The Value of Cloud-based Analytics: How Understanding Your Data Helps Keep It Secure


Data is one of the most important business assets. Knowing where to start with keeping your data secure can be hard. That’s why analyzing a company’s data is key to securing it, shares Erfan Shadabi, a cybersecurity expert at comforte AG, and discusses the need for cloud-based analytics.

Data is one of the most important business assets, and it’s almost impossible to think of a company that doesn’t produce it. Stolen data is often used to extort (and sometimes double or triple extort) victims, demand ransom, and ultimately damage a brand’s reputation, which can all be catastrophic to the bottom line. 

Over the last few months, we’ve seen data leaks hit huge companies like Uber and Rockstar, the publishers behind the Grand Theft Auto game series. Let’s delve deeper into the need to leverage cloud-based analytics for wider and deeper data visibility.

Why Survey the Data Landscape?

Data is one of your most important assets, so it makes sense to analyze that data intelligently. When you intelligently analyze data, it can improve and accelerate decision-making alongside other benefits. According to expertsOpens a new window , data-driven decision-making can help leaders to realize important cost savings, make more informed decisions and help create an overall more proactive organization that provides better services. 

As technology evolves and changes, so does the data landscape, which is why cloud-based analytics platforms are the foundation of data analysis. It’s estimated that more than 40 zettabytes of dataOpens a new window will soon flow through cloud servers and networks. There is valid concern around cloud-based analytics platforms and the risk of managing and handling privacy and security. However, when harnessed correctly, the results are cost-effective and advantageous to a business. So how do you strike the right balance between the risks and benefits of using cloud-based analytics? The answer is intelligent, adaptable data-centric security.

The largest challenge that faces most IT environments is that most of them were not designed with a clear data-centric strategy in mind. Many teams and environments are made up of an amalgamation of new technologies, years of expansion and rapidly changing data storage needs and capabilities. IT teams often battle managing multiple databases, services, and applications across constantly changing infrastructure. All of this makes handling data complex and that can make it hard to manage data manually. By streamlining the process and moving data to a cloud-based platform, you can achieve compliance, keep track of where all your data is stored and make it easier for teams to manage. 

But before you even think about moving all your data to cloud-based storage, you need to survey your current data landscape. Why? Because you can’t protect what you can’t see! By surveying the landscape, you can see how best to protect your data. The process of surveying should help you uncover where your data is coming from, how it is being used, where it is stored, and how sensitive it is. Once this information is ascertained, your data can be secured and moved into a centralised cloud store. 

Learn More: Gloomy Skies for Cloud Investment in 2023

Three Steps to Visibility  

Teams can take three main areas of action when looking to drive their cloud-based analytics projects. At the forefront of these measures is keeping in mind that visibility into the current data landscape is important. 

The first step is understanding data lineage and flows across the IT environment. This is especially important when teams are dealing with a lot of data. When risk can be identified, a company can best work out how to apply the appropriate protection methods to prevent exploitation. 

Second, sensitive data elements can continuously be scanned for when taking a data-sensitive approach. This can help appease the concern around the privacy and security of data in the cloud. Any information that may have slipped through existing security and protection controls can be picked up by analytical platforms, giving companies the time to fix them before they become a problem. What’s more, this helps support continuous compliance and data protection in the data warehouse. 

Third, using cloud-based analytics can help you prioritize and identify data elements that must be protected. Again, you can’t protect what you can’t see! By investigating all your data, you can get an overview of the state of your whole system, which makes it easier to prioritize areas of concern. This helps you keep on top of data security and governance. 

Not All Solutions Are Created Equally

The world of cloud-based data analytics and data-centric security solutions can be overwhelming. It often requires some specialist help and guidance to ensure your data is secure and safe. Crucially, securing your data is not a one-size fits all activity. Organizations need specific capabilities to achieve a successful, secure data environment. These capabilities include the continuous discovery of sensitive data and advanced data lineage discovery, automated, AI-powered data discover, and dedicated smart data warehouse scanning capabilities. Many organizations employ a third party to help them achieve these goals. 

There are plenty of ways to implement a safe and secure data-centric security solution, but understanding your data first is key. It helps identify what needs to be protected urgently and the best approach to take to do it. This ultimately streamlines the process of data-protection to aid internal and external data compliance and reduce risk of attack. 

How are you incorporating cloud-based analytics to expand data visibility? Share with us on FacebookOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , and LinkedInOpens a new window .


Image source: Shutterstock