4 items tagged "data security"

  • Follow These Simple Rules to Start a Business Intelligence & Analytic Based Startup

    dAre you one of those entrepreneurs who are thinking to start a new business? Well, I am pretty sure you want it to be successful. In this fast-paced business world, it is necessary for you to have the insight and data needed in order to take the right decision at the right time. And to help you take the optimal decision, Business Intelligence (BI) is the key. It helps business professionals to drive their enterprises’ success, combining technology, analytics and knowledge. Some people think that BI is only needed for large companies. Wrong! As technology has rapidly developed BI tools are not only powerful and lightweight but also easier to access. If you want your business to survive in this competitive world, your business should be BI and analytic based. And, if you are confused how to start a business intelligence and analytic based business, follow these simple rules:


    While you are running a business, you must make sure that all the necessary business intelligence tools are available. These tools are designed to fulfill various needs of the customers, and can be fully operated and adjusted by them. Using this self service BI tools, you can analyze thousands of data sources on your own. However, you must choose the right tool in order to address problems of many departments. For instance, CSV files or SQLdatabase can be used for sales departments, whereas for marketing, Facebook and other social media platforms can act as useful tools. Or you can get some packaged software offered by some BI software providers. However, before applying those on your business do cross check them to make sure those will be suitable for your business.


    One of the most crucial tasks to consolidate your position in the customers’ mind is to know them first. Do thorough market research and find out what your customers actually need. To acquire and maintain the ground of loyal customers you need to forecast their needs. With the help of business intelligence, you can gather data on your customers’ behavior and structure them in an evident form for easy and quick analyzing. And once you know your customers, it will be easier for you to make the right decision.



    You can’t run a successful business if you give up analysis of your data. You don’t need to hire an IT firm and wait for a long time until they analyze your data. Using self-service BI tools you can analyze your data online and get the reports immediately, saving it in a neat and clear format on your personal drive. It will allow you to analyze data in real-time, providing your company a competitive advantage.


    To run your business successfully, you need to take care of those people you are doing your business with. Yes, I am talking about your clients or business partners. In this fast growing business world, sometimes they need to pull some information or data that needs to be available to them. For that, you must cooperate with your clients. The more you cooperate with them, the easier it will be to access their vital information, which is necessary to run a business.


    No business can run successfully if the data is not secured. To protect your data, you must move your business data to a secure data storage facility. Some BI tools offer secured data warehousing solutions. Cloud storage solutions are becoming popular because of the security reasons. However, you must be careful that the cloud service provider ensures strict data security and conducts regular security audits.


    So, you are starting a business today. Where will it stand after ten years? If you don’t pay heed then you are putting your business at risk. You must think about your future growth. Well, you don’t have any crystal ball to tell you about the future, so you need to assume it by yourself. For that, you need to be prudent. You need to analyze your past and present performance and growth of your business, to find the key to the future growth.

    Doing business is not difficult if you can use the right tools. using proper use of the BI tools, you can run your business smoothly. You have lots of information coming to your company every day. Don’t just store them; use them properly to make the right decision about your business.


    Bron: thetechnews.com

  • Keeping your data safe in an era of cloud computing

    Keeping your data safe in an era of cloud computing

    These cloud security practices for 2020 are absolutely essential to keep your data safe and secure in this new decade. 

    In recent years, cloud computing has gained increasing popularity and proved its effectiveness. There is no doubt that cloud services are changing the business environment. Small companies value the ability to store documents in the cloud and conveniently manage them. Large business players appreciate the opportunity to save money on the acquisition and maintenance of their own data storage infrastructure. The movement towards cloud technologies is perceived as an undoubtedly positive trend that facilitates all aspects of human interaction with information systems.

    Despite the obvious benefits of cloud technologies, there is a set of problematic issues that pose a significant threat to cloud users, such as:

    • The degree of trust to the cloud service provider;
    • Ensuring confidentiality, integrity, relevance, and incontrovertibility of information at all levels;
    • Loss of data control and data leaks;
    • Protection against unauthorized access;
    • Malicious insiders;
    • Saving personal data of users transmitted and processed in the cloud.

