Big Data – what is it and the security issue associated with it

When I first heard of the word big data, I always thought that it is some technical jargon and it’s a totally different thing from “data” that I have known for so long. But I was wrong.

What is big data?

So, what is big data? It’s easy, nothing fancy, big data basically means a lot of data. The amount is so big up to the point where it can be used for analysis to bring out a lot of information. 

How is it being used?

People are already well aware of the power of big data, and some companies even use data as their main source of income. For example, many companies are now using data to understand who their customer is and how should they target them.

Companies are also using big data to improve their operation and save costs. Take machine maintenance for example; the company can predict what will break down and take necessary steps to prevent it from happening so that downtime can be minimized. Other than that, the government starts to use big data to help improve healthcare and public health as well. 

Data vs big data

Now although both “big data” and “data” are data (yes, a mouthful I know), but the way of handling both of them is different. Usually, data is not difficult to handle and can be done using excel or a common data management tool. Handling big data however will be much different. Due to the sheer amount of data available, many problems will associate with this data. 

The problem that will associates with big data

With big data, comes big security concerns. As with every cyber-related thing, cybersecurity can become a concern. Below are a few. 

Data access

Newcomers to big data will tend to overlook the security part, which might result in them not using sufficient access control and in turn, an unauthorized person can access the data. 

Inaccurate data

Due to the reason that unauthorized persons can access it, they can change the data as well. This will cause the data to be inaccurate. Inaccurate data will be as good as not having data because the result will be inaccurate and pointless.

Insufficient cloud security

Of course one can save all the data they obtained on-premise, but big data is, well, big, so it is irrational to save everything physically. So, for that, the cloud will be the solution. However, cloud security is also something people undervalue. So once the cloud security breached, the hackers will obtain all the data. 

Privacy issue

With data being exposed, there comes a privacy issue. Like the recent case happened in Malaysia, Malaysia Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) end contract with a company that was supposed to handle the data submitted by all Telco companies in Malaysia and somehow leaked it and now, if found guilty, will be facing heavy consequences from Malaysia Government. The privacy issue is not something to play with and therefore, should be taken seriously.

Solution

Well from my understanding of the problem, the solution I can think of is Blockchain. Here is an article for you to understand what blockchain is. All and all, blockchain will help make sure that the big data stored are safe and unable to alter, which immediately solves a few of the security issues mentioned above. However, of course, the security that is related to the endpoint will need to depend on the cybersecurity awareness of the user. 

Final Verdict

Big data is already in full force, and many companies and governments are using it to improve their business and also their service. Equipping the knowledge of big data is for sure beneficial. The same goes for knowledge on how to protect big data. Big data security will be something important now. 

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