Business intelligence (BI) software, such as Microsoft Power Bi, allows organizations to leverage big data and make better business decisions. Select Hub reports that 48 percent of companies place high or critical importance on these solutions. However, BI tools introduce a level of security risk that businesses must address.

Table of Contents

  1. BI Opportunities vs. BI Security Risks
  2. Why Business Intelligence is a BI Security Risk
  3. How Xplenty Can Help with the BI Security Risk

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BI Opportunities vs. BI Security Risks

BI opportunities come in many forms, making this software category attractive to businesses across many industries. The amount of data that many companies generate and collect makes it logistically difficult or impossible to process it for insights manually.

Some BI solutions automate data analysis and can quickly work with large data sets to produce reports and other visualizations. The decisions made with the help of these insights can lead to improved revenue, lower expenses, higher productivity, greater agility, and enhanced competitive advantages. The user experience simplifies the process for ad hoc analysis, making it easy for non-technical users to create reports.

Why Business Intelligence is a BI Security Risk

Processing and analyzing large volumes of data with BI tools open up organizations to several BI security risks. Understanding and managing these vulnerabilities is an essential part of keeping your data secure.

Analytics Software Processes Tons of Data Quickly

The typical BI solution works with data from multiple sources and aims to maximize the speed and accuracy of the reporting, especially if you have real-time or near real-time requirements. The system may ingest sensitive data that is subject to regulatory compliance, which can lead to fines and other penalties.

Dependent on the Security of Third-Party Providers for Cloud-Based BI Tools

When you work with cloud services, you rely on the provider to handle essential security measures. If they don’t place security as a priority, lack a security-centric culture, or have risky policies and procedures, your data could be in trouble. The level of IT security can vary wildly among BI tools.

Cloud Security Vulnerabilities when Moving Data from Your Systems and Sources to the BI Tool

Your data also faces a BI security risk when it’s on its way to the BI tool if you’re not using an on-premises solution. Cyberattacks could compromise the data in several ways, resulting in data breaches, data loss, and other serious consequences.

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Difficult to Secure Many Endpoints in Remote Workspaces

Whether employees are working from home or taking advantage of a Bring Your Own Device policy, you’re dealing with many endpoints. If someone has data access to the BI tool with a vulnerable device, hackers could access private and sensitive information.

Poor Access Control for Sensitive Data

Keeping your data safe requires more than technical safeguards. You also need policies and procedures that limit risks and provide strong data governance. For example, everyone with BI tool access may not need access to every data set to generate reports and visualizations. If end users have accounts limited to the sets relevant to their positions, unauthorized access to sensitive data decreases.

Security Flaws with APIs

You may use the API functionality offered by the BI tool or custom developed to connect your data sources to the platform. If the API has security flaws, then an opportunistic attacker could use that connection to access your systems and data.

Lack of Data Source Security

How secure are the data sources directly feeding into your BI platform? If these databases, platforms, and devices lack protection, then an attacker could steal, delete and alter data. They could also use this foothold to perform other damaging actions on your systems. For example, the Internet of Things (IOT) offers many types of sensors for data collection, but some of these devices have limited or no security at all.

BI solutions are quickly becoming a necessary part of effective business operations, so you need a plan to reduce the security risks associated with these platforms. You don’t have to compromise on accurate data-driven decision-making when you adopt the appropriate security measures.

How Xplenty Can Help with the BI Security Risk

Integrate Your Data Today!

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

Reduce your BI security risk with Xplenty, an Extract, Transform, Load (ETL) platform that provides many security features for protecting your data pipelines and data analytics processes. It sits between your data sources and data warehouse, defending your data well before it makes it to the BI platform.

Data masking: Remove sensitive data before it reaches the BI solution with data masking. Set up pre-defined data rules to control sensitive information handling and access. You can use several methods to improve your data protection.

Data encryption: Xplenty has SSL/TLS encryption in place and also supports field-level encryption with AWS Key Management Service. Keep your data privacy intact while using BI tools.

AWS security: Hosted on AWS, the platform’s systems leverage the enterprise-grade security of Amazon’s cloud, with powerful firewalls and other security measures. 

Limited operating system access: Xplenty staff are the only authorized users of the operating system, and they sign in with a username and key authentication.

Compliant with many regulations: If you operate in an industry or region with strict data regulations, you need a system that keeps you in compliance. Xplenty is certified for SOC 2, HIPAA, CCPA, and GDPR.

Explore how Xplenty excels at BI cybersecurity and data flow first-hand. Contact us to have a discussion about our 14-day pilot.