    Although cloud computing today is no longer a new technology, issues of ensuring data security represents a relevant point for users worldwide. Security concerns remain to be the main obstacle to the widespread adoption of cloud technologies. What are the main threats to cloud security today? How will they affect the industry? What measures are essential to keep your sensitive data confidential? Read on to figure it out!

    Risks associated with cloud computing

    As you can guess, cloud computing servers have become a very attractive target for hackers. A virtual threat is associated with the possibility of remote penetration due to the vulnerable infrastructure. Cybercriminal groups often steal users’ data for the purposes of blackmailing and committing various frauds. As a rule, cybercriminals focus on small business networks because they are easier to breach. At the same time, the cases of data leakages among large corporation still take place. Fraudsters often go after larger companies because of the allure of larger payouts.

    In November 2018, Marriott International announced that cyber thieves stole data on 500 million customers. The attackers’ targets were contact info, passport number, Starwood Preferred Guest numbers, travel information, credit card numbers and expiration dates of more than 100 million customers. Moreover, police officials have noted that the 'human factor' was directly related to the problem. Employees did not follow all security rules, which made the system vulnerable to hacker attacks.

    Security threats

    When a cloud service vendor supplies your business and stores your corporate data, you place your business in the partner’s hands. According to Risk Based Security research published in the 2019 MidYear QuickView Data Breach Report, during the first six months of 2019, there were more than 3,800 publicly disclosed breaches exposing 4.1 billion compromised records.

    In case you entrust your data to the cloud provider, you should be confident about the reliability of the cloud server. Thus, it is essential to be aware of the existing risk to prevent disclosure of your sensitive information.

    The cloud computing system can be exposed to several types of security threats, which can be divided into the following groups:

    • Threats to the integrity;
    • Threats to confidentiality;
    • Accessibility risks;
    • Authorization risks;
    • Browser vulnerabilities.

    Data security

    Nobody wants their personal information to be disclosed to the broad audience. However, according to Forbes research, unsecured Facebook databases leakages affected more than 419 million users.The principles of virtual technology pose potential threats to the information security of cloud computing associated with the use of shared data warehouses. When the data is transmitted from one VM to another, there is a risk of disclosure from a third party.

    Threats related to the functioning of virtual machines

    Virtual machines are dynamic. They are cloned and can move between physical servers. This variability affects the development of the integrity of the security system. However, vulnerabilities of the OS or applications in a virtual environment spread unchecked and often manifest after an arbitrary period of time (for example, when restoring from a backup). In a cloud computing environment, it is important to securely record the security status of the system, regardless of its location.

    Vulnerability of virtual environment

    Another major risk you may face is vulnerability within the virtual environment. Cloud computing servers and on-premises servers use the same OS and applications. For cloud systems, the risk of remote hacking or malware infection is high. An intrusion detection and prevention systems are installed to detect malicious activity at the virtual machine level, regardless of their location in the cloud.

    Blurring of network perimeter

    When you sign in your cloud, the network perimeter is blurred or disappears. This leads to the fact that the protection of the less secure part of the network determines the overall level of security. To distinguish between segments with different levels of trust in the cloud, virtual machines must be provided with protection by moving the network perimeter to the virtual machine itself. A corporate firewall is the main component for implementing IT security policies and delimiting network segments that will protect your business from undesired disclosure.

    Attacks on hypervisor

    The hypervisor is one of the key elements of a virtual system. Its main function lies in the sharing of resources across virtual machines. An attack on a hypervisor can help one virtual machine (usually installed on the fraudsters’ side) to gain access to the memory and resources of another. To secure your data, it is recommended to use specialized products for virtual environments, integrate host servers with the Active Directory service, use high password complexity and expiration policies, standardize procedures for accessing host server management tools, and use the built-in virtualization host firewall. It is also possible to disable frequently unused services such as web access to the virtualization server.

    Solutions to decrease cloud computing risks


    As you already know, most of the problems related to cloud technologies can be solved with the help of cryptographic information protection. Encryption is one of the most effective ways to protect data. The provider must encrypt the client’s information stored in the data center and also permanently delete it after it is removed from the server. Encryption makes users’ data useless for any person who does not have the keys to decrypt it. The owner of the encryption keys maintains data security and decides to whom, and to what degree their access should be provided.

