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Addressing the Security Aspects of Business Intelligence

Martin Castilla            No comments            Jul, 1

Business intelligence (BI) is one of the most important weapons in the arsenal of a company. It helps the companies organize comprehensive long-term strategies and select the right means of implementing them. It also has a great role in creating a marketing strategy that’s best suited to the needs of a particular market.

However, because of the large amount of data needed to organize a comprehensive BI service, it could also represent a potential risk to the company security. This risk should be addressed and treated as a serious concern both for the sake of your clients and your own.

A comprehensive approach

The way technology trends have changed our daily lives has also created a new type of security risks. Every person now has more than one mobile device and it’s customary to use these devices for both private and professional purposes. Mobile access to all the official information is also a security threat that didn’t exist a few years ago.

This is why businesses should have a comprehensive approach to BI security that would include policies regarding personal devices and a proper training for employees regardless of their position in the company.

Structural issues

There’s a difference between business intelligence and data warehousing. Data warehousing is just about keeping a lot of information on hand. BI is a much more complex than that – it’s used to integrate the collected data into the business system. This also represents the source of all the security risks. All the data is stored in a single place which makes it easy not just to steal it but to change and manipulate it as well.

Security measures

Proper security measures start with choosing the right business intelligence software.The main concern when picking software solutions should be the security of your data and the ability of the software to deal with all the aspects of your BI. You should also take special care about the ease of use and implantation. The software should be able to replace your previous solution without any data loss or security problems. It’s also fine if you need to provide certain training for the employees, but security systems should be operational as quickly as possible.

Access control

Most of the security breaches happen from within. This means that your own employees are the biggest liability when it comes to data protection. One thing you could do is have a more comprehensive screening process for new employees, which is costly and could mean passing on the opportunity to hire talented employees. Another way to prevent internal security breaches is to install access control. This means that the employees should have access to data only on the need-to-know basis. This reduces both the time waste and the risk of data loss or corruption.

De-identification of data

De-identification of data is a process of preventing the personal identity of users and customers to be connected with the information your company saves. This process is irreversible if done right and it’s especially concerned with phone numbers, addresses and names. Credit card companies often use de-identification to ensure the users that their purchases remain private and anonymous. The process is also sometimes called tokenization because sensitive data is replaced with tokens that point out to data stored in external databases. It’s also connected to a process called pseudo-anonymization, which hides the identity of users, but stills keep the copy of information that could be useful to the company later on.

It’s imperative to address the security aspects of business intelligence in a comprehensive and planned manner. That way,businesses utility benefits of BI, but remains safe in the process.