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How to Develop a Well-Governed and Secure Big Data Environment

A thoughtful and well-governed approach to security can succeed in mitigating against many security risks. You need to develop a secure big data environment. One thing that you can do is to evaluate your current state.

In a big data environment, security starts with assessing your current state. A great place to begin is by answering a set of questions that can help you form your approach to your data security strategy. Here are a few important questions to consider:

  • Have you evaluated your own traditional data security approach?

  • How do you control access rights to the data in your applications, your databases, and your warehouse both those within your company and those from third-party sources? Who has the right to access existing data resources as well as the new big data sources you are introducing? How do you ensure that only the right identities gain access to your applications and information?

  • Can you identify data vulnerabilities and risks and then correct any weaknesses?

  • Do you have a way of tracking your security risk over time so that you can easily share updated information with those who need it?

  • Is your overall infrastructure protected at all times from external security threats? If not, this could be the weak link that could seriously impact the security of your data.

  • Do you maintain your own keys if you are using encryption, or do you get them from a trusted, reliable provider? Do you use standard algorithms? Have you applied this standard to new data sources that you have determined are critical to your business?

  • Are you able to monitor and quantify security risks in real time?

  • Can you implement security and governance policies consistently across all types of data sources, including ones that reside in a cloud environment?

  • Can you protect all your data no matter where it's stored?

  • Can you satisfy auditing and reporting requirements for data wherever it resides?

  • Can you meet the compliance requirements of your industry?

  • What are your disaster and recovery plans? How do you ensure service continuity for all your critical data sources?

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