Big Data and Security

Big Data and Security: 5 Things You Need to Know

Currently, big data is one of the most sought-after commodities in the marketing ecosystem. Layered data and predictive analytics enable companies to “connect the dots” and identify what their customers want, how best to reach them, and the media they’re most likely to consume. Technology can tell you what your target audience is watching on television, while apps like Google’s Location Services can tell you where they (or their devices, anyway) have traveled during the past week.

The Security Problem

The problem with all this lovely business intelligence of course is security, namely, how do you protect the integrity of the data you have, maintain client confidentiality, and yet still use it to the benefit of your marketing efforts? These 5 tips will help:

  • Get Permission to Collect It: Most countries now have legislation in place governing the collection of data, such as the FTC’s Fair Information Practice Principles guidelines. These regulations require companies collecting data to build privacy settings into their digital products and websites, and to have them enabled by default. You’re asking for trouble if you collect or use data without the right permissions, and the penalties are no longer merely a slap on the wrist.
  • Store It Securely: After permission, secure storage of client data is the next most important thing on the list. With all the high-profile hacks in recent times, people are demanding their information be kept secure from intruders. Store your healthcare data in a secure cloud location, or use encrypted facilities with good access protocols.
  • Manage It Respectfully: The most secure storage in the world won’t help if users play fast and loose with data. Social engineering is a highly prevalent method of accessing information, so take your responsibility seriously and limit its access. Use programs that strip out any Personally Identifiable Information (PII) before processing data for marketing, which will prevent information like bank account numbers being visible.
  • Use it Wisely: “We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom,” says E. O. Wilson (Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge). This is especially true these days, but with big data comes the opportunity to blend your first-party data with third-party, narrow the target audience, and deliver real-time promotions and special offers.
  • Update It Regularly: Nothing is more of a waste of time and money than marketing expenditure based on out of date information. If your company isn’t equipped and able to keep your data current, contract with a service that can. Or don’t bother to collect it in the first place.

For more information on how to keep your marketing data secure and use it wisely, call Wax Custom Communications at 305-350-5700 or visit