Big Data Represents a Valuable Target for Cybercriminals, Microsoft Says

Trustworhy Computing VP Scott Charney published an interesting whitepaper

In a whitepaper called Trustworthy Computing Next, Scott Charney, the corporate vice president of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing, highlights three interesting trends: the evolution of the threat landscape, the role of governments in securing the Internet, and cloud computing and the concept of big data.

As technology has become an important part in the lives of individuals and an even more important part in the activities of organizations worldwide, cloud computing and the aggregation of global data – also known as big data – have been introduced.

While there are many benefits, big data also poses a number of challenges. The privacy implications and the fact that it's a tempting target for cybercriminals are just a few of the concerns.

Furthermore, since many people and companies rely on cloud computing, it needs to be reliable and the data stored on such systems must be available at all times.

Cloud computing and big data represent a challenge for governments as well. Some have been reluctant at first to move their systems to the cloud, but they have realized that they need to adopt the technological advancements to keep up with the rest.

However, a government’s “relationship” with the Internet is far more complex than it appears to be at first glance. State organizations are not just users of the Internet, but they’re also exploiters (they use it for military activities), and protectors.

“As users, governments are concerned about the same issues as other Internet users: how can we protect the security and privacy of the data throughout its lifecycle, across systems and devices?” Charney explains.

“How can we ensure that my system is available when needed, particularly in times of crisis? Should our agency embrace the cloud and, if so, how do we ensure our requirements are met by the cloud provider?”

Finally, the threat landscape is clearly evolving and while the quality of applications has improved, other perils, such as persistent attacks, have emerged. Experts believe that modern systems should be designed not only to prevent attacks and recover from their effects, but also to contain them to ensure that the losses they cause are minimal.

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