying their focus on analyzing this data and information and using it for their benefit, it is also important for them to secure their companies’ and customer’s information.
What is Big Data?
Wikipedia defines Big Data as “an all-encompassing term for any collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand data management tools or traditional data processing applications.” And big data has increasingly become important for businesses. Unstructured data, which was previously considered waste, is now being stored and analyzed to leverage the information it gives and to make better organizational decisions.
Data is being collected from everywhere and it varies in nature, formats, and consistency- data being collected is from satellites, transactional data, websites, social media and more. It can be in a structured or unstructured form, as numbers, in the form of emails or the videos-the list goes on.
Initially storing data was considered to be a big hurdle, but with the rapid increase in data storage companies and a decrease in data storage costs, that problem has been tackled. But the other problem which should have been considered first but like always occurred as aftermath, is this data security.
What is so big about big data?
In the fast paced world, we live in, it’s understandable that the data is also being collected, and stored at a fast pace. A huge amount of data inflows continuously and this pace is only expected to increase. And the fact that the data inflows in different formats, add to its complexity. Handling this data, merging it and segregating it in a format that can be easily analyzed, are some challenges that organizations struggle with.
The data flow can be highly unpredictable, heavily dependent on external and non-controllable factors. One major incident and everyone is talking about it. News, blogs, social media, organizations-all stow the flow of data in one direction, and mostly in different unstructured formats.
Organizations lay a lot of importance on big data because if utilized properly, it can serve as a big differentiator and a deal clincher for them.
Big Data Expanding Rapidly
A study by McKinsey Global Institute stated that 20 bn terabyte of fresh digital data will be generated in 2014, and is likely to hit 140 terabytes by 2020. By 2015, the size of big data is estimated to be $25bn and by 2020, a whopping $100bn.
Data is growing at a rapid pace. And bigger the data, bigger the data breach and equally big will be the repercussions. What can you do to ensure that your big data is not only big but also safe?
Tips for securing your “Big Data”
Big data security is not very different from traditional data security. There are things that can be done to bring that security in big data. The SANS Institute provided a list of security controls for this, many of which are included below:
Everyone is talking of big data not being safe and impossible to secure, and how it’s too late as the security measures should have been deployed as of yesterday. But there is no reason to panic as simple security measures can enable organizations in keeping their data secure and use it for their benefit. Hackers will always be there on the offensive, but proactive measures from our end can keep us a step ahead of them.
Founder & Chief Marketing Officer, Indusface
Venky has played multiple roles within Indusface for the past 6 years. Before this, as the CTO @ Indusface, Venky created the product/service offering and technology team from scratch and grew it from ideation to getting initial customers with a proven/validated business model poised for scale. Before joining Indusface, Venky had 10+ years of experience in the security industry and had held various mgmt/leadership roles in Product Development, Professional Services, and Sales @Entrust.