big-data-breachesBig data has a shifting definition at the moment, in part, because the Internet has generated volumes of it. Big data covers structured, unstructured, and semi structured data that can become mined for information. The data includes any relative data from the past to predictions for the future so a refined definition will come.

Why does it even matter? Those who can retrieve, share, search or visualize big data have endless opportunities to make money from it. Data availability in many areas is not a problem since most data has a free access option. Which leads us to the next question. What is a data breach?

Data Breach

Some companies have been mining data for some time to develop business prospects. You often hear about names, numbers, and addresses being exchanged. Money paid for your personal information bartered between companies sometimes with your permission and sometimes not. The problem is not deliberate cyber crime but the fact the Internet naturally creates new enterprises that no laws exist for or the present laws cover poorly. It leaves opportunities available while leaving some paths open to cyber crime.

As reported by Infoworld, the average cost in the last two years of data breaches has increased 23 percent for a dollar figure of $3.79 million. Lost or stolen records that had sensitive information increased only 6 percent for a dollar figure of $154 for each item.  In cyberspace data functions as digital currency.

deliberate-cyber-attackWhat are Companies Using it For?

Companies have created a variety of means to make money on data. Harvesting consumer data offers insights into marketing. Harvesting personal data lets a company classify it so to personalize products in the most profitable way. Many problems have been solved by small entities and can become scaled upwards increasing productivity.


Unfortunately criminals are finding ways to monetize the money for dubious purposes that are not good for the consumer or the information. Ponemon did a survey on 350 companies globally about data security. All companies had experienced a data breach with more than 2000 to 100,000 records stolen. Most losses involve lost business due to not trusting the entity anymore for the infringement. The incident is investigated with audit services, teams formed for management and communications, and installing the new system.

The average cost has reached 99 million dollars this year. It depends on the company attacked. All data is not the same. Healthcare data has the most cost with $363 per record stolen in data security. It matters since privacy laws state you control the amount of information released not someone else especially with health issues. Interruption in routine, causes issues and loss of money, as well, but look at it as an opportunity to improve the system. Shrinking the stolen data market would help. So only buy data from reputable places and have them name the source of it. When retrieving data for your means develop a system that sends notices and declares how data has been sourced and used within reason. This raises trust and credibility. When installing security do so in multiple layers so it takes time to get to the data offering more opportunity to catch thieves.

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