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November 2, 2014

Research Paper On Big Data Security

Every single day 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is produced. Besides this, 90% of the existing world data has been generated in the previous two years alone. This data includes record of weather, social networking sites, business transactions reports, photos, videos, all over the world. This is Big Data. We are living in the period of permanent revolution. It has not been so long since the term Big Data and Data Science are with us.
Earlier the major purpose of computers was to provide digital support in the organizations. Companies digitized their processes, payroll and inventory. But as soon as the term ‘paperless office’ came into existence the computers turned into digital exoskeleton. Each and every information within or outside business entity has been transferred to the computers.
Despite all the economic and political volatility, advancements in the technology is incredible which leads to the higher expectation of the recipients irrespective of geographical boundaries. Stakeholders expect highest returns on their investment than ever before. This is because everyone today is well informed and familiar due to the huge amount of data accessible to larger number of recipients. World is becoming more and more technology oriented. Mobile phones have been replaced by smart phones and now to tablet PCs. Organizations are literally drowning in data, where it creates value for the business on the other hand it is facing more security threats.
To gain competitive edge, industries today are required to consider both internal and external data for analysis and this must be time and cost effective. Companies are generating more and more data and keeping the record as the world is becoming more technological oriented. This data is linked to external data through social media which provides greater opportunities.
Big data describes the huge quantity of data kept by the companies for analysis and future study. It generally cost you financially and take a lot of time to manage such data because when it is said Big Data, it means we are talking about petabytes and exabytes of data and information. Data must be structured so that it can contribute to growth of the organization. If data is left unstructured and is not properly organized it will only cost the business rather providing advantage to the enterprise. Unstructured data is considered trash as information cannot be located when required (Def, 2012)
This has been one of the greatest issues of this year. What is Big Data? It is word, a theory, and now a marketing tool. It is about understanding and managing the immense volume of information inside and outside the organizations. It cannot only be confined to technology today. It has crossed its technical boundaries and became evenly important to an individual, business, organization, enterprises, governments and the world economy. It plays a major role in increasing the productivity and effectiveness resulting in growth (Lohr 2012)
Big data represents a new trend in computing. We can search, develop and exploit data in any format in this latest perspective. Big Data is not merely about size. It is an opportunity to seek latest and different types of data and information. It makes your business more competitive. It helps in answering the questions which was not possible earlier.
As researched by Mckinsey and MGI, there is an explosion of huge amount of data in our world. Evaluation and storage of enormous amount of data sets has now become an important factor in a competitive world, reinforcing efficiency of organizations, innovation and attracting consumers. To be successful in today’s highly competitive environment one needs to handle the inference of Big Data. No matter which field you are concerned to; big data is now equally important in every field. The continuously growing amount of data stored by companies, the increase in multimedia files, social media information and record management and now Internet of Things will stimulate the potential growth in the data and information for the future predictions (Manyika 2011).
Big data security is a major threat for the industries like health care, retailing, manufacturing, mobile industry, weather and climate data, public sector, internet and social media.  There is a huge number of fraud that happens at health care industry. Today the Health care sector is facing the challenge to keep a balance amid patient medical security and the growing data driven medical research. In recent years the security of the healthcare industry’s data record has been one of major concern. Those sectors which can earn greater value from the use of big data are electronic products, information technology sector, and computer, financial and insurance companies. Above all governments earn significant value from the use of big data.

Big data has its worth in each and every industry. For example, a retailer can enhance its operating profit by 60% if he could efficiently use the information stored as big data. (Manyika 2011).  Likewise, big data has huge potential in the other sectors too. Today, big data is indeed the most discussed topic in technology. Recent technological development like mobile, cloud computing and social networking, big data provides opportunities in a business and technological challenge. Business of all types can extract greater value from the information available as big data. Yet, managing this data is not an easy task.

Big data is not only needed to be stored but it is effective when transferred, processed and retrieve by various applications. The world of information technology is largely effected either in a negative or positive way depends solely on the way of usage of data.

