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Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Big data security often underappreciated

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Few recent technological advancements have had as much of an impact as big data analytics. Big data analytics systems have the ability to produce deep, actionable insight from unstructured data which would otherwise be overwhelming and impossible to leverage. Companies in every industry have developed improved strategies in a wide range of areas, including infrastructure, marketing, research and more.

This trend has had a number of side effects. One of the most notable is the increasing need for firms to develop and deploy strategies for effectively moving large amounts of data between different sections of their organizations, as well as to and from external sources. Another, even more unfortunate implication is that many businesses now must face even greater data security issues than ever before. Yet this degree of risk is often unacknowledged or underappreciated by firms, creating situations ripe for potential data breaches.

That is why firms looking to leverage big data analytics should consider implementing secure file transfer solutions for big data.

Big data, big risks
The quality of big data analytics is dependent on many factors, but the freshness and accuracy of the data examined are undoubtedly among the foremost. Even the most advanced analytics system will not produce useful insight if the raw data fed into it is either outdated or incorrect.

Firms leveraging big data analytics must therefore place a great emphasis on finding ways to move data from one part of the company to the next at or near real-time. Many companies will move incalculable amounts of data internally and externally on any given day.

The rise of big data and the need to move this information throughout an organization has created a much bigger target for hackers and other cybercriminals. This data, which was once not usable by either the company itself or its competitors, is now valuable to both. This makes it a potential target that must be protected. Yet as mentioned above, the need to constantly move data around makes it extremely difficult to protect this information. The more times a piece of data is sent and received, the more opportunities there are for it to find its way into unauthorized hands.

As much time and attention as companies have paid to the question of how best to leverage big data analytics, relatively little attention has been paid to the issue of data protection. Yet failure to consider this aspect greatly increases a firm's risk of experiencing a data breach, which can be a tremendously expensive and damaging affair.

Security solutions
Fortunately, there are solutions firms can adopt to better protect their big data. Most notably, companies should consider utilizing secure file transfer tools that are specifically designed for big data systems. These solutions can ensure that data sets of any size remain fully protected even while being shared or moved throughout an organization. This allows firms to focus on optimizing analytics without worrying about data security.