The Wikipedia definition of Big Data is "a collection of data sets so large and complex that it becomes difficult to process using on-hand database management tools or traditional data processing applications. The challenges include capture, curation, storage, search, sharing, transfer, analysis and visualisation."
This focus on analysis and processing is far from rare. Indeed, any Big Data oriented conversation will almost inevitably be built around the data science for want of a better word. Unfortunately, with Big Data moving out of the realm of hyperbole (Time magazine had Big Data as the second biggest buzzword of 2012, just behind Fiscal Cliff) and firmly into the reality of the enterprise, a better word that is all too often missing from the conversation is 'security'.
Is Big Data deployment within the enterprise really in danger of sleepwalking into trouble just as early cloud adoption strategies stumbled when it came to a largely ROI-driven adoption without much (or indeed any) pre-deployment strategic thinking about the security issues?
Alex Raistrick, director for Western Europe at Palo Alto Networks, certainly agrees that there has been a rush to store all this data without too much thought about how it will be processed and controlled in the future.
"All data that is stored has a purpose and a security risk associated with that purpose. If the data stores are allowed to grow at their current rate (reported to be 2.5 quintillion bytes of data a day world-wide) businesses will have no idea where their risk lies and how to mitigate it," Raistrick says.
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Davey is a three-decade veteran technology journalist specialising in cybersecurity and privacy matters and has been a Contributing Editor at PC Pro magazine since the first issue was published in 1994. He's also a Senior Contributor at Forbes, and co-founder of the Forbes Straight Talking Cyber video project that won the ‘Most Educational Content’ category at the 2021 European Cybersecurity Blogger Awards.
Davey has also picked up many other awards over the years, including the Security Serious ‘Cyber Writer of the Year’ title in 2020. As well as being the only three-time winner of the BT Security Journalist of the Year award (2006, 2008, 2010) Davey was also named BT Technology Journalist of the Year in 1996 for a forward-looking feature in PC Pro Magazine called ‘Threats to the Internet.’ In 2011 he was honoured with the Enigma Award for a lifetime contribution to IT security journalism which, thankfully, didn’t end his ongoing contributions - or his life for that matter.