Can you provide IT security for data if you don't really understand what it is you're protecting?
The question came to mind based on a new survey on the cloud and Big Data conducted by LogLogic and Echelon One. The survey found significant gaps between theory and practice, across industries, with regard to preparation for, and management of, Big Data and cloud environments. According to the key findings:
The Business Impact of Big Data
Many business executives want more information than ever, even though they're already drowning in it.
The survey shows that there are still a lot of misconceptions about big data. 49% said they were somewhat or very concerned about managing big data, and 38% acknowledged that they do not have a clear understanding of what big data is. Furthermore, a majority of the respondents, 59%, lack the tools required to manage data from their IT systems, resorting to using separate, disparate systems and even spreadsheets.
The lack of understanding for the cloud environment isn't much different, with 72 percent saying they lack the tools to manage data for their cloud environments.
Said Mandeep Khera, chief marketing officer of LogLogic:
Information is power, and big data, if managed properly, can provide a ton of insight to help deal with security, operational, and compliance issues.
That takes us back to my original concerns: Can we secure what we don't fully understand? How can Big Data be properly secured if people aren't sure what Big Data is?
An article in TechWorld pointed out that log management is the key to getting a handle on Big Data:
To make sense of the data requires the ability to normalise it, correlate it, report on it and send actionable alerts.
Making sense of the data is the first step to securing the data. As Bob West, CEO at Echelon One, pointed out in a release, if you can't manage Big Data or monitor the cloud properly, you are setting yourself up for serious risks and attacks.