Business intelligence can be a double-edged sword—you want to collect as much information as possible about your customers, yet the more information you accumulate, the more attractive you become to hackers. After all, hackers aren’t tapping into organizations with nothing to offer; they’re looking to get into infrastructures rich with credit card numbers, social security numbers, and other important data that can be used for financial gain. So how do you continue to build business intelligence (BI) and keep your data secure? It may require a vast investment of time, money, and attention… or not. Hear us out.
BI and IT: Working Together
Maintaining or managing BI on-premise or in a public cloud infrastructure can be time-consuming, costly, and require a lot of attention. A lack of proper 24/7 monitoring, including updates, backups, and patch management, can also make BI data easily accessible to hackers. Despite the risk, a recent ComputerWorld survey reveals that over 40% of surveyed companies are increasing their analytics investment—however, 50% are also increasing their IT security budget. So, growing BI and improving security clearly go hand-in-hand. One of the ways organizations are fulfilling both needs is by migrating to a virtual private cloud (VPC). A VPC operates with a certain level of isolation between each customer, creating higher levels of security. This is achieved through a private IP subnet, or Virtual Local-Area Network (VLAN) on a per customer basis. This isolation is what lends itself to the term “virtual private”—the user is in a cloud, but is not dependent on any physical hardware. And that’s good news for those harboring large amounts of BI.
Ransomware Causes Concern
One of the greatest sources of distress for organizations maintaining large amounts of BI is ransomware. Since 2013, ransomware has been running rampant, and has taken hold of data from corporate heavyweights like Delta, Best Buy, and Sears. It even infected the entire city of Atlanta in a well-documented one-week showdown in March of 2018. Unfortunately, but not unexpectedly, a loss of consumer data can lead to loss of public trust, customers, and possibly the entire business. So, what can organizations increasing BI data do to increase security measures?
Increasing BI and IT Security
In today’s highly-competitive corporate arena, maintaining BI is crucial for analyzing data and presenting actionable information to leadership; however, the threat of a data breach is always looming, making the prospect downright scary. Fortunately, there are steps any organization can take to secure their data on their own:
- Ensure all customer data is stored in an encrypted database.
- Utilize multiple passwords to gain access to any database that stores customer information; change these passwords frequently.
- Backup and update systems regularly.
- Run background checks on employees handling customer data.
- Use malware detection software on servers and workstations.
- Ensure firewalls are live and secure.
- Review disaster plans with staff.
- Educate employees on how to handle suspicious links and attachments.
But what if an organization doesn’t want to go it alone?
BI Security Options
They say with great power comes great responsibility (Spiderman or Voltaire, take your pick). But for many companies this is very true, and crucial to remember. Your company could be holding a person’s identity, finances, or medical history in the palm of its hand, so to speak. And while the eight steps above can offer a strong level of security, managing all of this can be daunting, especially for small and medium-sized companies. That’s why many are turning to Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), to let professionals handle the security of their infrastructure and keep their BI safe. DRaaS is generally easy to implement and offers access to IT experts while providing high levels of security, compliance, and scalability. DRaaS offerings can be confusing, and vary from company to company, so if you are interested in learning more about what to look for, click here. With DRaaS, you can spend less time worrying about the security of your BI data and more time focusing on the big picture.