Smart Enterprise Magazine

Volume 7, Number 2, 2013

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Smart Resources Big Data Collaborating with Security solutions, T Big Data here's a direct correlation between the growth in cloud delivery models, mobile users and interconnected applications, and the growth of data. As these technologies grow, so do data volumes, data velocity and data variety; this growth offers unique insights to the business. But big data can also expose the business to significant risk. As data gets stored, processed and analyzed, it is also shared for collaboration with employees, partners and customers. This collaboration may pose new risks to the sensitive elements of big data. As big data is collected from various sources, business intelligence tools sift through mounds of data and valuable insights come to the surface, metadata is collected and stored for future use. Quite often this information is accessed by strategic decision makers in the organization, who use it to collaborate and make business decisions. Some common platforms for improving organizational productivity, such as SharePoint and Windows Server, have security limitations when it comes to sharing, working on or using big data for decision-making purposes. The same core functions that make these tools so valuable can also result in sensitive content being exposed and compromised. That's because, once the big data value elements are identified, users can manually post the data or access and edit existing data — changing its form, level of sensitivity or even value. This can leave the organization with few or no controls to protect its sensitive information. IT security now has the opportunity to advocate for the business and enable secure collaboration in high-risk environments and use cases. Organizations can be more precise in how they control information, thereby balancing business enablement with information protection. One way to do this is by taking both a data- and identity-centric approach to controlling information in collaboration environments. That's true whether the collaboration system exists on-premises, on mobile devices or with cloud-delivery models. Here are the main steps toward protecting sensitive data in collaborative environments: Step 1. Turn big data into small data. By having a system that can keep up with volume, velocity, variety and value, organiza 26 tions will be able to make faster, more accurate and businessrelevant decisions. Step 2. Determine the context of information being accessed and handled. By understanding which employees, customers and partners are involved — and the modes of communication that are being used — CIOs can understand the context of information flow. This, in turn, helps them make better, fine-tuned decisions. Step 3. Deploy controls that securely enable on-premises email and collaboration. Once CIOs understand the context, they can then determine how and where to deploy data controls. Step 4. Deploy controls that securely enable cloud and mobile collaboration. First, CIOs need to identify the context of how information is being shared through the cloud or the mobile platform. Then they need to manage these areas of high risk. The ability to precisely protect sensitive information within on-premises, mobile and cloud environments will help businesses realize big benefits from data sharing. Organizations can take advantage of new mobile and cloud data-sharing models, improving overall productivity, mitigating the new risks of sharing information outside the traditional network perimeter, and improving both regulatory and corporate compliance while handling sensitive information within these new models. To reduce the risk of data compromise and noncompliance, CIOs need to control how sensitive data is used for collaboration, whether on-premises, in the cloud or on the mobile platform. But the trick is to do this in a way that balances information control on the one hand with business enablement on the other. Security needs to become a business-service enabler. Instead of offering the security of "no," IT must empower the security of "know." n Tyson Whitten has responsibility for mobility and data protection solutions in the security unit at CA Technologies. Note: A complete version of this article was previously published online. Read it now: (registration required). photograph: Baris Simsek/getty from on-premises to cloud and mobile, can advocate for the business and enable secure collaboration in high-risk environments. | By Tyson Whitten

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