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SN blogs: Big data initiatives require vision and strategy

SN blogs: This week, an analyst discusses 10 big data vision and strategy questions; what's the best way to provide Wi-Fi to a campground?

Doug Laney, vice president of research, business analytics and performance management at Gartner, suggests 10 questions to ask when implementing big data initiatives. In order to effectively incorporate big data assets, organizations need guidelines to oversee governance and information management. Laney says that knowing how to communicate the value and economics of big data analytics and being able to point out sources of big data information is crucial to maximizing the impact those analytics will have on an organization. Two things are most important, Laney writes: what other people in your industry are doing with big data and what skills will be needed to deploy an initiative. Understanding what other people are up to can help to identify best practices. It is important to realize that "skills" are not limited to data scientists. To manage a big data initiative you also need people who can deal with the configuration, administration and management of the systems supporting the data.

Read the 10 big data vision and strategy questions Laney says you must ask yourself.

How to manage unlicensed airspace

Packet Pushers blogger Michael Lewis explains that 802.11ac is a protocol that works best in the controlled environment of an enterprise, but new protocols are needed for the mobile devices that are used "in the wild." Case in point: Lewis discussed his job at a campground where he needed to find a way to provide wireless access to an entire area that included campsites and buildings in the woods. After experimenting with several technology models such as Wired-VDSL, parkwide Wi-Fi and point-to-multipoint fixed wireless, he settled on parkwide Wi-Fi. One result of his research and development process was the realization of how unstable unlicensed airspace really is. With constant fluctuations in the number of mobile users, laptops being turned on and off and interference from previously connected Wi-Fi networks, dabbling in unlicensed airspace requires a lot more management and surveillance than an enterprise network would, Lewis writes. And this issue will only become more prominent as people seek wireless connections no matter where they are.

Read more of Lewis' process for creating an outdoor Wi-Fi network.

Protecting user data from NSA surveillance

Nemertes Research vice president and service director, Irwin Lazar, writes that the 2014 revelation of the National Security Agency's spying tactics on personal data have not made a huge impact on organizations that are making the decision to leverage cloud based services. That said, according to the Nemertes 2014-2015 Enterprise Technology Benchmark, 67% of IT pros surveyed said that they were taking a closer look at where data was being stored and who could access it. Lazar points out two efforts to better protect data -- one by Cisco and the other by startup Peerio. Cisco announced at a summit in November that it had submitted a draft to the Internet Engineering Task Force that would let customers hold their own encryption keys so that if the government requested access, they would go to the customer for permission, not the cloud provider of the application. Peerio uses an approach under which it claims it can't view customer data at all. Instead, its method allows customers to remotely destroy files stored on its network or on other user's computers.

Read more from Lazar about software as a service collaboration encryption.

Endpoint security, hot topic at enterprise organizations

In a recent Enterprise Strategy Group blog, senior analyst Jon Oltsik says that it is time to integrate endpoint security with network security, threat intelligence and security analytics. Endpoint security used to be a simple one-time set-up process. Today, many organizations are starting to implement continuous monitoring strategies and rethink endpoint security procedures. Oltsik points to ESG research that indicates 66% of organizations saying they have re-evaluated their endpoint security policies, procedures and tools to create a plan to improve endpoint security. Moreover, 59% of organizations say they have implemented technologies for endpoint profiling and/or continuous monitoring. Oltsik says if you're not sure if you can handle revamping your endpoint security strategy, you should seek help from service providers immediately.

Read more what Oltsik says about the changing dynamics of endpoint security.

This was last published in January 2015

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