The Three Big Threats To Data-Driven Businesses

Posted on May 30, 2018

Dc Collins St 1

The modern data-driven business

For businesses that manage their own data and application needs end-to-end in-house, there is an approximately 50/50 split between logical or cyber threats and natural or physical threats. This model also places the entire risk for both types of threats on the shoulders of the business. They need to manage and account for both the risk derived from threats to data, applications and infrastructure from both virtual and physical sources.

The modern data-driven business model faces three key challenges:

Lack of skillsets – that ensure the right data is being collected, stored and analysed. Data science is a niche skill set and with lack of talent, organisations risk making full use of the benefits created by data-driven business models.

High investments – a very high focus on data may translate into high levels of investments into databases, software and hardware. While investments are essential, they should be in line with the organisations’ end goals. Over investment in big data and analytics tools can impact the return on investments and adversely affect the profitability and business plans.

Blind spots – a data-driven organisation should continue to be aware of its market and expect competition to come from unexpected quarters. High dependence on data may lead organisations to base their decisions on the available information and ignore market trends and innovations that may not be represented in their data.

Outsource the risk

When businesses look outside their organisation to data centre or cloud providers, the risk of a physical threat to this critical infrastructure is significantly diminished. 

These environments are designed to endure these types of threats and this essentially reduces this risk. If the provider uses multiple facilities in multiple locations, this additional redundancy reduces this risk to negligible levels, as the likelihood of adverse conditions affecting more than one location is remote. This type of arrangement also offers the best solution for maintaining the operation of critical business applications as well. Should your physical office or primary site fail for some reason, this added redundancy means that staff can still access and utilise critical data and applications. In many cases, the switching from primary to secondary site can occur almost instantaneously, leading to little if any effective business downtime.

Of course, virtual or logical threats, such as cyber-attacks, will still pose a risk, but by essentially outsourcing the risk from physical threats, these businesses can focus attention and resources on limiting their exposure to such attacks.

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