There is no doubt that technology and analysis of big data come with a lot of benefits for businesses. It can be very instrumental in many ways including targeted advertising purchasing smart cars or getting hold of an ambulance in emergency situations and for the production of wearable or implantable devices for monitoring health plus many others. On the other hand, big data analytics also comes with a lot of security issues.
Analytics of big data has made it possible to track the activities of individuals far much more than they are even aware of themselves. The degree of personal data and security breaches that could happen through the analytics of data is frightening. Big data privacy and security is, thus, a huge concern for all businesses that deal with big data. Companies are mostly worried about security breaches, discrimination arising from data analysis and unwarranted analysis.
There are huge privacy and security problems as data brokers constantly sell, switch, combine and match data. There have been disastrous data breaches at numerous retail outlets like Target and Home Depot, P.F. Chang’s bistro chains, internet marketplaces such as eBay, the federal Offices, universities, Yahoo and the recent security breach by Equifax, one of key credit supervisory agencies in the U.S. which compromised names, Social Security numbers and birth dates and sensitive private data of people in their database. Such breaches have recently become increasingly common.
Again, with data mining and data sale on the increase, there a lot of unanswered questions with regards to data privacy especially as there are currently limited regulations that protect individuals that fall victim of data security crime. Irrespective of these unsettled questions, there are things you can do to secure your company’s big data.
Use Secure Software to Manage Your Inventory
Inventory management and purchase orders crucial to the success of your business. You need the right e-procurement software plan to make sure that your business is running smoothly. But, more importantly, you need to make sure that your software is secure.
Most standard services don’t automatically come with such protections. You should designate staff to cautiously monitor the privacy protections tactics employed by each one of your cloud’s providers to confirm if their privacy rules are in line with your company’s management standards. In addition, get an external auditor to evaluate all cloud-based vendors of your company to ensure they comply with security best practices as part of their regular annual IT audits of the company.
Get private clouds
The majorities of companies that sell public cloud also have private cloud packages. It is safer to use a private cloud for storing your data. However, private clouds are more costly but it would give you rest of mind knowing that the private cloud is exclusively used to store your company’s data. It alienates your data from the data of all other companies. Private cloud’s data storage system is the best way to keep your data safe in the cloud system.
With the modern technological trend, it is becoming more and more difficult to carry out any activity without connecting it with your personal data. You can de-identify your data and surf the net anonymously. You can employ this method to conduct data analysis to ensure the data of your subscribers and visitors remains protected. One way to achieve this is by encrypting the components of the data that are personally identifiable. Another thing you could do is use recovery software. This will ensure that your data will be protected in case of an emergency.
You can as well employ data reduction of masking to keep the data in your database secure. Even at that, you must constantly remain vigilant as de-identified data can still be subjected to security breaches. The data protection employed today may not be sufficient tomorrow as new technologies continue to evolve on regular basis. This would continue to make data protection and anonymity more and more difficult as new technologies continue to emerge.
Track and vet all your company’s big data farms for data privacy
While you share your company’s big data through different departments and business units, chances are that the data held by some of your departments are altered in a way that compromises data privacy. The department that manages and supervises big data must be constantly monitored to discover what data is shared across the departments.
You need to get external IT auditors to constantly vet your network systems for breaches of privacy regulations. If some of your company units and some branches that are non-IT based make use of cloud-based services, the auditor should as well monitor their suppliers for data privacy breaches. If any breach of the regulation is identified, it should be noted and handled immediately.
Monitor your activities for violations of GDPR
If your business doesn’t deal with international clients, the GDPR may not consign you but if your company deals with international clients, you should be concerned about compliance with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
The GDPR takes effect starting from May 2018. The regulation requires companies that deal with big data to implement rigorous data safety measures that ensure the data of people in your database is safe and secure.
It is predicted that more than half of the companies that are affected by the new regulation would be unable to meet the GDPR conditions come 2018. Theimplication of non-compliance is huge and amounts to roughly four percent of the company’s yearly income.
It is, therefore, essential to work hard to comply with the new regulation even if you don’t do business in Europe; you may be worse hit in the future if you are not well-prepared for it ahead of time.
Hire a data protection officer to regularly conduct IT engineering audits
Data breaches can also be caused by the employees of a company. Although this is a great threat to a company’s safety, it does happen on a constant basis. Many companies have fallen victims to data insecurity because their current or ex-staff compromised their data safety.
Sometimes, they do this purposefully and share crucial company’s data with non-employees of the company. At other times, such breaches occur due to careless exposure of the company’s data to criminal elements through improper protection or encryption, loss or theft of devices especially with the massive implementation of the BYOD by most companies. This is why in addition to the regular yearly IT audit usually carried out by external auditors to get an expert to conduct regular and systematic IT engineering audit.
The social engineering auditor will constantly monitor your company’s data for activities of criminal elements like cyber attacks, phishing attacks, phone attacks and other technical attacks that could compromise the safety of the company’s data especially those that are frequently perpetrated by the company’s staffs. The auditing process would help you to discover areas of possible attack and as well help you to figure out the best employees training that would be vital for the company’s safety.
With cyber threat and data breaches on the increase, IT businesses must do their utmost to secure the big data of their company. As we gradually approach 2019, employ these tips to ensure that the data is your system is secure. Making effort now would save you from possible future mishaps. You don’t want to be a victim before you take steps to secure your data.