Paranoia is the best protection

Is Big data the only way to go?

The rhetoric that surrounds the digital world is getting all consuming in today’s business Paranoia is the best protectionworld. There are 3 main areas that seem to have the traction and the symbolism to stop an organisation and make it rethink its priorities.

In most cases an organisation is only as good as the last management decisions. This being said, the three areas that confuse and confound organisations and management staff of all sizes are Cloud, big data and cyber security. They are all here to stay.

You know where I stand on cybercrime – it is here, it is going to be here for a long time and the best protection is paranoia, training and awareness.

Cloud computing, the utilisation of someone else’s capability to do business. Is as expandable as the proverbial cloud and is paid for like a utility. You pay for what you need, but unlike a utility the delivery of the product is as varied and as splintered as there are businesses that not only use it but also deliver it.

Big data – now this is something that is once again going to change the business landscape. The people who use it and know how to get the right information out of all of the data that is generated and stored in the digital world are going to be able to do things that we have never seen before. Using the information and stats that big data can generate we are going to be able to predict the future of business. The capability of big data to do this will start to sink in in the general public will happen about now!

We are already seeing people trying to opt out of big data collection but the ubiquitous of the digital world makes it damn near impossible. We can all try to opt out of the digital world with not having accounts or “smart Devices” but everywhere we go and everything we do is recorded in some way. We have our business and personal transactions recorded and even using cash is problematic. There are multiple cameras in shops and in public places. We are being followed everywhere we go and in everything we do. In addition to that everyone in the normal first world seems to have a digital or video camera that they record everything with.

With everything that is collected, there are two problems – what has happened to privacy, it seems to have been replaced with something else. The second is more sinister, if we are recording and everyone, how do the cyber criminals seem to function with practical anominity. The problem is that normal people, going about their normal business, have no reason to hide from “big Brother”, criminals will and do. Maybe we should be looking for those holes and missing information rather than concentrating on the 1% of criminals who do not know how to hide.

When it comes to big data, who is checking that the information is being used in an ethical and moral way. We have already seen how some of this information is used by multinational organisations and government departments, who will manage that. We already know that the industry and the people who use this information are quite honestly incapable of impartial use of the information. Will we need some sort of external controls to ensure that big data is used for good?

I know, I sound like the artillery man from war of the worlds – I have made a start. The problem with the digital world and all the information contained within it is where do we start?

Roger Smith, is an educator. Teaching students at ADFA (UNSW) and showing them how vulnerable they are to cybercrime.

He is also CEO at R & I ICT Consulting Services Pty Ltd, an Amazon #1 author on Cybercrime and founder of the SME Security Framework. He is a Consultant who specialises in inexpensive and highly effective security strategies for small and medium businesses and not for profit organisations.

He has developed and authored the SME Security Framework and the Security Policy Training Course which are considered to be the definitive guides to helping SME's protect their organisation using the principles of Technology, Management, Adaptability and Compliance.