Big data driving a big push towards security

One of the most revolutionary trends to hit the IT sphere in recent times, big data is radically transforming the way organisations are handling their information. The use of powerful analytics tools simply means that no data set is too large, and the ability to quickly and accurately extract meaningful insights from large reams of data is no longer a pipe dream.

However, Gartner warns the explosion in big data analytics does raise a very important issue – namely, the importance of maintaining IT security in this large-scale data framework.

In anticipation of its Security & Risk Management Summit, the technology research firm warned that chief information security officers (CISOs) around the world need to ensure they have measures in place to protect data that is constantly "expanding in volume, variety and velocity". This is important to keep in mind because, according to Gartner, more than 80 per cent of organisations in 2016 are not expected to have consolidated data security policies in place.

Brian Lowans, principal research analyst at Gartner, said that the nature of big data sets – which are often broken up and dispersed across silos – is a major worry.

"The advent of big data and cloud storage environments is transforming the way in which data is stored, accessed and processed, and CISOs need to develop a data-centric security approach," he asserted.

"Unfortunately this is not common practice today, and its planning is critical to avoid uncoordinated data security policies and management."

Some of the potential consequences of failing to have stringent data security policies include noncompliance, security breaches and financial liabilities, Gartner stressed.

As a result, Mr Lowans said that collaboration across the organisation is going to be key, in addition to ensuring security staff take advantage of appropriate IT security training.

"Business stakeholders may not be accustomed to having strong relations with security teams, and CISOs will need to build partnerships with them to develop new management structures for data security accountability and to identify cross-functional training needs," he concluded.