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Friday, July 19, 2013

3 keys to selecting the right secure file transfer solution for big data

Category:   Secure File Transfer

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In the past few years, the importance of big data has skyrocketed for firms in every industry. These unstructured and semistructured data sets were, until recently, essentially useless, as organizations lacked the means to gain value from these resources. However, with the development of advanced analytics, business intelligence (BI) and related tools, firms are now able to mine extraordinarily useful data concerning their clients, rivals and own operations.

A key part of leveraging big data is secure file transfer technology. Without the means to send and receive big data sets within the organization and between partner firms, a business cannot hope to effectively leverage these resources. Yet it can be challenging to find the ideal solution for a given firm's big data transfer needs.

Here are three keys to making the right choice.

1. Consider volume
As the name suggests, big data is expansive. Individuals and organizations are producing more information every day than at any previous point in human history. And yet all of this data - which includes social media posts, sensor data, financial information, Internet behavior and much more - potentially contains significant value which companies cannot afford to disregard.

Yet not every organization or industry will face the same rate of big data growth. Some industries are naturally more saturated than others, depending on a huge range of factors. The size and goals of a given firm will also play a role in determining its big data volume needs.

For any businesses looking for big data file transfer solutions, taking these volume levels into account is critical. Those organizations that must analyze and develop reports on more massive big data sets will need transfer solutions that can accommodate such demands. To this end, firms must carefully vet their various transfer options, determining the maximum volume each can handle and how easily it can scale up to meet greater data amounts.

2. Value security
Security should be a critical component of any firm's data management strategy. If a business cannot adequately protect its information, it will not be able to maximize value from these resources. Lost, stolen or exposed data can greatly compromise a company's productivity, as well as lead to major financial losses and reputation damage.

While these principles have long applied to structured data, they now must also be considered in regard to big data. After all, the potential value inherent to big data has not gone unnoticed by cybercriminals and malicious competitors. On the contrary, these groups are now frequently specifically targeting company's big data resources. Consequently, this information must be protected at all times, especially while it is in transit.

That is why firms must put a high value upon the security of their big data transfer solutions. Businesses should feel free to ask potential vendors about the specific defenses they have in place to protect big data as it is being shared both internally and externally. Firms should also conduct their own research to determine what practices were in place among those companies that experienced big data security breaches, and obviously avoid making those same mistakes. In many cases, this means avoiding the file transfer solutions that these victimized businesses relied upon and instead utilizing more reliable options from a vendor with a stronger reputation.

3. Prioritize ease of use
A final key to selecting the ideal big data file transfer solution is prioritizing ease of use. All too often, businesses ignore this critical aspect, and often pay heavily as a result.

The problem is that many big data file transfer resources are extremely bulky and time-consuming to operate. In many businesses today, workers must send and receive big data files on a very regular basis. The more time they spend on the mundane task of file sharing, the less time they will have to pursue their more important job responsibilities. As a result, many workers will inevitably stop using the company-provided file transfer options and instead turn to consumer-grade, easier-to-use solutions. Unfortunately, these tools, while easier to use, will lack sufficient security protection to ensure that the data shared remains safe.

Choosing an easy-to-use solution will increase the adoption rate and therefore improve big data security and utility.