    Encrypted data is available after authentication only. This data cannot be read or changed, even in cases of access through untrusted nodes. Such technologies are well known, and algorithms and reliable protocols AES, TLS, IPsec have long been used by providers.


    Authentication is an approach to ensure data security. In simple terms, it can be defined as a reliable password protection method. Certification and tokens can also be used to gain a higher level of reliability. For instance, such protocols as LDAP (Lightweight Directory Access Protocol) and SAML (Security Assertion Markup Language) can ensure your sensitive data is stored securely on the cloud server.


    In these times, data security is more important than ever. Be sure to enact key cloud security measures as we head into 2020.

    Author: Ryan Kh

    Source: Smart Data Collective

  • Navigating the Digital Waves: Key Strategies for Thriving in a Digitized World  

    Navigating the Digital Waves: Key Strategies for Thriving in a Digitized World

    As digital flows command a growing share of trade and economic growth, executives must answer new questions.

    Globalization, once measured largely by trade in goods and cross-border finance, is now converging with digitization. Enormous streams of data and information are transmitted every minute—circulating ideas and innovations around the world via email, social media, e-commerce, video, and more. As these sprawling digital networks connect everything, everyplace, and everyone, companies must rethink what it means to be global. Our latest research quantifies the economic impact of this shift and suggests five critical areas of focus for executives and top teams.

    The new trade in bits

    To measure the economic impact of digital globalization, we built an econometric model based on the inflows and outflows of goods, services, finance, people, and data for 97 countries around the world. We found that over a decade, such flows have increased current global GDP by roughly 10 percent over what it would have been in a world without them. This added value reached $7.8 trillion in 2014 alone. Data flows directly accounted for $2.2 trillion, or nearly one-third, of this effect—more than foreign direct investment. In their indirect role enabling other types of cross-border exchanges, they added $2.8 trillion to the world economy. These combined effects of data flows on GDP exceeded the impact of global trade in goods. That’s a striking development: cross-border data flows were negligible just 15 years ago. Over the past decade, the used bandwidth that undergirds this swelling economic activity has grown 45-fold, and it is projected to increase by a factor of nine over the next five years (exhibit).

    Beyond creating value in their own right, digital flows are transforming more traditional ones. Some 50 percent of the world’s traded services are already digitized and that share is growing. About 12 percent of the global trade in goods is conducted via international e-commerce.Digitization is facilitating flows of people too, as AirBnB, TripAdvisor, and other websites provide information that enables travel.

    Meanwhile, the growth of trade in goods has flattened. That’s a stark reversal from previous decades, which saw it rise from 13.8 percent ($2 trillion) of world GDP in 1985 to 26.6 percent ($16 trillion) of world GDP on the eve of the Great Recession. Weak demand and plummeting commodity prices account for a large part of this recent deceleration, though trade in both finished and intermediate manufactured goods has also stalled since the crisis. In parallel, many companies are reconsidering the risks and complexity of managing long supply chains—and placing greater importance on speed to market and other costs of doing business and less on labor costs. As a result, more production is occurring in countries where goods are consumed. Looking forward, 3-D technology could further erode international trade as some goods are printed at their point of consumption. These shifts make it unlikely that global trade in goods will resume its previous brisk growth.

    Open platforms, virtual goods, and ‘digital wrappers’

    Behind the scenes, the largest corporations have been building platforms to manage suppliers, connect to customers, and enable internal communication and data sharing. While many platforms are internal, the biggest and best known are more open: spanning e-commerce marketplaces, social networks, and digital-media platforms, they connect hundreds of millions of global users.

    These open platforms give businesses enormous built-in customer bases and ways to interact with customers directly. They also create markets with global scale and transparency: with a few clicks, customers can get details on products, services, prices, and alternative suppliers from anywhere in the world. That makes markets function more efficiently, disrupting some intermediaries in the process. What’s more, digital platforms are helping companies that deliver digital goods and services to enter new international markets without establishing a physical presence there. They also give millions of small and midsize businesses global exposure and an export infrastructure. On eBay’s platform, anywhere from 88 to 100 percent of these relatively modest companies export—compared with less than 25 percent of traditional ones in the 18 countries the company analyzed.

