IT security managers say remote work will be the No.1 cybersecurity problem in 2021. But what big data challenges will businesses face in the next year? And how will businesses implement data security changes that solve these challenges?

We analyzed the findings of GetApp's 2020 State of Data Security Report, one of the biggest surveys of its kind. Eighty-three IT security managers took part in the report, which predicts, among other things, the biggest big data security challenges for the next calendar year. How can businesses respond to these challenges and execute big data security changes before 2020 is out?

Table of Contents

  1. Real-Time Compliance
  2. Data Categorization Alternatives
  3. Job-Critical Data Access
  4. Data Encryption 
  5. Industry-Specific Data Security Changes
  6. Authentication 
  7. Wider Data Security Changes Across the Board
  8. How Xplenty Solves Big Data Security Problems

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1) Real-Time Compliance

Businesses rely on analytics to uncover correlations between data sets and generate insights, but much of this data comes from various locations and requires systems to extract and transfer data to one centralized destination. This presents multiple security challenges. 

One of the biggest data security changes for 2021 will be real-time compliance that alerts businesses to various compliance-related issues such as data over-sharing or other regulatory violations. As a result, businesses enhance data governance and risk management. 

Many businesses already have compliance protocols for big data, but not in real-time. Slower methods could prove costly, especially with ever-growing data governance laws and hefty penalties for non-compliance. Overall, awareness of data privacy regulations among IT professionals improved in 2020 — 78 percent of professionals are now familiar with GDPR and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), according to GetApp's report — but businesses still need to implement data security changes like real-time compliance when using ETL and other data integration methods in 2021.

2) Data Categorization Alternatives

GetApp's report notes that categorizing big data as "public," "internal," and "confidential" prove insufficient for restricting data access and stopping data breaches. Data categorization might be effective for compliance and regulatory purposes, but other methods prove more efficient for overall data governance.

Eighty-two percent of companies in the report frequently categorize data, and 62 percent offer employees access to this data even though they don't need it. GetApp recommends authentication methods and data access controls (such as those outlined in the next section) as more effective weapons in the fight against data breaches. 

Recommended Reading: Data Security Threats and Compliance for 2021

3) Job-Critical Data Access

Companies that allow employees full access to big data are more likely to report a data breach than companies that limit data access, according to GetApps's report. Employees, therefore, should only access data critical to their job role. 

The report reveals that 51 percent of all reported data breaches happen at companies that allow employees full access to big data. That's over four times higher than companies that limit data access (12.5 percent). Data security changes like managing account members who use an ETL or other data integration methods could limit data breaches significantly. 

Implementing these changes now is useful, especially when organizations are encouraging employees to work from home until well into next year. Google, for example, anticipates its employees will not return to the office until at least summer. In GetApp's report, 45 percent of IT security managers said remote work security is the biggest threat for 2021, highlighting the need for major data security changes across all industries.

Recommended Reading: How to Prevent Data Breaches and 4 Ways to Respond 

4) Data Encryption 

One of the biggest data security changes in recent years is data encryption, which, among other things, lets businesses extract and load data from one location to a data warehouse without exposing it to unauthorized persons. Expect data encryption uptake to increase further as organizations prepare for data compliance in 2021. 

Thus far, some businesses have resisted data encryption. But how much longer can they hold out? Alternative data security methods like password expiration programs cost money and make up part of an "outdated threat model." Data encryption proves more effective when dealing with big data.

Recommended Reading: What is the Cost of Poor Data Security?

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5) Industry-Specific Data Security Changes

Big data security changes are important for the accounting sector — the most high-risk industry for cyberattacks in 2020. Sixty-three percent of respondents in GetApp's report who work in accounting reported a ransomware attack in the previous 12 months — well above the 28 percent industry-wide average. 

According to the report, the next highest at-risk sectors are:

  • Banking and financial services
  • IT services
  • Digital marketing
  • Education

These sectors rely on big data for analytics so businesses need to strengthen existing big data security models. However, these changes should be industry-specific. For example, financial companies should probably consider making a bigger investment in real-time compliance methodologies compared to, say, educational institutions.

6) Authentication

One of the biggest data security changes in 2020 was the rise of authentication methods to verify employees who access raw data and analytics, a trend seen across all facets of data management. According to GetApp's report:

  • 82 percent of businesses used two-factor authentication in 2020. 
  • 53 percent used biometric data security, such as facial recognition and fingerprints — up from 27 percent in 2019. 

Authenticating access to big data prevents insider threats and data breaches. 

7) Wider Data Security Changes Across the Board

GetApp's report reveals that 86 percent of organizations worry about big data privacy, a 12 percent increase from a similar study GetApp conducted in July. Organizations realize the importance of:

  • Protecting customer data
  • Protecting company data
  • The impact of COVID-19 on data security 
  • Customer expectations
  • Data privacy regulations

Organizations that implement data security changes can solve these challenges when dealing with big data in 2021. 

Integrate Your Data Today!

Try Xplenty free for 14 days. No credit card required.

How Xplenty Solves Big Data Security Problems

Many cybersecurity risks happen during data integration when organizations move data from various locations to one centralized database for analytical purposes. Extraction, transformation, and loading processes, like other methods, can be a challenge because all data poses a security risk, no matter how granular it is. If organizations are serious about data security changes for 2021, they should invest in data integration tools like Xplenty that follow the latest security protocols. Xplenty maintains the highest security and data protection standards, with SSL/TLS encryption, SOC 2 compliance, physical security powered by  Amazon Web Service (AWS), network security, system security, and GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA compliance.

Are you looking for a secure and compliant ETL platform?  Schedule a call will our support team to discuss the changes you want to make to your data integration security. You can also experience Xplenty's strict compliance for yourself with a 14-day risk-free pilot.