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Companies must work to keep their data secure

Paul Newman Archive

For companies that work with large amounts of data in an effort to extract information that can be used for better business intelligence decisions, there are two major challenges they must face regularly. One is data quality - IT officials must go to great lengths to ensure that the information they're working with is free of human error or tech malfunction. The other is analytics. In order to draw maximum utility from their data initiatives, companies must have dedicated personnel in house to analyze all information at their disposal and draw meaningful conclusions.

There's also a third challenge of which companies must be mindful. The other, often neglected side of big data analytics is security - considering the large quantity of information companies are often working with and the importance of that information to future success, one can never be too careful about keeping data secure. Data can be threatened in a great number of ways. Files can be lost if they're mishandled by negligent employees, or perhaps worse, they can fall victim to outside attacks from hackers.

Security in big data is especially important in the modern age, given the massive quantity of information out there and the public's demand for real-time business intelligence. According to EdTech Magazine, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day, and 90 percent of the data that exists today was created in the last two years. Traditional security measures aren't enough to keep everything safe, and more advanced methods are necessary.

Andy Lausch, vice president of higher education for CDW, recently wrote about this problem, citing a report from the Cloud Security Alliance.

"Security and privacy issues are magnified by velocity, volume and variety of Big Data, such as large-scale cloud infrastructures, diversity of data sources and formats, streaming nature of data acquisition and high volume inter-cloud migration," the report said. "Traditional security mechanisms … are inadequate."

What's the solution?
According to CIO, there are a few ways that corporate information officers can tackle the data security problem. One is using data visualization - by keeping a close eye on their data clusters and quickly detecting any abnormalities, managers can nip any potential security issues in the bud. Other strategies include improving the training of IT talent and finding the right balance of public and private cloud solutions.

Data quality is important, but without security, it's a moot point. Companies must do whatever possible to keep their networks safe.