The use of Big Data:
·                        Huge quantity of data can be collected to analyze and to use it as a guide for improving decision making.
·                        It is gradually becoming the basis of competition and development of an individual firm.
·                        Big data will be of great worth if information is made transparent and clear. It can be utilized to increase the efficiency.
·                        When an organization generates business information and keeps the record in digital form it will help them in collecting accurate and comprehensive information. So the loopholes could be identified easily which further assists in betterment of the performance.
·                  Today the top organizations are collecting and storing their data to perform systematic and controlled research for improved decision making.
·                  Big data defines customer requirements making it possible to deliver the customized products or services.
·                        Big data could also be used to assess the future requirements keeping in view the past trends and preferences. (Mckinsey 2012)
·                        It helps in the value creation.
·                        Improves and ensures the decision making process
Big Data Security Issues:
The data has been collected, stored and successfully analyzed. Now organizations faces even the greater challenge i.e; protecting the data from security threats. With the growing significance of big data in every field today, the security risk has become even greater. Using big data carefully and legally is another issue. The consumer of big data must create a proper process indicating the amount of data being collected, only relevant and significant data should be collected and a secure structure be planned to share data within the organization and with your stakeholders. The issues of concern involves the decision of sharing or keeping the digital data confidential, if an organization or entity approves the data to be publicized than how much data to be shared and to whom and then the transparency of outcomes of big data. Ignoring any of these will result in financial losses to the enterprise.
  • Cyber Security: Cyber criminals nowadays are more organized and equipped with the required tools. The access to data and information online increase the opportunities of cyber crime. Today, cyber crime has actually become a profession for the masterminds in technology field. These people are now in fact employed and used by the enterprises against each other. It costs the organization reputation followed by financial and legal charges.
  • Data in the cloud:  Big data in the cloud is becoming exceedingly attractive target for cyber criminals to detain data and information. Organizations are required to protect their data in the cloud in order to secure their business. It is a known fact to Security and privacy professionals that data stored in cloud environment face threats from cyber criminals.
An example:  Cyber criminals in Europe built a cloud based fraud system where they targeted business accounts and affluent people and burgled amount up to $2.5 billion. First they targeted the banks in Europe then moved on to Latin America and recently to United States. McAfee Labs are scrutinizing the case for over the six months now. Criminal used the huge amount of automation in this fraud which is unusual. They just don’t hack the passwords and user names but they were familiar with the confidential information of banking transaction systems and remote servers. This shows that they can have access to the bank’s data. These cyber criminals are not just committing fraud by transferring funds but also have illegal access to bank’s private data and records (Gonsalves 2012)
  • Consumerization: Organizations today confront with challenge to manage and protect their employees’ personal gadgets in the office. They are required to balance the need for safety and efficiency of their employees.
  • Interconnected supply chains: The relationship of an organization with Supply chain is of major concern. Data plays an important role in interrelating supply chain. Organizations need to be cautious when sharing information because the data shared ranges from the regular data to the organization’s top secrets. The loss of intellectual property of a business causes them legal and financial losses.
  • Privacy: Enterprises generating huge amount of data confront the issue of security. So data security must be planned and implemented and ensured to avoid massive losses.
(Durbin 2012)
Big data is emerging and growing as a solution provider for the number of issues in industrial and technological sector. It is a challenge for both the sectors to identify the possible opportunities big data propose and the threats related to the security of big data. Today, the specialists are still learning about the prospective of big data.
John Karabin, Area Vice President of Verizon Business suggests following steps to avoid the security threats within an organization;
·         Elimination of unnecessary data and monitoring the remaining data which is of value.
·         Along with the commonsense and basic protection the security software are properly installed and they are in working condition
·          Keep record of events in suspicious activity
·         Assessing the security threats formulate security plans accordingly.
    (Karabin 2012)
While big data technology allows you to evaluate data as it surge toward your corporation, you can find out what’s significant for a more accurate analysis. So you can store only essential data in your data warehouse, improving efficiency and saving storage costs.
