It’s a fact that effective Business Intelligence software is necessary in a data-driven world.
Every company is rushing to find the best, easiest to use software right now… but there’s one thing they’re forgetting to look into: data security.
If big data propels your business forward, a big data theft might drag your company to a screeching halt.
Today’s article examines the top security features you should look for in your Business Intelligence software.
1. Security at the Application Level
This form of security is basic, and any Business Intelligence solution worth its salt will offer this to you. In essence, this means that access to your software will be controlled on a per-user basis, or will be role-based.
For instance, application-level security is what makes it so that your CEO can access company data, but not your intern. Watch out for free programs on the Internet which may not have this feature. While it may be tempting to try a free software version to compare pros and cons of various features without having to time-consumingly set up separate users, remember that your company’s data is your company’s lifeblood. You don’t want just anyone viewing it or tampering with it.
In addition, application-level security also allows different people to access different information. Your HR department doesn’t need access to your sales spend allocations, and sales definitely shouldn’t have access to any part of HR. Make sure those role-based security restrictions are in place before you allow anyone into the system.
2. Security at the Page Level
This form of security specifies what features each user has access to once they’re within the program. This security form overlaps with what is called “row level,” and it specifies what displays on the intelligence areas that each role is allowed to access. For instance, if your system is set up to display the sales revenues-per-person, you certainly don’t want your various salespeople to be able to spy on each other’s results. However, you do want your sales director to have access to all that data.
3. Security at the Field Level
This form of security is what grants user privileges for viewing, adjusting, exporting, importing, or otherwise altering data. Going back to our sales department vs. HR department example, imagine that sales is looking at the pages to which they are allowed access. One of those pages is the sales revenues-per-person. Although you want your sales team to have access to their own personal results data, you certainly don’t want any of your sales people adjusting their numbers.
In addition, if you have extremely sensitive company data that is protected by government regulations, or if you’re in a field that is rife with espionage, you’ll want to prevent your employees from exporting reports into formats that they can store on their personal (read: “unsecured”) laptops. When you limit what your employees can do with your data, you safeguard the data.
Security is important for all computer programs, but since Business Intelligence software is the “new, cool thing,” it can be easy to overlook secured access when you want feedback from your company on how the various Business Intelligence options all perform. Don’t forget how important—and how sensitive—your company’s data truly is, keep it protected at all times. That’s a truly intelligent business choice.
Photo licensed by Dave Bleasdale