Big data: equal parts enthusiasm and angst

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Big data foments equal amounts of enthusiasm and paranoia--healthy paranoia. As much as it can potentially solve, it can equally destroy it through inadequate security measures and lax processes.

People continue to sound the alarm about the risks, even as big data takes off in measurable ways. As well they should. In The Register this week, experts at Out-law.com warned that the wheels are about to come off of mobility, cloud and big data, as recent innovations present an emerging risk to IT security. It said the European Network and Information Security Agency are saying that while these particular technologies will be the most innovative, their emergence presents increased cyber threats.

It says attackers will increasingly exploit low-to-medium security controls within social networking technology and abuse information that is already in the public domain, in order to access social network accounts. All this data and these vulnerabilities carry over to big data, the ENISA said.

As a consequence of the proliferation of social technologies, cloud computing, mobile computing and Internet use in general, big data also has become an emerging security issue. The group claims the exploitation of big data will affect data privacy and allow adversaries to open doors to new types of attack vectors. Much is needed and has been identified to secure big data, including the need for data protection, data access control and data filtering.

In Search Engine Land this week, Jim Yu, founder and CEO of BrightEdge, an enterprise search engine optimization platform platform,  outlined the importance of big data integrity and security, especially for Enterprise SEO. He said big data offers a great opportunity for Enterprise SEO marketers to be more responsive to changes in user behavior and needs. However, the big data approach must address these four factors: accuracy, security, availability and scale.

For accuracy of data, users need to make sure they are sourcing data from trusted sources, and he suggests using backlink data from credible and reputed backlink providers, as well as relying on partnerships. To keep data secure, he suggests the following best practices: insist on ISO/IEC 27001 standard compliance for greater data protection, use government level encryption, employ flexible password policies and remain compliant with European Union and Swiss Safe Harbor guidelines for compliance with stringent data privacy laws.

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