Big Data Security Presents Big Challenges (IT Toolbox Blogs)

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Big data means big responsibilities, and anyone worried about protecting and preserving big data needs to accept those responsibilities. Those running business enterprises, in particular, must remain in compliance with all steps necessary to keep data from being destroyed or compromised. Imagine if all the sales and earnings figures for the past year were wiped out and customers’ personal information was stolen. The resulting fallout could be catastrophic for a business. Enterprises that put data protection steps in place beforehand, however, could weather horrible data-related storms. They might even avoid them completely.

Challenges to data privacy and protection exist, but rising up to these challenges and addressing them remains a critical responsibility of all businesses reliant on their data.

Simple Things Create Complicated Problems

The woes that data privacy and protection face aren’t always connected to something mysterious, complicated, or esoterically difficult. Something as basic as the inability to stay on top of data in real time can frustrate even specialists in the security field. Data must be protected at all stages, because lapses in protection lead to breaches and other woes. Data coming into a computer network in real time moves quickly.

And what about data storage? Aren’t things placed in storage kept safe from intrusion? Unfortunately, without reliable encryption solutions, the answer may be no. Malicious entities know data storage units contain treasure troves of files. Hackers and other cybercriminals invest enormous amounts of time hoping to break through barriers designed to protect data. Spending lots of money and resources on data protection is a must or else a calamity looms.

The Hadoop Dilemma

Hadoop serves as a popular and reputable open source system designed to store and process data. Hadoop’s reliability contributes greatly to its overall popularity. Few would trust any open source data storage/processing framework that came with inordinate risks. Still, Hadoop is hardly perfect—no open source system really can be.

In general, granular access control restricts data access to specific individuals and allows each to  access only specific areas. With Hadoop, some problems may exist with regards to granular access control. The authentication process must be a very strong one and the access control must be engaged as mandatory. Otherwise, problems may arise meaning granular access control won’t work as intended.

Security within a distributed framework isn’t always perfect with Hadoop. In fact, the security protections may be seriously lacking. That information should send a proverbial chill up and down the spines of those worried about the integrity of a company’s distributed framework. When security vulnerabilities exist, so does the potential for breaches and resultant chaos.

Additional Considerations

The list of privacy and security considerations continue to grow. Technology and IT systems evolve on a consistent basis. Entities wishing to break into secure data storage areas never stop evolving either. They don’t want to stay locked out. So, concerns about how to deal with privacy and security grow as well. Complex issues such as protecting data placed in transition logs might not have been taken too seriously in even the recent past, but today, everyone knows gaps in transition logs must be taken seriously.

The same is true of data origin. Knowing where data comes from helps with further enhances security. Accepting data from unknown or suspicious sources creates the potential for problems.

A tremendous amount of effort and resources must be dedicated to continually protect the integrity of a computer system. No real alternative to taking such steps exists. To ignore critical responsibilities would be to embrace security gaps. Limited knowledge and resources do present problems. Problems can be addressed, hopefully, through outsourcing security work.

The Value of Encryption

Steps related to encrypting could do a lot to protect data privacy and security. Encrypting devices at a particular location or in the cloud could dramatically increase the security of relevant data. Perhaps bringing in a reliable professional team to handle encryption matters is long past due. Why not move quickly to take necessary action right away?