    Also growing rapidly is trade in virtual goods, such as e-books, apps, online games, and music downloads, as well as streaming services, software, and cloud-computing services. As the cost of 3-D printing declines, this trade could expand to new categories—for instance, companies could send digital files to output goods locally. A lot of companies already use 3-D printing for replacement parts and supplies in far-flung locations.

    Many companies are adding digital wrappers to raise the value of their offerings. Logistics firms, for example, use sensors, data, and software to track physical shipments. One study found that radio-frequency-identification (RFID) technology can help to reduce inventory costs by up to 70 percent while improving efficiency. Case studies in Germany, including the logistics centers of BMW and Hewlett-Packard, found that the technology reduced losses in transit by 11 to 14 percent.

    Grounding the digital dialogue

    Business models built for 20th-century globalization may not hold up as digitization gains ground. As leaders take stock of the opportunities and threats, five questions can help ground the discussion:

    1. Do we have a clear view of the competitive landscape?

    Competition is intensifying as digital platforms allow companies of any size, anywhere, to roll out products quickly and deliver them to new markets. Amazon now hosts two million third-party sellers, while some ten million small businesses have become merchants on Alibaba platforms. The growing trend toward “micromultinationals” is seen most clearly in the United States, where the share of exports by large multinational corporations dropped from 84 percent in 1977 to 50 percent in 2013. New digital competitors from all over the world are unleashing pricing pressures and speeding up product cycles.

    2. Do we have the right assets and capabilities to compete?

    Building digital platforms, online customer relationships, and data centers is not just for the Internet giants anymore. GE, for example, is transforming its core manufacturing capabilities to establish itself as a global leader in Internet of Things technology. Businesses in all industries need to take a fresh look at their assets, including customer relationships and market data, and consider whether there are new ways to make money from them. To do so, they will need advanced digital capabilities, a major source of competitive advantage, and workers with cutting-edge skills are in short supply. Online talent platforms can help companies navigate a more global labor market and find the people they need in far-flung places.

    3. Can we simplify our product strategy?

    Digitization can simplify the tailoring of products, brands, and pricing for companies that sell into multiple global markets. But there’s a parallel trend toward more streamlined global product portfolios. Several automakers have moved in this direction. Apple offers only a limited number of its iPhone and iPad models, all with consistent design and branding wherever they are sold. Airbnb, Facebook, and Uber have simply scaled up their digital platforms in country after country, with limited customization. The media and consumer-technology industries are shifting to simultaneous global product launches, since social and other digital platforms enable consumers around the world to see, instantaneously, what’s on offer in other countries. This development creates opportunities for products to go viral on an unprecedented scale. Making smart customization trade-offs, in short, is becoming an increasingly important top-management priority.

    4. Should we retool our organization and supply chain?

    Digital tools for remote collaboration and instant communication make it possible to centralize some global functions (such as back-office operations or R&D), to create virtual global teams that span borders, or even to forgo having one global headquarters location. Unilever, for example, used technology solutions to streamline some 40 global service lines and create virtual-delivery organizations with team members around the world who meet via videoconference.

    Digital technologies are also reshaping supply chains. Digital “control towers” that offer up-to-the-minute visibility into complex supply chains, for instance, can coordinate global vendors in real time. Since speed to market matters more than ever in a digital world, many companies are reevaluating the merits of lengthy and complex supply chains; logistics costs, lead times, productivity, and proximity to other company operations now have a higher priority. According to a recent UPS survey, approximately one-third of high-tech companies are moving their manufacturing or assembly closer to end-user markets. The wider adoption of 3-D printing technologies could lead more companies to reconsider where to base production, potentially reshaping the world’s manufacturing value chains in the process.

    5. What are the new risks?

    Maintaining data security has to be a top priority for companies in every industry. It’s difficult to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated hackers, but companies can prioritize their information assets, test continually, and work with frontline employees to emphasize basic protective measures. In addition, the Internet and international competition have cut into the window of exclusivity that companies once enjoyed for new products and services; copycat versions can be launched in new markets even before the originators have time to scale up.

    The economic impact of digitization is growing, and digital competition often spans borders. As digital tools create new possibilities for building and managing a global presence, business leaders must challenge long-held assumptions about the international competitiveness of their companies.

