When Integrating Big Data and Mobile, Location is the Key to Security

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israel-lifshitzIn this special guest feature, Israel Lifshitz of Nubo Software Ltd. presents his take on an important pain point for big data in the mobile era – security. He makes the case for storing mission critical data at highly secure remote location as the preferred way to protect big data. Israel Lifshitz is CEO of Nubo, a company that is defining the new virtual mobile work experience for enterprise organizations. An entrepreneur and experienced CEO, Israel previously founded SysAid Technologies, a worldwide leader in IT service management solutions.

Big Data has evolved from an emerging technology to a must-have asset for large enterprises, and it’s easy to understand why: Its insights inform business decision-making, allow companies to increase process efficiency, enable personalization of sales and marketing campaigns and aid production of more customer-centric products and services. In short, it gives companies a major competitive edge.

But to get the full benefits of Big Data in the mobile era, organizations must reconcile it with another unstoppable workplace reality: BYOD. As the workforce becomes more mobile, Big Data needs to go on the road too. But first, companies must gain confidence in Big Data app security. A focus on data location can help.

Why Companies Are Afraid of Big Data Apps

Although companies recognize the benefits of Big Data apps, many are reluctant to fully embrace them because the security risks are potentially devastating, particularly for organizations in highly regulated industries like healthcare and financial services. The custom reports and dashboards that provide incredible insights to decision-makers can also deliver highly sensitive information to hackers.

With confidential information moving between endpoints and networks through the use of Big Data apps, hackers have more opportunities to break through security. Authentication credentials are also at significant risk of being hacked and used to gain access to company networks – an even greater danger.

Many organizations have made the decision that they can’t take that risk and are waiting for a solution to present itself before moving forward. But inaction carries its own risk: Instead of delaying, businesses could look at mobile security in a new way.

Endpoint security approaches to date have not inspired confidence that the data is secure and out of harm’s way. A common element all of these less-than-adequate solutions share is vulnerability in where the data is stored.

Location, Location, Location!

Maybe centralized storage is the problem. Imagine that a major bank kept all of its money at its commercial headquarters where customers and employees came and went, protecting it with a heavy police presence and surveillance. Would that be a foolproof method to prevent ambitious criminals from trying to pull off a heist?

It might deter most criminals, but the motivation to rob such a bank would be extremely high, and the security costs of that strategy would be astronomical. It would make more sense to keep the money at a highly secure remote location.

The same principle applies when the thief’s objective is data. Does it make sense to house business intelligence tools containing data on mobile devices – known to be the weakest link in security? Is it wise to deploy one security patch after another in the hope that hackers won’t find a way to break encryption?

The most valuable data should be kept where it’s safest. This is why storing data on a secure remote server will be the preferred way to protect Big Data going forward. By using Virtual Mobile Infrastructure (VMI), companies can keep apps and data on a secure server while allowing users to access Big Data via smartphones and tablets, receiving insights as a flat image that cannot be manipulated. This approach also enables efficiencies such as single sign-on processes.

As we enter an age when the quality and quantity of data form an ever greater portion of an organization’s competitive advantage, the stakes keep rising from a security perspective. Savvy enterprises will begin to move their prized assets away from the danger zone and to a centralized, secured environment.


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