With big data comes great responsibility

big_data_responsibility

Creating big data governance and standards of practice

As cloud computing continues to grow, many companies are turning their focus away from online database systems to data storage within the cloud—lots of data. Businesses large and small are scooping up information with content ranging from banal to highly personal to super-duper-top-secret. There’s just one problem; there aren’t any set-in-stone rules for big data. And although users and companies agree to some security and operation standards, we still have more work to do.

Making progress

One of many working groups formed to tackle these and other big data and online database management issues is the Cloud Security Alliance’s (CSA), Cloud Data Governance Working Group who are tasked with crafting evidence-based recommendations reflecting the needs of various stakeholder groups operating within an online database context. According to the folks as the CSA, “There is a need for an authoritative voice in making sense of the key concerns with data storage and processing techniques. There is also an urgent requirement in aligning current practices with governance, risk and compliance regulations.”

Taking the temperature

The Cloud Security Alliance isn’t the only group concerned with big data security and operational practices. KPMG recently released a report on cloud storage adoption. Of the 650 senior executives surveyed from 16 countries, more than a third indicated their companies would migrate to the cloud sometime in the next two years. Now, most of those senior executives also said they just weren’t all that worried about big data security. In fact, only 18% said legal and regulatory compliance issues were a barrier to adopting migrating to an online database.

Enter Shahed Latif, Principal at KPMG. From where Mr. Latif is sitting, this disparity “is likely to be more a function of complacency or lack of awareness of regulatory challenges and risks than of buyers’ skills or prowess at actually addressing these challenges”.

In the works…

Back to the CSA’s Cloud Data Governance Working Group. Their mission is to execute a full review of data concerning big data governance research in two phases. During Phase I the group will survey stakeholder needs specific to operational and governance tasks in the cloud. Phase II culminates in a prioritized list of recommendations based on key problems identified by users and operators included in the survey. The end result? Quarterly publication of various white papers tackling distinct issues in cloud computing. After that, these reports will ultimately contribute to the larger CSA Guidance documentation.