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Friday, March 22, 2013

Security must not be overlooked when it comes to big data

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At times, the potential value of big data analytics can seem infinite. This technology has the potential to unlock value from data sets that would otherwise serve no usable purpose for companies, and would instead act simply as burdens. With big data analytics, unstructured and semi?-structured data can be transformed into actionable insight, helping a firm to optimize its processes and policies.

The benefits of big data analytics are becoming increasingly well known, leading more and more firms in virtually every industry to pursue these solutions. However, there are a number of challenges which  must be overcome for this technology to yield the desired benefits. Some of these issues are fairly obvious. For example, firms eager to utilize big data must invest in high-quality analytics systems. Additionally, companies must hire workers with sufficient expertise and experience to effectively leverage these tools.

Another critical component of successful big data analytics - one which is too-often overlooked by firms - is the need for security. While many companies understand that data security is critical, it is also essential to understand the unique challenges posed by big data in this regard.

To remain fully protected at all times, companies can and should invest in secure file transfer solutions as part of any comprehensive big data analytics strategy.

Data to go
The issue of security and big data is innately tied to the need for data movement. In just about every big data analytics system, it will be necessary to transfer big data sets from one part of the organization to another on a regular basis. After all, even the most sophisticated analytics systems are useless without access to sufficient raw data. For most companies, this data will be generated and collected from a wide range of sources, yet will need to be compiled into more cohesive units as a natural part of the analytics process.

Companies therefore need to take pains not only to ensure that they are able to distribute this data readily on an as-needed basis, but also that the data remains secure at all times, whether it is being stored, sent or received. Without dedicated solutions, though, this level of security cannot be achieved.

The risks of a lack of security can be extreme. Big data is not only a valuable commodity for the business that is creating and collecting it - this information can also prove beneficial for competitors, cybercriminals and others. A company that loses big data in a breach may face financial penalties as well as damage to its reputation. 

To avoid this fate, firms should invest in secure file transfer solutions that are specifically dedicated to the nature of big data. Such solutions should include managed file transfer tools that can guarantee security even while sending and receiving extremely large sets of information. By prioritizing in this area, firms can limit their risk while still seeing all of the benefits of big data analytics technology.