Embedded BI
Best Practice

Business Intelligence and Data Security

Finding the right business intelligence solution is increasingly difficult in today’s crowded market.

Not only does an organisation need one that matches their current needs, but one that also has the flexibility to remain useful in the future.

With companies in every industry recording more data on a daily basis, data security is another important factor to consider when selecting a business intelligence application.

In the last few years there have been several prominent stories from around the world about data leaks and security. I

n the UK there have been several stories of government laptops being lost or stolen, potentially exposing thousands of public records.

The Bring Your Own Device phenomenon is only increasing, with more people accessing work information via personal mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets.

Accidents, as well as malicious attacks, can happen to any business at any time, and organisations need to proactively seek out and use techniques to protect their data before they fall victim.

Some business intelligence applications access data that is stored remotely, often on virtual servers, so that in the event of a smart phone or laptop being stolen, no sensitive information is stored on the device.

Most business intelligence application utilise several different measures to prevent unauthorised access, starting with something as basic as password protection.

An addition to this is tarpitting, a simple but effective technique to slow down numerous malicious attempts to hack user passwords and prevent automated spam attacks.

A business intelligence solution should also include user levels to restrict internal users from having access to all data within the company.

A tiered approach to user roles can create a hierarchy within the application to match the organisational structure, which also means that users only have access to data that is relevant.

Too much information and any business intelligence solution becomes yet another bloated and complex report that an individual has to wade through in order to find useful and actionable data.

As well as different user roles around data access, privileges should also include permissions around how users share data.

This could be via PDF reports, email or SMS alerts, but not all users should have the ability to share data internally or with those outside the business.

This level of control should be built into the roles to ensure data is share appropriately throughout the business.

Multi-tenancy is also an incredibly power feature in a business intelligence solution.

This is where a single instance of the application can serve multiple customers simultaneously, without any risk of one customer’s data being seen by another. ReD, a global provider of fraud prevention solutions, use the multi-tenancy feature of Panintelligence’s business intelligence solution as part of ReDi, their BI fraud prevention portal.

This allows different customers around the world to access their information securely using one version of the application.

These are just a few security features you should look for when considering an investment in a business intelligence solution.

The volume of data being recorded in every organisation is only going to increase year on year, and every precaution needs to be taken to protect the information from accidental and malicious attacks.

Written by Ken