    Date: 11-10-2023

    Authors: Jacques Bughin, Susan Lund, and James Manyika

    Source: McKinsey

  • Part of a Multi-Cloud Organization? Be Aware of these Data Security Implications  

    Part of a Multi-Cloud Organization? Be Aware of these Data Security Implications

    The world is going multi-cloud. Enterprises are leveraging the benefits of multi-cloud services to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and drive faster innovation. What does this mean for data privacy? With data residing in multiple locations, it’s more important than ever for organizations to understand their data privacy risks and ensure that any sensitive data is protected. 

    In the previous “mono-cloud” generation, adopting diverse cloud services across different departments (for example, Salesforce for Customer Success, Zendesk for Help Desk, Google Docs for collaboration) enabled businesses to optimize their resources and spend less on IT infrastructure maintenance. However, with so much data being centralized in one place, there were growing concerns about the privacy and security of data. 

    One serious data privacy issue arose from centralized data storage in the cloud. When data was centralized in the cloud, it was highly accessible but also highly vulnerable to security threats, data breaches, and privacy violations. One of the dangers of centralized data storage was the single point of failure. In the event of an outage, users were not able to access critical business data. Another danger was the probability of data breaches, which made it easy for hackers to access it. Also, if the data was not encrypted, it posed a risk to the privacy of customers. 

    To mitigate these issues, businesses started adopting a multi-cloud strategy. This enabled organizations to store data across multiple cloud service providers. This way, if one vendor went down, users could still access critical data from another vendor. In the typical multi-cloud organization, user data is spread across many cloud systems. 

    But here are the primary data privacy challenges of multi-cloud organizations:

    • Data location transparency: It can be difficult for you, the end user, to know exactly where your data is stored. Because many cloud computing providers offer what may appear to be similar services, it can be difficult for organizations to determine which provider hosts a given piece of data. This can make it challenging for businesses to comply with data privacy regulations, retain control over sensitive information, and monitor the security of their data. 
    • Data breaches due to incorrect contacting practices: A second data privacy challenge in the multi-cloud organization is the problem of data breaches emanating from poor contracting practices. If businesses fail to adopt the right multi-cloud strategies, they may not be able to oversee their contracts properly. This can lead to data breaches when their cloud service providers fail to meet certain standards like data sovereignty laws, data protection laws, and so on. To avoid this, businesses can make sure that they are contracting with vendors that meet the legal requirements.

    In short, multi-cloud data management environments bring their own data privacy and security challenges.

    Key Security Challenges and Solutions for Multi-Cloud Organizations

    As multi-cloud adoption continues to rise among global organizations, Gartner has suggested that presently almost 70% of organizations have put a multi-cloud strategy in place. Consequently, one of the biggest concerns for companies operating in the multi-cloud era is data security. Data security is the protection of information, systems, and devices from theft or unauthorized access. In the multi-cloud era, businesses must adopt a strong data security strategy. Here are reasons for this:

    • Businesses are likely to store sensitive data across different cloud service providers. This makes it imperative for businesses to have a strategy to ensure that their data remains protected from breaches in the event of a disaster. 
    • Businesses are legally obligated to protect customer data in case of a data breach. As per GDPR, if customer data gets breached due to negligence on the part of a company, they are liable to pay a hefty fine. 

    The multi-cloud environment brings significant security challenges to organizations. The following are some key security challenges organizations face as they implement multi-cloud strategies. As organizations move forward with a multi-cloud strategy, they are challenged to enforce consistent security configurations across workloads and applications. 

    Challenge 1: One false expectation is that you can just extend on-premises security infrastructure to the cloud. Unfortunately, tools from just one cloud vendor, or your own scripts written for your on-premise data centers, are not going to get you through the challenges of a multi-cloud architecture. You need a cloud-native security platform that allows you to protect different cloud services from multiple providers. 

    Probable solution: It is highly risky to implement the same “data governance, access, and security framework” across multiple clouds. This approach will result in inconsistencies in policy implementations across different cloud service providers and different service environments (SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS). It is far better to allow cloud service providers to deliver service-related security, while organizations, on the other hand, take responsibility for data security within the multi-cloud environment. Cloud service providers should monitor infrastructure-related security threats, while the end users – organizations – secure their data, cloud applications, and other assets on cloud. 

