One of the biggest and most important security issues of the past few years (and the next few decades, most probably) will be related to big data.
Big data is the name given to the ability for large companies or organizations to collect massive amounts of data about everyday people in a fast, almost easy way. This is the data collected by Google or Facebook, your IoT device maker and, of course, governments through mass surveillance.
Because of the way the data is collected (en masse), there are some security issues that are almost inherent. One cause is the fact that so many different bodies collect such massive amounts of information on us, and the more of them there are, the more insecure the system becomes.
Today we’ll look at some of the most important security issues facing Big Data and what you can do to protect yourself.
One of the biggest problems with big data is the fact that companies and institutions may try to speed up their operations by distributing processing jobs to many systems.
The end-result of all this is for the speedier analysis of the information. However, with the increasing number of systems involved in handling the data, there are more security points to deal with.
The most secure solution is usually to have a single access point to which a large amount of attention and security can be assigned. With data spread across these other systems, there will be more access points for hackers or other intruders.
There are lots of internet users who are understandably concerned with the amount of data collected and stored about them. This data can include behaviors, identities, motivations, health and other sensitive information.
Some companies do offer to work on these by utilizing various data masking policies, as well as aggregating their data sets. However, these may not be as effective as they seem.
For one, any intruder with the appropriate tools could find ways to put these data sets back together. And, because of the way the data has been masked, once the masking system has been figured out, all of the data is vulnerable.
One way to understand whether the security measures put into place are effective or not is to see how many data breaches have occurred over the last few years.
There’s Weebly in October (43 million people affected), Adult Friend Finder in November 2016 (412 million), then Dailymotion in December (85 million), and so many more. In fact, if you go to InformationIsBeautiful.net, you’ll see just how quickly the number of major breaches and leaks has increased over time.
It is increasing, and doing so quickly.
If Big Data cannot find appropriate ways to protect user data, users will be exposed to ever increasing risks of personal data being mishandled.
Of course, one way to protect yourself is by taking your privacy and security into your own hands. You should start by getting a VPN, such as NordVPN, to help anonymize you on the Internet. It may not safeguard you in all situations, but it will help to keep your information more private and secure.
Needless to say, the first line of defense is you and your behavior online, starting with how much data you’re willing to share with certain sites and devices.
If you can keep yourself safe and use the appropriate tools, you’ll be safe against the next big data leak.