May 19, 2020

Companies must not overlook big data security needs

Business
Canada
Big Data
John McMalcolm
3 min
Companies must not overlook big data security needs

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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Jun 18, 2021

Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking

APTIM
Intelliwave
3 min
Intelliwave Technologies outlines how it provides data and visibility benefits for APTIM

“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.

We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time  spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.

Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate. 

With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.

There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.

Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture. 

It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.

Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.

On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.

As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.

A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.

 

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