Big Data Security: Issues & Challenges for 2016

Well, it’s time to drop the ball, butcher “Auld Lang Syne”, kiss a stranger, and call it a year. Big data had a big year in 2015 — some of the major data tools and platforms came of age and achieved mainstream adoption. That means that ‘big data’ isn’t a trend (or an option) anymore. It’s essential to survival as a business. Now that big data has become more mainstream, security concerns have come to the forefront. With all of the hype surrounding the practical and potential uses for big data, what does the wide world of big data security hold in the year to come? Here are your answers.

‘Securing the Perimeter’ is No Longer a Thing

big data security issues
With laptops and smartphones roaming the globe, carrying your data and access to your data, perimeter security is a thing of the past.

Don’t bother with the surprised gasp, because you already know this. First, perimeter protection isn’t working anymore, if it ever really was. Second, there are no borders in today’s enterprise — the data flows freely across mobile devices as users access sensitive data from trains, planes, automobiles, and not just a few public Wi-Fi hotspots. Look for innovations that address this network sprawl to come in 2016.

Data Security Will No Longer be the Sole Responsibility of Single Organizations

Big data security is, forgive the pun, a big job. There are already consortiums developing so that organizations can pool their resources and intelligence to help protect their collective big data interests. Look for more consortiums like this to develop in 2016 and beyond, including threat intelligence clouds where information on current threats (as well as ways to combat these particular threats) can be collected and distributed.

Answers for Securing the IoT

As the number of connected devices soars toward 8 billion, 70 percent of these devices are still unprotected from known threats (not to mention all of the unknown vulnerabilities yet to be discovered). That’s a lot of big data, sitting ripe for exploitation. First, expect some of these devices to be breached in 2016. Second, look for cyber security experts to begin issuing countermeasures to help thwart this growing security gap as the IoT comes to fruition.

Expect Security to Evolve into a Foundational Issue

To date, most big data platforms and tools could be considered newbies themselves, struggling to handle the vast volume, velocity, variety, and veracity that makes up big data. Security has been a tack-on feature to the products that are designed to manage big data. Now, however, it is clear that the value of big data lies just as much in an organization’s ability to protect it as it does the organization’s ability to leverage it for better products and customer service. Hence, you can expect big data tools and solutions to increasingly be built on a foundation of security instead of offering security as a secondary feature.

Look for More Challenges as Different Industries Plunge Into Big Data

Not all big data security solutions will come from industries that are typically tech-savvy. Look for innovations out of retail, manufacturing, logistics, and other typically low-tech sectors.

As more industries take the plunge into big data, each will find new ways both to use it and to protect it. Look for usage and security innovations to come from non-technical sectors, including retail, agriculture, manufacturing, and other businesses that are typically considered to be consumers of technology, not technological innovators.

What does 2016 have in store for your organization? Maybe you’re ready to take on big data or begin using Hadoop? Whatever your big data goals, BMC can help.


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These postings are my own and do not necessarily represent BMC's position, strategies, or opinion.

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