Businesses are continuously advised to protect their information from being hacked and at the same time warned that they should not share it broadly. For example Analytics software process tons of data quickly, use make-shift queries to extract data and display it in an easily understood format. However these business intelligence application software are vulnerable to security risks if certain safeguards aren’t present, be it policies or some form of monetary investment, etc.
Business Intelligence strategies has definitely effected cost, efficiency and decision making but the influence of business intelligence on data security has still not been clearly understood.
If data is not secured it poses a lot of threat. The ones who incorporate Business Intelligence strategies are most aware of the type of data and where it is stored but that obviously does not ensure security. We now have easily understood and extremely vulnerable data that can easily be acquired by a hacker.
Business Intelligence Opportunities and Risks that comes with it:
Business intelligence provides a lot of opportunities and constantly bettering its performance seems mandatory. At the same time security is also important, which, as per a survey done recently, it seems to be a minor concern for a lot of organizations when a report from Computer World Survey, 50% respondents have increased their investment for data security and only 35% consider security concerns as an obstacle.
Vendors are definitely looking for ways to take advantage of such an opportunity and we have proofs that prove this statement true.
At the same time, major data breaches have been reported from high profile companies like the voter database, Anthem Insurance and Sony. New risks are involved when software IT outsourcing and analytics have successfully the internal systems as well as the external and cloud platforms.
The first check on security is what tool your BI strategy would use. Major organizations consider the cloud implementation as an essential part of their strategy despite the security concerns. The cloud option is comparatively cost effective but data security measures have to be determined.
At the very base level, data should be encrypted to avoid being accessed by hackers. The IBM Z machine can process 12 billion encrypted transactions in a single day. These measures of encryption would definitely slow down a hacker from acquiring information. Segmenting data and network storage is also beneficial which would prevent hackers from accessing all parts of your sensitive data at once.
Managing Data Security by the Analytics Vendors:
Companies like FireEye, PaloAlto Networks and Fortinet provide solutions intelligence or analytics via external systems like the cloud and are considered potential for the future of security intelligence. Security is a major concern in the coming years and expectedly, of the upcoming vendors to create plug-ins meant for data security.
Responsible Data Sharing:
Sharing of important data in and around your company should be done on the basis of “need to know”. Care should be taken to maintain data privacy. Employees requiring access to certain information should clearly justify the need and intent of the data being requested for. Since there is a rapid flow of data from sensors and devices with IoT flourishing, there is a major need for security and analytics vendors to perform powerfully and consistently.
Managing Cloud Security:
With information assets being secured on the cloud, need to maintain some security constraints are essential. A safe analytics hub can be ensured when we use standard and certified API or user interface instead of coding our own connection.
Hackers often use phishing or social engineering scams to access systems and breach cloud security. This would require you to maintain a really strong authentication for your password and limited access to information. Also caution against phishing is important.
Advent of Big Data:
Big Data indicates a lot of responsibility, so multiple layers of abstraction for the sake of security should be maintained such as firewalls, vulnerability checking, intrusion prevention, etc.
Outsourcing data management involves a lot of risk when a third party company is entrusted with your information. Companies contracting with Microsoft, Cloud Services of IBM with Cognos can ward off these dangers for security with a single vendor. For any vendor security becomes a risk that is shared.
Businesses need to be careful about data protection while investing in analytics and strategic systems. Potential manipulation and leakage of data by staff or the contractors should be taken care of and commitment of employee and executives to protect sensitive data is mandatory.
The “Equifax breach” which had started was actually discovered a long time later. A better and more strategic measure could have prevented the breach but due to lack of expertise this was not possible. It is indeed difficult to have a cyber security talent particularly versed in a Business Intelligence mentality who understands business intelligence and data security are almost inseparable.