There’s a great deal of digital real estate devoted to advising businesses on the importance of protecting information assets from hackers, and making the best of your data by sharing it broadly, and drilling into it deeply.
Analytics applications are extremely powerful — they:
- Process vast amounts of information quickly
- Extract data with scheduled, or ad hoc queries
- Present it in a format which is easily understood
These same business intelligence software advantages are potential data security vulnerabilities, if the right safeguards aren’t in place. Some of those safeguards are policies and practices, while others require investments of time, money and attention.
Opportunity vs Risk
Business intelligence represents great opportunities for businesses that have the right people, processes and technology in place. According to a recent ComputerWorld survey, 50 percent of respondents are increasing their IT security budget. 41 percent are increasing their analytics investment. Another survey found that 35 percent of respondents considered security concerns to be the biggest obstacle surrounding data analysis.
The analytics software space is packed with vendors looking to cash in on this opportunity. Proof positive is how hot the big data market has been over the past several years. New data frontiers like social media, mobile ecommerce and web content performance represent new challenges and opportunities for insight for companies of all sizes.
High profile data breaches of organizations like Sony, Anthem Insurance, the voter database and Home Depot demonstrate hackers can cause all sorts of havoc for even the largest businesses. Since analytics systems are reaching into internal systems and out to cloud and external web repositories, there are new risks which CIO’s and data professionals need to take into consideration.
Analytics of Security Data
Security Information and Event Management systems are powerful analytics solutions in their own right. The latest security analytics systems are positioned as more advanced than SIEM could offer. Threat Analytics/Intelligence solutions, delivered via the cloud by companies like FireEye, Palo Alto Networks and Fortinet are seen as the next generation of security intelligence. Traditional BI vendors collect a lot of data from various repositories such as ERP, CRM and asset management systems, though they have typically left security and threat analytics to the leading vendors in that space.
Since privacy and security are key focus areas in 2016, it will be interesting to see if some of the self- serve analytics vendors build plug-ins for security analytics systems. The big data security era is reportedly upon us, though IT infrastructure and line of business big data remain separate for the most part.
Responsible Data Democratization
Sharing business performance information across your company should be carried out on a “need to know” basis. Providing permission-based access to data visualizations and executive dashboards should be provisioned with consideration of:
- Data privacy
- Access to information based on roles and decision-making responsibilities
- If employees or management need ad hoc access to sensitive data, they should justify the reasoning and intent behind it
The process of logging all inbound and internal network traffic takes a lot of computing power and storage space to meet regulatory requirements. Data flows are rapidly increasing across networks, to and from people, devices and sensors connected to the Internet of Things. There is more pressure on analytics and security systems to be able to scale and maintain consistent performance.
Feel free to contact E-SPIN for Business Intelligence (BI) security and solution availability, performance and monitoring and testing application.
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