LIVE FROM GSMA MOBILE 360 SERIES – PRIVACY & SECURITY: The problem with big data is there is so much of it – 2.5 billion GB of data is being created every day – and businesses are not doing “a great job of managing it,” argued Jeff Hales, associate partner at IBM’s application and data security practice.

Speaking in a session covering the protection and security of big data in enterprise, Hales said around 90 per cent of all existing data was created in the last two years alone, and by 2020 there will be 14 trillion GB of it. Enterprises, therefore, need to get a handle on it now.

The key is knowing what, and how much, data a company has, and then knowing how to protect it. Businesses should segment their data based on sensitivity, regulation, and the ramifications of the information being compromised. All data is not created equal and therefore cannot be protected in the same way, he stressed.

In fact, protecting all data in the same way would be unnecessarily expensive and Hales said a “baseline for security” should be established to match the associated risk to the data at hand.

Meanwhile Rames Sarwat, head of strategic alliances and partnerships at ElevenPaths, Telefonica’s global cybersecurity unit, said big data is a disruptive technology offering great opportunities, but also potential security risks because it is in the early stages of adoption.

On the plus side, security management of big data is not different from the methods used to manage other IT systems, and Sarwat recommended businesses set up “multidisciplinary teams” familiar with the technology to work with an experienced external partner.