Companies must not overlook big data security needs

By John McMalcolm

In recent years, the amount of data generated has been increasing at an exponential rate, and many companies in Canada have set up big data repositories to store, manage and analyze their data.

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Big data can be greatly beneficial to businesses, because it allows them to obtain new insights from their data.

However, big data is still an immature technology, and it poses many challenges for businesses. One of the main concerns with big data is security.

Here is a look at how Canadian companies can overcome the security issues that are associated with big data….

Benefits of Big Data

Big data analytics can be useful to companies in a wide range of industries.

According to an article entitled "The Internet of Things: Big Data is About to Get Bigger", this technology can be applied to the agriculture, transportation, construction, manufacturing, food processing, health care, energy and other sectors.

Businesses can use big data analytics to identify and minimize problems, develop more effective marketing strategies, improve their products or services to better meet customer needs, enhance communication both internally and externally, and monitor business activities more thoroughly.

The new insights they gain from big data can help them improve their decision-making processes and reduce their risks significantly.

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Understanding Big Data Security Challenges

Reducing big data security risks is a daunting task because of a number of reasons.

First of all, big data repositories usually contain data from a variety of sources, each of which may have its own security policies. This makes it difficult for companies to balance security across all data sources while maintaining appropriate levels of accessibility.

Additionally, since big data environments are geographically distributed, companies may have trouble standardizing physical security controls across every accessible location. Those that have a large number of servers may not be able to configure their servers consistently, and therefore, some servers may remain prone to attacks.

Another reason why big data poses security risks is because big data programming tools, such as Hadoop and NoSQL, were not initially developed with security in mind.

How to Make Big Data More Secure

Since big data is a relatively new technology, there is no set list of security measures that will work for every company.

However, there are general recommendations that can help businesses reduce security risks significantly.

They include:

• If you are implementing big data analytics in the Cloud, you have to make sure that your Cloud service provider has adequate security mechanisms. The provider should carry out security audits regularly and agree to penalties in the event of failure to meet security standards.

• Create an access control policy that makes data accessible to authorized users only.

• Take effective measures to protect both raw and analyzed data, and use encryption to prevent leakage of sensitive data.

• Protect data in transit adequately to maintain its integrity and confidentiality.

• Monitor data access with real-time security monitoring.

Overcoming big data security challenges is not an easy task.

However, with the right combination of security policies and processes, it is highly possible for Canadian businesses to prevent big data breaches.

About the Author: John McMalcolm is a freelance writer who writes on a wide range of subjects, from social media marketing to Cloud computing

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