This year it is the turn of Big Data. Organisations are no longer just capturing ever larger volumes of data, they are hoping to act on it in as near real time as possible.

The possibilities are exciting, but analysts are now warning that Big Data also presents a big threat to your organisation’s security, legal standing and reputation.

In creating analytical tools that can examine so much data, in some many diverse formats, as the Big Data advocates suggest, companies can become more exposed to security threats.

It is vital then to have data security and governance built in to the plan from the off. There is little point embarking on an ambitious project to consolidate customer data from across the world, only to find it breaches the law in certain locations. Early input can avoid these pitfalls, and embed appropriate solutions – in this case, for example, perhaps tokenising data is an answer.

Another tip is to use Big Data to protect Big Data. Network surveillance technologies can be combined with geolocation information to monitor for signatures of hacking behaviours. Similarly, real-time analysis of likely threats can be combined with knowledge of the sensitivity of certain data sets to prioritise what to protect on an on-going basis.

With the right people on board from the start, Big Data could be a good opportunity to introduce a strong governance policy across your organisation, improving security overall.

Discovering where all your sensitive data is, and classifying it into a sensible sets of priority, is the foundation for security, but IT leaders will need to make sure this ethos is embedded into Big Data programmes from the start.