infoTECH Feature

June 06, 2017

The Conundrum of Storing Our Data

Big data presents a significant opportunity for companies. It can be used as a means to increase efficiency in a factory, produce leads for new customers and even forecast sales for products months or even years into the future. It’s an amazing tool for companies to yield, and it can create strong competitive advantages in extremely fierce markets. That is why 48 percent of companies have invested in big data and another 25 percent are planning to.

Despite the opportunities presented by big data, many companies fail outright when trying to transform their data into an advantage by collecting and storing it. If you don’t take precautions, you could encounter serious issues that transform what would have been a great resource into a huge drain on your finances. With that in mind, below are some of the biggest issues with data storage you need to try to avoid.

Data Loss

One of the biggest dangers companies attempting to store data for important purposes often encounter is data loss. Data loss is a huge issue for the business world in general. An announcement by Dell EMC states that companies lose a staggering $1.7 trillion to data loss and downtime every single year.

What’s worse is that data loss can be brought about by the most mundane things. A lightning strike can wipe out all the data stored on company servers permanently. Even simple overheating for a piece of computer hardware can corrupt the data stored within beyond recovery.

Overall, you need to have a plan to prevent data loss from becoming a factor for your company. If you invest a lot into your big data strategies, significant data loss could cost you millions. Make sure you have a backup system in which copies of important data are stored in separate offsite locations apart from your regular data centers. Also ensure that the recovery process if you do lose data is easy and streamlined so you won’t be hurt too much by the potential downtime.

Data Security

However, just because you have the ability to backup and restore data to protect against data loss does not mean you are out of the woods yet. That data can be at risk from other sources. These threats include hackers, corporate spies, cyber criminals and malware. Hacking is a significant risk you must guard against. Ninety percent of companies have been hacked. It’s not a matter of if you’ll be hacked. It’s a matter of when you’ll be hacked.

The risk to a company’s data is real. These days, that includes the risk of ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware that takes a company’s data hostage. For the data to be released back to the company, a ransom of five to seven digits is demanded by the malware. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no promise that the data will actually be released. A recent ransomware attack of this kind affected over 150 countries.

Data Infrastructure

A third problem occurs when a company wants to save data but uses the wrong platform to do so. Storing your data incorrectly can make it unusable. It may exist and take up a large amount of storage space, but it can’t actually be analyzed in a way that benefits your company.

Investigate different infrastructure solutions for your data storage that will make proper data analytics feasible. Consider how a hadoop cluster is designed specifically to allow a company to store and analyze large volumes of unstructured data.

Overall, data storage on a large scale can present conundrums to business owners. This is why you must do the research necessary to insure that you have the right tools to store your data as well as protect it from threats like data loss and data theft by hackers and other bad agents.

Edited by Alicia Young

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