Tackling security issues in data processing is a tough challenge for organizations. A large volume of data implies big challenges. Not only is the data tabulated but also with the inclusion of a variety of files like documents, pictures, audio, video, extracts from social media, emails, it becomes quite challenging to fit this assortment of data into traditional databases. Organizations dealing with big data are only able to resolve a part of it owing to their method of looking at it as a solely technological initiative. The colossal volume of data is the biggest challenge which is being tackled by companies using state of the art technologies but in vain as useful information is getting filtered out through these technologies. The management of the information lifecycle is confined to partitioning methods and focuses on actual instead of the virtual location of data. There needs to be a reasonable stratification of information that will group information into three categories viz. information that is directly relevant to the creation and extraction of value, reference information and information essential for the functioning of the enterprise.

10 of the Most Common Security Issues in Data Processing and Strategies to Tackle Them:

1. The major issue lies in not being aware of who is using what data and where the data is located

  • Data cannot be secured without being aware of the details of its transmission and transfer through the network of the organization.
  • This creates a major security issue as hackers take advantage of the lack of detailed knowledge and tap into the confidential data to steal personal information.
  • This security issue can be tackled by conducting a comprehensive and methodical inventory of the confidential information. After this, a map of utilization of sensitive information can be developed to maintain a documentation of the results of the inventory.
  • The organization can also maintain a series of flow diagrams that depict the movement of data throughout the system. This will be highly beneficial for the protection of confidential information.

2. Equal treatment of every kind of data is a primary security issue

Organizations make a big mistake when they fail to classify data in accordance with sensitivity and security issues. Every type of data is treated equally and this results in lack of protection of data that makes the whole process of storage of data very insecure and open to tapping and tampering.

The objective of classification of data is to accurately assess and fund the multiple levels of security and protection of data according to sensitivity. This requires correlation of a variety of factors that include compliance with regulations, utilization of applications, a frequency of access, an authority of access, cost of updating and competitive susceptibility to estimate a value and a ratio of determination of security levels and cost for the data.

3. Security issues occur when the organization focuses entirely on concerns with regulatory compliance

  • Governmental regulations and industrial policy of privacy involve the most basic and easy practices of data security. Evading such regulations is a piece of cake and thus effective security gets tampered with.
  • The best way to tackle this security issue is to concentrate on compliance with security-centric processes, security policies and people, reinforced by solutions of security like enforcement of automatic policies, encryption and cryptography, access to data based on organizational role and authority and auditing of the system.
  • Focus on stringent security policies instead of relying solely on regulatory compliance for protection of the data assets of the organization.

4. Accumulation of junk information is a security issue

Storage of unnecessary information in the organization servers leads to weakening of security measures. The risks of security tampering of sensitive customer information can be removed by the removal of junk paper and electronic data from all files and systems. However, mere deletion of infrequently accessed files is not effective enough for protection of data. Besides, this is a violation of the policies of retention of multiple data and is troublesome for the marketing department as well.

This security issue can be resolved through retention and securing of specific confidential data and working hand in hand with the legal department and the data asset librarian who are well aware of relevant security policies and regulations.

5. Triaging of security instead of providing consistent protection is a major security issue

  • One of the main security issues lies in responding to sudden security crises without maintaining a holistic and consistent security.
  • It might be time and budget intensive to build a comprehensive plan of data asset security but an integrated and holistic approach to data security is highly efficient and effective as compared to fragmented security practices and triages.
  • Security that is driven by crises and emergencies is not security at all. For the enhancement and strengthening of overall security, it needs to be a fundamental part of the organizational routine and regulations.

6. Outsourcing of responsibilities

Every privacy policy and data security regulation states that organizations cannot share the risks of compliance with external bodies as it works in a way that if the external partner fails in their responsibility of securing the organization’s data assets then the company will be held liable for associated punishments, penalties and legal actions that will arise due to the exposure of sensitive data.

The laws that concern privacy and security of data vary across the globe. To decrease the chances of exposure of confidential data mistakenly or deliberately, the organization needs to strictly and thoroughly ensure that the partner or body with whom the sensitive data is being shared with, takes data security policies with stringent consideration and understands the effect of legal actions and regulations.

7. Trusting risk assessment certificates blindly is a security issue

Risk assessment certificates consist of simple Yes/No questions that are generic in nature and focus on whether a particular policy, technology or control is working or not, instead of their efficiency and effectiveness against malicious attacks and hacking. Putting blind trust in such certificates stands to be a major security issue for organizations.

Risk evaluation certificates assess one security issue at a time and do not take a holistic approach to the overall protection of data. Each component of security might seem secure when working on its own but what is needed to be assessed is how much security they provide when working in integration. The flow of data needs to be considered as well for providing security to the data assets of the organization.

8. Settling for lesser security measures

Organizations often copy other organizations in the determination of security measures and goals. They model policies and chalk out security maps on the basis of what others are doing and this exposes the organizational data to a number of security risks.

This security issue can be tackled by striving for excellent security standards and practices. Do not settle for less. Do not let other organizations plan your policies and regulations. Sculpt your policies of security after the best practices of the industry keeping in mind the data flow of the organization. Organizational data security is of utmost priority.

9. Fragmentation of policies and processes poses to be a security risk

The scope of the protection and security provided to data is often specific to the regulation or the department. This ends up in an exposure of the data to a variety of security risks as different departments and regulations provide different levels of protection.

This security issue can be tackled by the development of data security strategies that are specific to the entire organization instead of to fragmented departments. The primary objective of such a strategy is to develop awareness and executive maintenance for the protection of confidential data with policies, technologies, and procedures that comply with the regulatory control, utilization and impending loss if the data is to be compromised with.

10. Retention of confidential data without a balance between rewards and risks

Retention of confidential data can be priceless for the purpose of the relationship, marketing, and analytical research. The rewards are high indeed but that comes with the thorough maintenance of security of the sensitive data and complete reduction of data storage risks.

It is the responsibility of every organization to balance the ratio of risks to rewards towards the latter and utilize the data in a way that ushers in rich benefits on behalf of the organization. However, if the secure storage of sensitive data costs more than the value of rewards then the data retention policies can be considerably refined so as not to put a pressure on the organizational budget.

There are a number of security issues in data processing but if strictly tackled then the risks and issues can be dramatically reduced.

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