Last November’s infamous data security breach at Target Corp., now believed to be one of the largest recorded data security breaches in U.S. history, provided a painful reminder to the retail giant (and the 40 million customers whose information was stolen) of the importance of diligently protecting data. “Big data” is now a big buzzword and for many business owners nationwide, Target’s cyberheist served as a wake-up call regarding their own security policies and how to protect big data from the bad guys.
What is ‘big data’ and who wants it?
Everyone has big data, and all of it is targeted for the taking, from customer lists and marketing information to manufacturing processes and engineering notes, according to a cyberintelligence agent who spoke at a recent meeting of the North Dakota chapter of InfraGard, a public-private partnership focused on sharing information and intelligence to protect the U.S. from hostile acts, including cyber attacks. The program is led by the FBI and includes members of various businesses, educational institutions, health care organizations, law enforcement agencies and anyone else who has an interest in the topic and passes an FBI background check.