Chapter 8. Sharing Data Safely: Practical Lessons

This book has looked at the flipside of security: how to safely use or share sensitive data rather than how to lock it away.

The benefit of working with big data is no longer a promise of the future—it’s become an increasingly mainstream goal for a wide variety of organizations. People in many sectors are already making this promise a reality, and as a result, it is increasingly important to pursue the best practices for keeping data safe.

Data at scale is a powerful asset, not only for business strategies but also for protection. Collecting and persisting large amounts of behavioral data or sensor data provides the necessary background to understand normal patterns of events such that you can recognize threatening or anomalous occurrences. These approaches provide protection against financial attacks, terrorist attacks, environmental hazards, or medical problems. In big industrial settings, saving years’ worth of maintenance records and digging into them in combination with streams of sensor data can provide predictive alerts for proactive maintenance that avoids expensive and sometimes dangerous equipment failures. These examples make it clear that saving and using big data is a huge advantage. The question is how best to do this safely.

We started with the analogy of buried treasure known as the Cheapside Hoard, hidden so well that it remained unclaimed for almost 300 years. The lesson to be learned for modern life that embraces ...

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