Data warehouses: A Security Disaster

    Date30 Aug 2002
    1165
    Posted ByAnthony Pell
    Through 2005, 80 percent of enterprises will not have adequately planned, defined or incorporated data warehouse security into their overall enterprise security plans, increasing by 75 percent the chance that a security breach will occur (0.7 probability). . . Through 2005, 80 percent of enterprises will not have adequately planned, defined or incorporated data warehouse security into their overall enterprise security plans, increasing by 75 percent the chance that a security breach will occur (0.7 probability).

    Through 2005, there will be little enhancement in software technology that will alleviate the personnel resources required or reduce the complexity of securing a data warehouse and business intelligence (BI) environment (0.8 probability).

    Just as an enterprise needs to ensure the security of its online transaction processing applications, so must users perform comprehensive planning for, and evaluation of, security issues for a data warehouse. Risk assessments and leverage of DBMS security mechanisms, as well as the use of security tools in conjunction with establishing comprehensive policies, govern the use and distribution of data from the data warehouse.

    Much of the problem is in the complexity of securing data in data marts populated from the data warehouse and when users take extracts of data and place it in unsecured locations. Significant challenges arise in setting up a process to secure data moved closer to the user on departmental servers and in evaluating mechanisms to monitor the use of the data. Monitoring data usage is critical for some industries, such as healthcare, to prevent analysis that uncovers information that could be used in an unethical or illegal way. Enterprises need to know how the data warehouse fits into its overall security architecture and then describe a complete set of assumptions, policies, services and mechanisms.

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