Over the past five years, while enterprise IT departments were focusing on the rise of cloud, mobile, and social technologies, a lucrative black market emerged around the acquisition and sale of information. Today, this includes personal data, intellectual property, financial details and almost any form of information with economic value.
It suffices to say that when it comes to data security, businesses now find themselves under assault like never before, and are in dire need of leadership to help overcome this systemic problem. Step forward the database administrator; the person with the knowledge and power to help secure sensitive data on behalf of the organization and its employees.
Like most free markets, the information black market sets the value of its focal commodity – in this case data – and allows buyers and sellers to connect via a complex underground network. Just as the world is producing more data than at any other point in history, these organized groups are finding new ways of stealing and monetizing this information.
For their part, senior executives are only too painfully aware of what’s at stake for their businesses, but often don’t know how to approach the problem. In an era where information is arguably the most valuable asset a company has, they will look to database professionals to help the business take a stand and prepare itself to best protect this crucial asset.
However, the knowledge gap these individuals will be addressing is large. Two-fifths of businesses admit they are not fully aware of where all the sensitive data in their organizations is kept, according to respondents to a recent Independent Oracle Users Group survey. Those taking proactive measures to lock down data and render it useless to outsiders are still in the minority, and relatively few have any safeguards in place to counter accidental or intentional staff abuse that could lead to a breach. These safeguards should also extend to DBAs themselves, as ultimately everyone in the organization is in a position to commit a data breach, whether inadvertently or intentionally.
That said, together with security professionals, database administrators do have a fighting chance to combat assaults on their organization’s data. Their background gives them a unique understanding of what the risks are to the organization, where to find them and how they can ultimately be addressed or, in the best case, pre-empted.
As the stewards of highly sensitive intellectual property and personal information, database administrators will need to step up and lead the battle against the villains of the black market. As Voltaire once said, “With great power comes great responsibility”, a credo that holds as true for comic book superheroes as it does for the security champions of the enterprise.
If database administrators can bring security concerns front-of-mind for employees across the business, and help drive protective measures at every level of the organization’s IT, they will be well placed to take a stand and fend off the security challenges of the coming years.
Check out the Security Super Hero Infographic here.