The modern business world is faced by the challenge of ever-expanding data volumes. While mountains of information are normally associated with analytics trends such as big data, the amount of digital content in general is rapidly expanding. According to IDC's predictions for 2012, the total amount of digitally stored content will reach 2.7 zettabytes (2.7 billion terabytes) by the end of the year. This represents a 48 percent increase from 2011, and total volume is expected to reach 8 ZB by 2015.
IDC's projections signal a growing data migration to mobile and cloud solutions, with third-party technologies expected to drive 20 percent of IT spending in the coming years. Particularly in emerging markets, mobile devices will play a significant role in the lives of technology professionals.
"As the number of intelligent communicating devices on the network will outnumber 'traditional computing' devices by almost two to one, the way people think about interacting with each other, and with devices on the network, will change," an IDC report stated.
Preparing for the data shift
There are numerous data security questions that must be answered as companies grapple with these trends. Decision makers must be careful in the planning stages to ensure technology partners follow security best practices. Even then, migrating data to the cloud represents a significant risk because the business loses control over the protections used to guard its information, but will still be held responsible if the vendor's system is breached - or when a negligent insider compromises cloud-stored data. Particularly in the era of big data, with information itself a valuable asset, businesses would be wise to keep some control over their data security postures.
Writing for Dark Reading, the CTO of security consulting firm Securosis, Adrian Lane, made note of several security practices that are used in today's technology architecture. Data encryption software is the best solution for protecting files at-rest and archival information. This technology makes critical data unreadable to any third party without the encryption key. Lane noted that it is important to leverage a comprehensive mixture of perimeter-based defenses such as network security and data-centric solutions such as file encryption. This will become increasingly important as big data architectures become more common, since most analytics solutions do not provide data protection functionality by themselves.Information Security in the Era of Big Data - PKWARE Blog