In business there is always some data that you have to deal with. Some of it is crucial for your company’s functioning, and some can help you improve its efficiency, by reducing costs and making your daily work easier, but you need to keep in mind that all features and cost saving changes should meet security requirements to prevent data leaks. You need to properly store and process your data in order to produce business insights. There are many risks involved – what are they and how to deal with them?
The security of business software and data is a significant concern these days. A leak of sensitive information or cyberattacks – compromising big data may be the first step towards the end of the company. Fortunately, there are security practices that have been proven effective. Read more to learn how to protect your company’s big data.
The importance of big data security and privacy
In 2021, almost every business organization is considering adopting Big Data solutions. Companies store and process transactional data, sensitive consumer data, information about product and service quality, opinions gathered from research – many kinds of data necessary to improve production, customer service, and managers’ and other employees’ performance. Losing this data or declassifying confidential data may significantly hurt your business by making your company look less competitive or less trustworthy.
Those who deal with Big Data should learn all it is to learn about GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) – legislation passed by the EU in 2016. It changed a lot. Till 2018 entrepreneurs had to prepare the methods to grant their customers better control over their personal data that was collected by the companies. With the new law, clients need to be informed and asked for permission before collecting their data.
There are also many limitations on what can be done with the data and how long can it be stored. All the companies that do business in the EU or with EU citizens have to obey rules presented in GDPR. This legislation’s main goal was to ensure safety of collected personal data. Any issue with the security should be reported immediately to a Data Protection Officer. A company that will violate GDPR laws needs to pay a big fine (security breach happened recently to the British Airways – read more about it here).
Nowadays, as most companies are using tools for data analytics to produce useful insights for business, understanding business intelligence and data security is a must. Securing your data is the most important step; no matter if you run a small, medium or big company. Big data has to deal with many safety issues – there are attacks on different Big Data components all the time.
Big data security is a general term for all types of approaches, solutions and tools which can be used in order to protect business information from theft, attacks, modification or destruction. Both online and offline forms of attack are taken into account. If your company processes big data, you have to keep in mind what kind of threats you’re facing.
What kind of big data security challenges might your company encounter?
Data used for mining and creating insights usually includes sensitive information. Although it may be hard to believe, there are still many organizations which try to save money on security – in the case of Big Data, on encryption. Any company that does not invest in security is vulnerable to attacks and leaks. When setting your priorities, always think of security first.
One of the most common mistakes is inadequate prevention of unauthorized access to sensitive data. Imagine your company’s financial or sensitive information is lost or stolen (information such as logins, passwords, information from personal accounts). This could mean not only financial losses but also reputation damage and legal responsibility. Of course, you have to grant access to some employees, so they can perform their daily duties, but you need to think carefully about who should be able to access your businesses’ important data and how you can protect it.
Data privacy violations are the next challenge for companies that need to handle big data. Information comes from various sources at high speeds, in huge amounts and in different types. Where does the data come from? Applications, websites, software, IoT devices – there are many sources and ways that privacy violations may happen. That is why your company needs the best solutions to ensure data security.
Industries such as e-commerce especially need to protect users’ privacy. Personal information is an essential part of big data. Security breaches can affect many groups of people or business partners. They can have both financial and legal repercussions. Before storing data, companies should anonymize it. Still, removing some unique identifiers from data is not always enough to make it fully anonymous and there are some techniques that can be used in order to de-anonymize information – that is why additional security solutions should be used.
Encryption is the way to keep data safe, but data can’t be encrypted if your systems are about to perform some operations on it. Your company needs a powerful solution which enables processing encrypted data. If you use the right technology to work with data in the cloud, it will be able to operate without knowing what the data actually is. Securing your Big Data solution is even more important than securing other applications, because Big Data solutions usually work as a Data Warehouse and contain data from many other company systems. When someone gets uncontrolled access to your Big Data system, he might get data from all other company systems.
Big data security solutions – what can you do to protect your data?
Many challenges and risks, right? Fortunately there are some already tested good practices that allow companies to protect their data. Big data is very important for business development, and it is a rapidly growing field. There are more and more ways to secure your data. We know how to deal with Big Data security and we have experience with it. Don’t hesitate to consult with our experts if you want to implement reliable security systems for your data stores. Are you wondering what you have to bear in mind when choosing a technology?
Data security in the cloud
A lot of companies are deciding to benefit from cloud services. Cloud solutions are flexible, powerful and scalable. Many vendors offer space in the cloud. Before you make a decision, you should make sure that your cloud service provider uses proper security solutions and ensures your data safety. Before signing an agreement, check potential providers – read their periodic security audits, ask about their offered standards and check if the contract mentions some penalties in case the promised standards aren’t met.
Remember that rules concerning access to data are settled. Only authorized users should have access to your company’s data. It should also be made clear that all data will be protected – raw as well as the outcomes of analysis.
Security solutions for big data
The first thing is anonymizing the data. After it is collected, all sensitive information should be removed from the sets so nobody can learn any unique, personal information about the person that shared the information with your company. The second way to control data safety and the efficiency of our big data security solutions is real-time monitoring. This allows you to spot leaks and breaches in your protection and react fast. Data should also be protected during daily communication between people and systems.
Authentication and authorization – for those who don’t deal with big data security practices, they may sound like one and the same, but they aren’t. Authentication verifies that users are, in fact, who they claim to be. It will not grant access to data and services if there are doubts. The second process that a user has to go through in order to access and work with data and services is authorization. Authorization controls what a user can do in a given environment. First the person has to be authorized to perform any work on data or applications.
Thanks to the earlier mentioned encryption you can keep unauthorized users away from your data; no matter if at rest or currently in use. Data encryption is a process of translating data into different forms or code, making it impossible to discover the protected information without a decryption key or a special password. Nowadays, it is the most popular and effective data security solution used in business. The two main types are symmetric and asymmetric encryption. Modern data protection solutions can provide encryption of devices, messages (like emails) and data. Symmetric encryption uses the same key in order to encrypt and decrypt the data. That is why this method is faster. Asymmetric encryption uses two keys – one is necessary to encrypt data and the second to run the decryption process. One of the keys is called private, and it is only known to the owner, while the other is available to some group of people – which is why it is called a public key.
Big data security tools and solutions should be chosen considering the specific needs of a particular company or industry. Invest in the highest quality security methods – data is one of the most important assets your company has. There are many technologies, frameworks and even cloud providers of Big Data solutions. You need to remember that you won’t find any simple way for Big Data Security. Security standards need to be applied in each company accordingly.