Cybersecurity
Article

Big Data is Leading Us into the Need for More Robust Cybersecurity

by
Sean Healey & Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley
April 5, 2022
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Summary

As companies continue to realize the value of Big Data analytics to gain insights, it’s no surprise that more data collection means more cyber risk. Virtually everything someone does on the internet or even while shopping or banking is data that is constantly being collected and tracked.

Big Data is Leading Us into the Need for More Robust Cybersecurity

As companies continue to realize the value of Big Data analytics to gain insights, it’s no surprise that more data collection means more cyber risk. Virtually everything someone does on the internet or even while shopping or banking is data that is constantly being collected and tracked. This collection of data can be very valuable to the right company, or very harmful in the wrong hands. How can companies today balance the need to collect data to remain competitive with their responsibility to keep your precious data safe and secure?

Below are three steps businesses can take to create a more robust cybersecurity approach in the digital age.  

Monitoring:

One way that data analytics can be used to better secure someone’s digital footprint is by monitoring a cyberattack and analyzing it after the fact. The most common cyberattack, and the most reported on is a denial-of-service attack. This is essentially when a large number of users try and log onto a server all at the same time and overwhelm it, causing a system crash. When companies like Facebook or YouTube go down it’s usually because of a denial-of-service attack. After such an attack, the data that was created can be used to better understand and predict what was occurring during the event. This information can then be used to better fortify the systems in place and prevent future issues. But how does this impact you, the user? Netflix, one of the largest video streaming services, has a large catalog of user credit card information. By tracking user data, they are not only able to tell what someone likes to watch, but also if someone’s account has been hijacked. By utilizing data analytics, they are better able to deliver their service to the consumers and better protect the consumers personal information.

Privacy and Culture:

Cyber security, privacy and IT tend to come up in the same sentence. IT is often  the department that heads up the cyber security issue in an organization. Privacy and cyber security are linked because cyber security protects our personal and private information. But cyber security is not just a single department issue. It is best practice to involve everyone in the organization in efforts to secure information. Some things to train employees for include:

  • Understanding security settings
  • How to spot Phishing  
  • Spam phone calls  

Outside influence:

Many companies require third-party businesses to complete their day-to-day workflow. This can be the human resources department utilizing software to do their job or the company that takes over logistics, for example. These third-party companies may be necessary to complete the work required to operate, but they can leave a very real gap in the security of a company.  

A company’s strong cyber security footprint can easily be negated by a third-party vendor that has little-to-no cybersecurity. This gap in protection would leave the company open to cyberattacks. This issue is more concerning when a company is compiling data about their users to better service their customers. Now, not only is the company compromised, but also all customer information is also at risk.  

Some of the risk of using a third-party cannot be avoided, many businesses require outside sources to function. But there are ways to lessen the risk. Forbes goes over some of the options on how to best mitigate risk around the supply chain process.

• Educate the stakeholders in your supply chain process.

• Define your third-party risk tolerance.

• Ensure effective third-party risk processes are in place.

• Have a process for continually assessing and monitoring risk related to vendors and external partners.

• Understand your most critical assets and their locations.

• Monitor who has access to the identified critical data.

• Include cybersecurity requirements in vendor contracts (notification, assessments, etc.).

• Ensure there is an incident response plan in place that is being tested periodically.

By understanding the risk, and by educating those who work around it, a company may be better suited to protect their own assets as well as the customers who placed trust in them. Data is important and with everything transitioning to a digital medium it is likely that we will see more importance placed on cyber security.  

Sean Healey & Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley
Sean Healey & Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley

Sean Healey A long time Industry 4.0 enthusiast, Sean Healey is a graduate of Hawai'i Pacific University and a retired member of the United States Marine Corps. He serves as a Multimedia producer and thought leader within Automation Alley. Nicole Kampe Nicole Kampe is Manager of Global Content Strategy and Development at Automation Alley and is responsible for content strategy and development as it relates to Automation Alley's brand and image, including Automation Alley’s two signature initiatives: the annual Technology in Industry Report and Integr8, the global Industry 4.0 Conference. Nicole manages Automation Alley’s blog, internal media relations and creates thought leadership opportunities for the organization in the form of white papers and roadmaps in coordination with the World Economic Forum’s global network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs. Nicole is a graduate of Oakland University and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. Prior to joining Automation Alley in 2012, Nicole was an award-winning journalist at The Oakland Press where she served as a writer, copyeditor and page designer, and was honored on multiple occasions by the Society of Professional Journalists.‍

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