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March 2012

A framework for big data security

Your organization likely is just starting to experience the joys of “big data.” Companies are enthralled with the idea of leveraging large quantities of data for targeted marketing or other initiatives. As with any new love affair, they’re blind to the flaws of their beloved. It is imperative, however, that you -- users of the data -- understand  these massive data stores contain significant amounts of toxic data. Toxic data is any data that could be damaging to an organization if it leaves that organization's control. Typically, toxic data includes custodial data -- such as credit card numbers, personally identifiable information (PII) like Social Security numbers, and personal health information (PHI) -- and sensitive intellectual property, including business plans and product designs. Today, cyberthieves and nation-state agents are actively working to steal this toxic data. Inadequately secured and poorly controlled big data environments can potentially make it easier by reducing the number of places these thieves must ...

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