Big Data — Big Money — Big Problems?

As data continues to become “cyber currency” with value in the billions of dollars, big data will continue to be the target of data thieves. This shift by businesses to value user data as a commodity seems to be inevitable, especially as the actual storage of massive amounts of data gets less expensive. Companies like Apple, Google and Facebook have some type of plan to monetize their user data (e.g., photos, documents, videos, search history, shopping behaviors and other online activity).

Individual data is no longer being kept separate, but aggregated so that users can be shown targeted ads or directed to customized services. Advertising is only just one way data can be collected, aggregated and monetized. Organizations can assess credit-worthiness, evaluate employees or even take the step toward linking with government or other legal data. The risks to security arise because users have to relinquish control over their data. The use of big data is focused on money making and unfortunately perhaps not on user privacy and perhaps not entirely on data protection.

Because big data is focused on the aggregation of customer data across a organization, security protection efforts should focus on the elimination of the “silos of data” and look at ways to control and enhance the data protection processes that exist.

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