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Is Big Data a Big Danger?

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You have all heard about the hacking of big box retailer Target with the resulting loss of 40 million credit card numbers.  However, what you may not be aware of is the fact the FBI is warning companies that deal in terabytes of consumer data that 2014 is shaping up to be a year fraught with peril. Many large companies are expected to be systematically targeted by international hacker collectives.  In fact, a number of other companies and countries revealed that their data had been compromised to some degree in 2013, including such notables as Neiman Marcus, as well retailers in Germany and South Korea. 

What makes these breaches particularly galling is not only the scopes of the penetration, but also the fact that hackers are able to blatantly offer sophisticated hacking tools for sale on the open market. Sources believe that the Target security breach was perpetrated by hackers who used malware purchased from a pair of Russian teens.

The real danger is the fact that not only is credit card information contained in these systems, but also is a tidal wave of other sensitive consumer information. Since data mining has become so endemic and identity theft has become such a problem for so many consumers, the question comes down to whether companies whom collect this information without your consent can be held liable if they are unable to protect it?

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