The explosion of data available today has been both a blessing and a curse to enterprises in all verticals. The ability to collect, store, mine, and analyze huge quantities of data has changed the way that companies do business, providing a competitive advantage to those companies that can best leverage their big data. According to a report by Mckinsey Global Institute, “a retailer using big data to the full could increase its operating margin by more than 60 percent.” Such an advantage is hard to ignore. Yet the increased storage and use of this data increases the complexity associated with securing that data.
As concerns around data security grow apace with the adoption of big data mentality, some companies struggle to find the balance between collecting enough data to compete and ensuring that their business is not threatened by the likelihood of a compromise. Data protection remains a vitally important element. In fact as more data is collected and stored, data protection should become a more prominent concern for enterprises.
Big data can contain many different categories of sensitive data – customer data, corporate information, and even intellectual property. The vast majority of the data is in semi-structured or unstructured format. Both the quantity and the structure of the data bring with it concerns about security and close on its heels, performance. However, performance doesn’t need to be an issue when considering the encryption of big data. Technological innovations, such as IBM’s AES-NI, can help companies have their data and use it, too.