Big Data – Big Security Problems?


As big data becomes a potential game-changer for businesses, all organization face some big decisions about what to do with all the data they are generating—trading data, customer data, consumer data, risk management-oriented data, supplier data and on and on. Hence the security risks become even greater. The stakes are high, as the future winners in the industry may well be determined by which organization can best harness the information explosion to strategic ends. This is what Big Data is all about: going beyond traditional methods of storing and analyzing data, allowing organization to take maximum advantage of highly granular information.

While the promise of Big Data is enticing, several pitfalls still loom for the early adopters. The rise of Big Data will put pressure organization to grapple with security challenges on a whole new magnitude.

Cyber Resiliency – Today’s cyber criminals are better organized, more professional and have access to powerful tools and capabilities, which they use to identify, target and attack. When things go wrong, they can go wrong big time for an organization. It’s will not be the one-off data breaches or hacker attacks stories that hit the headlines, but those with far-reaching consequences that can mean reputational damage, legal liability and even financial ruin. Bottom line, cyber resilience and preparedness strategies are crucial for big data.

Big Data in the Cloud – There are plenty of synergies to constructing Big Data systems in the cloud—as long as security is not compromised. Indeed, many are convinced that the “definitive” application of cloud technology is one that leverages Big Data. The pressure for businesses to rapidly adopt and implement new technologies such as cloud services – often to support big data’s challenging storage and processing needs – ridden with unforeseen risks and unintended consequences. Big data in the cloud is a highly coveted target for cyber criminals looking to harvest coveted information in exchange for lucrative rewards. It is thus imperative that businesses get their secure cloud sourcing strategy right. 

Consumerization – As the trends of Big Data and Consumerization converged , it leaves no doubt in our mind that this convergence is causing the disruptive ramification on our personal and corporate life. Businesses are now faced with the challenge of managing and securing employees’ personal devices in the workplace and balancing the need for security with productivity. The value of the analytics data residing on these mobile devices are enormous and have far reaching repercussions to the business if they are compromised. Organization must start incorporating a holistic mobile lifecycle management framework in alignment to its’ overall organization risk management program.

Today “Big Data” is a buzzword among executives. And with businesses large and small increasingly focused on how to mine mountains of data for revenue-boosting insights, it’s perhaps inevitable that questions about maintaining that data’s security should also arise. Businesses are well advised to start planning and understand the legal and other ramifications that could blindside them. Lest they could be caught off guard when the walls start crumbing down.