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Forrester report helps businesses understand big-data risks

Supplier: Microsoft Dynamics
03 February, 2012

A new Forrester report, the Future Of Data Security And Privacy: Controlling Big Data, seeks to help business understand the risks inherent in Big Data, and how to handle them.

Big data, says the Forrester report, provides big opportunities and big problems. As corporate information increasingly becomes digital information, the totality of that data is known as 'big data'. It brings a new set of opportunities in analytics, and a new set of risks to security.

'Big Data processing', explains the report, "refers to the tools and techniques that handle the extreme data volumes and velocities and wide variety of data formats" involved in modern corporate data. But much of this data could be financial, personal or otherwise sensitive, and subject to differing global laws and regulations. "Security and risk professionals need to be aware of the security issues surrounding big data so they can take an active role early in these initiatives."

The report creates a framework to help security and risk professionals by breaking the problem into three areas: defining the data; dissecting and analysing the data; and defending and protecting the data.

Commenting on and welcoming the report, Steve Shelton, head of data at BAE Systems Detica suggests that to solve the big data security problem "organisations need to focus more on how to make 'Big Data' smaller."

Intelligent filtering and managing the raw data as it enters the organisation, weeding out extraneous information before it is stored, and then de-duping, compressing and deleting unneeded data, is his advice.

"By controlling overall storage volumes in this way, companies will be in a far better position to secure, analyse and exploit the remaining 'good data'."