Big Data Requires Big Protection

Life used to be so much simpler, particularly when it came to data management. With centralized data and processing, you could just lock the computer room door and say goodnight. This may have been convenient for the data center staff, but it was far less so for end users. Back then, the focus was on structured data and nice tables of data in normalized forms that were easy to query and easy to manage.

Widespread Changes

Little did we know — oh, boy, how little did we know! — about the value of all the other data that would soon be digitized and stored, data we would still ignore for a long time: dark data. Then, big data woke us up and made us aware that combining and integrating as much data as possible about a situation, issue, event, person, company, product, etc. could help build new insights and help us understand more by taking different perspectives with a problem. Being able to take into account customer sentiment, geospatial information, social media, multimedia, sensor data and time sensitivity as part of our analytics strategies could help us predict the next best action with degrees of confidence. Of course, all this represented a great opportunity for both the consumer and the business.

Then came the cloud, a great opportunity for businesses to become more agile through cloud and service enablement of information and IT resources. The cloud also represented the opportunity to keep data, processes and applications off-premises in a public cloud while keeping other data and services closer to home in a private cloud.

Now, enter the smart-connected device, an always-on channel kept within arm’s reach that stays with us as we travel the globe. It represents the opportunity to conduct business anytime, anywhere. In fact, it is estimated that there are more smart-connected devices than people on the planet and that data through the mobile channel has a compound annual growth of more than 57 percent. Mobile adds two new and very important dimensions — geographic location and time sensitivity — driving business analytics closer to real time to be able to analyze and influence the consumer in the mobile moment.

Implementing Controls

So, now you have more data in terms of volume and new types of data and compressed time in which to analyze and manage it. You have to secure it all by putting rigorous controls in place. Data is everywhere and is being accessed in the following places:

  • On-premises
  • Off-premises
  • Solid-state memory
  • Hard disks
  • Laptops or PCs
  • Servers
  • Data marts
  • Operational databases
  • Test and development databases
  • Hadoop clusters
  • Temporary repositories
  • File shares
  • The cloud
  • Flash drives
  • Mobile devices

Many companies don’t even know what they have or where all of it is. Throw into the mix the ever-increasing amount of industry and regulatory compliance, and you really start to wonder how you will ever cope.

Cybercriminals know all about your data management challenges and how to take advantage of them. They have been very clever in finding new and faster ways to breach and extract data. It can take weeks and months to discover a breach, by which time the damage has been done. What’s needed is a way to sense what is happening or what might happen with real-time monitoring, alerting and prevention for all your data across the entire enterprise.

Data Protection Solutions

IBM InfoSphere™ information protection solutions can help reduce the costs and risks of breaches with a more proactive and preventative approach to ensure the security and privacy of all your data, regardless of platform and data source, across the entire enterprise. From discovering what you have, performing vulnerability assessments, putting the right controls in place to protect and secure your information and proving you are compliant with the latest legislation and regulations, IBM can provide your organization with an end-to-end enterprise solution.

If you want to learn more, check out the slide deck from my recent presentation at IBM InterConnect 2015.

Image Source: iStock

Mark Simmonds

IT Architect / Snr Marketing Professional

Mark Simmonds – Is an IT architecture and world wide marketer with 18 years IBM service. He specializes in big data,...