Top 3 Ways to Protect Big Data from Security Threats
As it becomes more crucial for companies to adopt advanced technologies to thrive in this data-driven world, the entire process could be accompanied by new challenges and risks. In fact, the total amount of data created and consumed worldwide equaled 29 ZB (zettabytes) as of 2020, meaning that the daily consumption of data was 161.6 billion GB. This proves that this vast amount of big data has penetrated deeply into our lives to the extent that it is used for customized advertising, presidential campaigns and elections, and even weather forecasting.
Big data technology aims to improve business operations through enhanced information processing and leveraging the advanced information obtained, and this resulted in reduced costs, improved customer acquisition, and easier revenue generation. Since most data analyzed and managed are organized in different locations such as on-premises and cloud, threats related to security are a constant threat to various data storage environments. As humans deal with larger amounts of data, improper handling of it can lead to severe compliance issues, as well as data loss due to ransomware or cyber-attacks.
Furthermore, the rapidly expanding big data market is also going through security issues due to increased usage of data and long-term data storage.
Big Data for Businesses
Before we need to set up security measures for businesses in the big data industry, it is crucial to understand the concept of big data through use cases. Big data is a technology that extracts values from a large set of structured or unstructured data. Analysts or scientists analyze the data with database management tools and the most representative example is leveraging big data – such as for elections.
Barack Obama, one of the candidates back in 2008, is famous for using big data during the election period. At that time, Obama’s party secured various types of voter databases, analyzed, and further utilized them, then conducted a ‘voter-tailored election strategy’.
In addition to classifying voters by basic (personal) information such as race, age, household type, religion, and consumption, they collected additional information through phone calls, personal visits, and social media, including voter preferences such as past voting status, subscribed magazines, and even types and amount of alcohol consumed!
The collected data was sent to the camp headquarters to create a map with an online voter database system, then developed campaigns tailored to each voter specifically. The use of big data played a decisive role in the election process and since then, the world became more attentive to big data and its use cases.
Big data is usually used by companies to formulate customized consumer strategies. If you are a Netflix subscriber, you may have experienced watching a certain movie or a series and then getting similar-genre recommendations. Netflix leverages recommendation algorithms created using big data technology which is one of the core strengths of Netflix.
Its recommendations algorithm was created by analyzing the usage behavior of more than 100 million users. It is known to categorize different types of genres by tagging each content with metadata (data that describes other data, such as the location and author information, etc.).
The two use cases mentioned above show how much more efficient businesses can be run by utilizing big data to target customer groups. In 2019, the South Korean government also began to support the development of big data analytics and technology and to expand the construction of big data centers. For these reasons, the business development of big data companies that is expected to progress exponentially in the coming years.
Data-Driven Security Threats and Countermeasures
1. Data Access Rights Threats: Data Access Control
It is crucial for businesses to strengthen the security for both internal and external users that have access to the database where all data are stored and managed. Employees should only be granted access to the data they need, and it must be followed by an access review and control process.
However, access control has a limit in that it cannot prevent data breaches caused by authorized employees. Therefore, it is recommended to introduce a data encryption solution to prevent any leaks of important data by directly accessing the data files.
2. Data Breach Threats: Data Encryption
Amongst the many technical measures required to protect data, encryption is the most important yet fundamental method in terms of maintaining data stability. Data encryption can be said to be the ultimate goal for security because it can even protect information when leaked.
To encrypt data completely, security technologies such as data encryption, secure management, and operation of encryption keys, access control, and audit of data access must fully be equipped. Penta Security’s data encryption solution D’Amo is the first encryption solution launched in South Korea with the biggest market share in the industry. It provides integrated data security features such as key management, access control, auditing, and monitoring.
D’Amo refrains from using a specific encryption method. It applies encryption technology that is best suited for the clients’ environments. Corporates that are considering adopting data encryption solutions for safer data security can consider implementing D’Amo and meet the technical requirements for data protection, such as the CCPA and GDPR.
3. Data Management: Backups and Data Migration
It is well aware that it is critical to implement a security solution in place to protect the business from various cyber threats, however, there is more than just the implementation process that needs to be taken care of. Most of the corporates have a backup and recovery system in place so that they can quickly revive the data. When backing up to an on-premise, it is important to consider not only the security strength but cost measures, such as data center maintenance and recovery costs.
Similarly, when using cloud services for backups, corporates must check the security level of the platform. It is necessary to familiarize yourself with the cloud security system as it is the user’s responsibility to protect that data within the cloud infrastructure. (Learn more about cloud security here)
When managing large amounts of data, transferring data from one location to another or from one app to another is called data migration. Beyond simply relocating, it also means transferring stored data in its current format to a format that is more appropriate and customized for the data. Therefore, in order to manage the data effectively, corporates need to perform data migration on a regular basis over the long term.
As we get more accustomed to dealing with big data in various forms, it became inevitable for us to be more prepared for the issues of big data and its security. Although big data offers many benefits such as increased efficiency and improved engagements, businesses adopting cloud data storage for convenience must be able to acknowledge the risks associated with security.
Check out Penta Security’s product lines:
Web Application Firewall: WAPPLES
Database Encryption: D’Amo
Identity and Access Management: iSIGN+
Car, Energy, Factory, City Solutions: Penta IoT Security