Big data go beyond the processing capability of a traditional database system. It is difficult to handle, evaluate and execute it. The data includes the valuable information which was unproductive before as it was not easy to deal with and make use of such a big data but now various cost effective programs have been introduced where the volume, velocity and variability of the data can be managed (Dumbill 2012).
Within an organizational context, data is the fundamental asset which provides the business a competitive edge. Every organization applies some sort of security to their data and systems (Karabin 2012). Large pools of data collected together and analyzed will become the basis of competition and growth for individual firms, enhancing productivity and creating significant value for the world economy by reducing waste and increasing the quality of products and services.
Christer Johnson, analyst at IBM in North America suggests the industrialists when starting a business with big data to first analyze their problem and build a strategy from the information taken out of big data in context to the problem. It will direct you in the implementation. Big data benefits the actual issue along with the enterprise overall performance.
Organization’s Big data is used for two purposes i.e. analysis and new product development. Analysis involves customers needs, transactional data of the consumers, competitors influence in the market, social and geographical data. A good analytical approach within an accurate time period eliminates the wearisome requirement of samples. A thorough investigation of the past relevant data provides the ultimate solution. (Dumbill 2012).
Some Worst Big Data Security Breaches:
Data security breaches occur almost daily around us to keep the record of but when a breach takes place at comparatively higher level becomes a center of attraction for the media, public as well as analysts. Here are some data breach cases which
  1. In March 2011, data of around 40 million employees of RSA security unit of EMC was stolen. The Organization reported that two different hackers attacked the security data of the company in alliance with the some foreign government. This is an example which shoes that even a good security company is not certain about their data security.
  2. In July, the personal data of 35 million South Koreans was revealed after hackers launched a security attack on the renowned software provider. It has been known as the biggest data security theft in the history of South Korea. Hackers had stolen the personal information of the people. The chief executive made an apology and ensured to strengthen the security system of the company.
  3. In the mid of 2009, Chinese government stolen the intellectual property of the American companies by attacking Google, Yahoo and many other Silicon Valley companies. It is unknown that what data was actually stolen but Google is certain about the theft of some data.  (Armerding 2012)
  4. Now the most debatable issue of the new century, Wiki leaks, which exposed millions of documents and data and literally brought turmoil in the world of politics, economics and society as a whole. Wiki leaks stirred controversies and put question mark on the security of American highly sensitive data. Julian Assange, the man behind the wiki leaks is a master mind who claims that it is the right of every person to know the hidden truth so he hijacked the most significant data in the world and exposed it to the world.
If someone is looking for a pioneer example of big data in today’s world, then he should study the success of Facebook. Facebook gather huge amount of data and stores it in an incredible way. Facebook is working to make big data technologies even more valuable. The strategy of Facebook regarding data storage is remarkable (Derrick 2012)
As for big data security, it is at its early stage and there has to be a lot of progress in this field to make the data secure from the internal or external assault. However, the absolute level of information practiced by businesses is increasing with every minute where analysis of big data improve the decision making process it has also become increasingly important for organizations to enhance the quality of information. Big data can also be used to improve the security of big data itself. A sophisticated analysis is needed which can be useful to protect the data record (Durbin 2012).
            In an organization, the department of information technology does not grow as fast as the amount of data. Categorizing data in an appropriate manner actually helps business to develop. ‘Getting bigger’ is actually worthless. The quality and relevance of the data is what counts. Cloud computing is a useful tool to minimize the cost by paying only for the relevant data. Cloud computing provides higher security than the typical security providing services. They have specialized security teams who work in a vigorous environment and are equipped with the latest security tools which deal with the new trends in security threats. They are actually working in accordance with the requirements of the organizations today (Karabin 2012).
The journey towards the big data has just started. There is a lot more to experience in big data. We are yet digging the surface for an evolution in big data. If the current rate of technological progress continues we are not away from a big data revolution. There are various issues which are needed to be considered before taking full advantage of big data. Large organizations are facing the issue of maintaining huge amount of organized or unorganized data in accordance with the government policies. Organizations are required to utilize the talent and technological opportunities along with the big data. They must follow the four steps to optimize the use of big data and they are teaching, investigating, engaging and finally executing.
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