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4 Big Data Privacy Concerns VARs Must Know

May 07, 2017

As you begin developing your Big Data business, you'll find that certain questions keep coming up in your client conversations. For many customers, those questions will revolve around Big Data privacy concerns. Your customers may be interested in the business value Big Data analytics can provide, but not if that business value is outweighed by privacy risks. Here are four Big Data privacy concerns you must be able to address.

1. Data leaks

Any organization that gathers customer data must worry about the possibility of that data being leaked or stolen. Depending on the application, Big Data can mine vast amounts of personally identifying or otherwise sensitive customer information. Should that information get out, scandal and financial disaster will result. Leaks can happen as a result of a targeted attack, malware, or even simple employee negligence. If data leaks are one of your customers' Big Data privacy concerns, be prepared to discuss Big Data-appropriate infrastructure, encryption and security solutions that can mitigate the risk.

2. Internal abuse of data

Remember those vast amounts of personally identifying and sensitive customer information discussed above? Storing them can pose a temptation to unscrupulous employees. There are a number of potential abuses of customer information, including identity theft, stalking, and harassment. To address this concern, learn about the anonymization, authentication, access control, and monitoring tools that can help limit employee access to customer data.

3. HIPAA/HITECH regulatory compliance concerns

For healthcare and healthcare-related or healthcare-adjacent organizations, HIPAA and HITECH compliance requirements will pose serious Big Data privacy concerns. HIPAA and HITECH govern the collection, storage, use, and sharing of consumers' Protected Health Information (PHI), and covered entities' Big Data implementations will have to comply with HIPAA and HITECH regulations or face steep fines and possible prosecution. You'll have to work with your customers to design and integrate adequate network segmentation, network- and data-level encryption and access controls, and other privacy measures into their Big Data deployments so they can remain compliant.

4. PCI DSS compliance

In retail, financial services, and other sectors that deal with customer payment information, the Payment Card Industry (PCI) regulates data protection and privacy through its Data Security Standards, known as PCI DSS. As with HIPAA and HITECH, PCI DSS compliance violations carry potentially heavy financial penalties. Organizations that must comply often list PCI DSS compliance among their top Big Data privacy concerns. Authentication, access controls, and encryption are particularly important, as are methods of ensuring that only authorized types of data are stored and processed.

Big Data privacy concerns can be deal-breakers for organizations interested in the technology but uncertain about the risks. As a VAR, it's your job to listen to your customers' concerns and to help them find the right solutions. If you're not sure what those solutions are, Ingram Micro can help. Speak to one of our technology and business development specialists to learn more.

What are your customers' Big Data privacy concerns? Let us know in the comments.