    Challenge 2: A poorly developed multi-cloud security strategy can end up in loss of data integrity confidentiality. Enabling multi-cloud architecture for better security and privacy involves the risk of losing track of data. So, the answer is adopting a “data-centric security approach” within an organization, which ensures that an organization’s most critical assets stay protected regardless of their location: on-premises, on a private cloud, or in a multitude of public cloud service provider environments. With data-centric security, organizations substantially reduce the risks related to regulatory requirements in the multi-cloud.

    Probable solution: Having a complete approach to data privacy and security throughout your organization helps to mitigate costs, complexity, and, in turn, risk. This approach makes it possible to protect data throughout the data lifecycle. Comprehensively managing data encryption, or data masking, for data protection in cloud or on-premises environments is critical. 

    Challenge 3: While many people claim that the cloud platform has built-in, inherent security controls, and that you do not have to bother to implement your own, keep in mind that the cloud is about shared security. For instance, you might be using the services of CrowdStrike for security on the cloud platforms, and Falcon Horizon/Cloud Security Positioning Management (CSPM) for protection against configuration errors.

    Probable solution: While the “shared security approach” enables cloud service providers to ensure the security of certain services, your organization’s internal security teams must take responsibility for the security of others. 

    Challenge 4: Protecting sensitive data in the cloud is an additional challenge for multi-cloud organizations. This means organizations have to routinely revisit and re-engineer their security strategies and tools related to data access to incorporate real-time, continuous monitoring and compliance measures. This becomes challenging when organizations try to support least-privileged access models across all their data stores in the cloud. Generally speaking, enterprises have little control over data exposures and security gaps. 

    Probable solution: Because protecting workloads spread across on-premises and multiple cloud frameworks is especially complex, automation is crucial for monitoring workloads such as VMs and Kubernetes containers distributed over multiple environments – on-premises, mono-cloud, and multi-cloud. Automated solution platforms help keep track of and monitor workloads across systems.

    Challenge 5: This is the most formidable challenge – an acute shortage of qualified security professionals with deep knowledge and experience in working on multiple cloud platforms. Given the lack of trust and experience in this field, all the above-mentioned challenges could result in significant security vulnerabilities. When adopting a cloud strategy, security leaders face challenges like controlling cloud costs, data privacy, and security issues.

    Probable solution: As more organizations shift toward full-cloud adoption, security teams will need the right talent and resources to manage their cloud infrastructures and navigate security and privacy obstacles posed by the cloud.

    Given the range and complexity of privacy and security challenges in the multi-cloud, the security settings must be consistent across all of your clouds. Ongoing communications with cloud service providers is necessary to ensure that all are following the same security measures. Cloud security technologies such as cloud security posture management, cloud workload protection, cloud identity and rights management, data loss prevention, encryption, and multi-factor authentication (MFA) are the most common technologies that should be kept in mind while planning privacy and security for multi-cloud environments. 

    Other Multi-Cloud Issues That Threaten Data Privacy and Security 

    Here are some other concerns unique to the multi-cloud environment, which makes enterprise Data Management an ongoing challenge: 

    • Latency due to distance between the organization’s data center and cloud service providers is a grave concern. This can reduce the speed at which employees can access critical data. 
    • Bandwidth issues can also pose a challenge. If a multi-cloud organization keeps all its critical data with one cloud service provider’s servers, it is likely that bandwidth issues will surface when the amount of data transferred exceeds the provider’s capacity. This can be particularly problematic for businesses that operate in real-time environments, such as healthcare, financial services, or manufacturing businesses. 


    Each cloud platform is different, so even if you successfully understand who has access to what data and workloads, keeping up with vendor updates and new controls requires ongoing monitoring. To run a successful, secure multi-cloud operation, you probably need an external, centralized platform that controls access for users with appropriate permissions.

    A data security strategy for cloud environments requires ongoing, continuous evaluation to ensure data protection, advanced standards compliance, and adherence to all regulatory laws. Data Management practices are required for the regulation of users’ access to sensitive data in the cloud to enhance data privacy and security. 

    Author: Paramita Ghosh

    Source: Dataversity

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