Carol Evenson in Cybercrime, Big Data, big data Sep 20, 2016 · 2 min read · +200

How Big Data Possess Possible Security Threats for Businesses

How Big Data Possess Possible Security Threats for Businesses

For the past decade, Youtube has ruled the online video world with the exception of a couple of smaller competitors. As it's popularity has grown, the data that it generates has begun to be measured in exabytes. Each exabyte contains a quintillion bytes. The sheer volume of this data has caused security companies to have to refactor their products so that they can efficiently and effectively handle security for data stores that are truly big data. 

The market in the future will only continue to grow. The largest data centers in the world currently contain around 2 exabytes- while the demand for exabytes of storage was over 7,000 in a recent year.

Here are some of the ways that big data should be looked at as a potential threat when putting together a security strategy:

Industrial context:

Are you a government agency? Or are you working for a security contractor? Whatever you industry is, there will likely be some security threats that are unique to the type of business that you do. The food industry, for example, has long had a history of spies being placed in companies to get information. Today that has changed. It is far more likely that food people seeking data on new developments will receive data from urban crews that are both hacking and eavesdropping as many businesses as they can. The shift has made it hard for businesses that have more and more data that they need to protect because it the speed required to scan and query when there is a problem is much greater than it was even a couple of years ago.

In the government sector , one answer has been to go to a filter that can search 7 layers of the network at once, rapidly parsing through video, pictures, or text. One of the positives behind that approach is that when a company decides to pull packets off the network and look at them using a different layer, it will strip the encryption, allowing them to see what the specific cause of a problem might be. Blue Coat is one company that has consistently shown that its software can protect both enterprise business and government software. It manages to do so by engineering its products so that its features can handle specific requirements that represent the best practices of industry and government.


Another way that big data can be a threat to your security infrastructure is when you start to expand the number of places that your reporting and your analysis are pulling data from. In many cases, companies need more data to make better decisions. It has been highly quoted, for example, that Barack Obama won the 2012 election by relying upon big data so that his campaign could better understand what the voters wanted. And yet the threat for politicians and businesses is twofold. 

In the first place, the location that they are pulling data from, such as the cloud, or a connected device, may not be covered as well by their security policy, introducing a virus or form of control to wherever they are hosting their big data analytical software. The second type of threat is where the data itself is dirty. One example might be a giant supermarket chain that pulls information from customers as they move around the store. If they don't ask in advance, they do not have the right to use the latest car radar to track and monitor the movements of their patrons. 

So if your company buys this data and it is de-adjudicated, you may have some problems with people who claim that it is not clean, or obtained with the consent of the person who had the data gathered. Using security features like Blue Coat Systems' Youtube Page to determine copyright and other data quality features can be one way to combat this.


Big data is one of the most promising fields in industry, giving companies the ability to become more efficient and increase profitability. It also allows you to automate some processes that weren't traditionally automated. By leveraging security systems that take the security risk out of data gathering and aggregation, you can enjoy the benefits of big data, without any of the headaches.