Five Reasons for Big Data Breaches – Melanie Wieland

Data breaches are all too common this day and age. It’s not even mentioned as big news, just put on the side notes or back burner. Most breaches happen because of people’s carelessness, followed by corrupt individuals. In turn one has to ask, how do these breaches occur? Here are five reasons.

  1. Stolen credentials: Passwords obtained from stolen or lost phones/computers, the careless disposal of old devices, malware or data stolen in another data breech are the leading cause of network intrusion.
  2. Data stealing malware: Used in the breaches at Home Depot and Target recently, this is software that steals data, whether it is passwords, credit cards, keystrokes or any of a number of other types of private data.
  3. Phishing: The act of pretending to be a trusted entity for the sole purpose of eliciting usernames, passwords, birth date, Social Security Numbers, etc. from an unsuspecting target.
  4. RAM Scraping: This is the act of capturing data being temporarily stored in RAM, as happened in the infamous Target breach. There is a millisecond of time between a debit card swipe and bank approval of the transaction. It is during this holding period that the data is unencrypted, and is thus vulnerable to capture.
  5. Backdoor Malware: Malware delivered as a Trojan that attacks unpatched security vulnerabilities.


Work Cited

Bazen, Barry. “Big Data, Big Breaches, BIG PROBLEMS AHEAD?” Pulse. LinkedIn. 24 September 2014.



PR & Big Data – Melanie Wieland

Today, as time, knowledge, and technology advance, so does big data. Each year technology and big data largely improvement and expand. This makes big data technologies continuously evolve into a more in-depth, sufficient, and multifaceted technological world. It’s the main key factor for shaping the future and will never stop. Along with cutting-edge analytics, big data lets organizations unlock insights from data with precision and speed.

On the other hand, public relations is the strategic management in the best interests of one’s own association, as well as for the public in general. With the correct use of information collected from Big Data, it can help a firm stay ahead of potential public relations crises, decipher shifts in consumer behavior and cultures, uncover new market segments in a global marketplace, and help with financial forecasting. This is anywhere  from staying on top of public trends to corporate storytelling.

Work Cited

“Big Data: It’s Powers and Perils.” Accountancy Futures Academy. The Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business. Lincoln’s Inn Fields. London,United Kingdom. 2013. <;

“A New Approach to Public Relations in the Era of Big Data.” 86 Pillars. 2011-2012. 26 November 2015. <;


PR Advance with Big Data? – Melanie Wieland

Because of Big Data, PR pro’s easily have access and ability to a vast amount of information they would have never been able to gather without. This allows them to correct and adapt to the publics mindset and need, through Big Data’s feedback. Thus giving PR teams the ability to put together a much more effective and all-inclusive crisis management strategy, as well as circumvent future crises. This allows PR pro’s to find ways to address these issues with company management before they get out of hand.


Work Cited


“Stay on Top of a PR Crisis with Real-Time Analytics.” DATAFLOQ. 01 May 2015.


PRSA, Ethics Codes and Big Data Concerns- Katie Wyble

“The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) is committed to ethical practices. The level of public trust PRSA members seek, as we serve the public good, means that we have taken on a special obligation to operate ethically.” –PRSA Code of Ethics

In this post, I am going to briefly illustrate the exact codes that support the use of big data. Taking advantage of available information is essential to running a more efficient business no matter what it is. Utilizing big data is public relations is important to better know your audience and be able to reach them better.

I believe everything comes down to honesty. Few people in this world like getting lied to. Eventually, the truth of every matter will air and everyone will know. If you’ve been paying attention to the news or even you news feed, you’ve probably heard of Volkswagen’s most recent PR blunder. For those of you who haven’t, it involved a lie about the emissions of their engines.

The lie: environmentally friendly engine with low emissions.

The Truth: High emissions and terrible for the environment.

I can’t even begin to imagine the ordeal their PR department is going through. There are many people outraged by this and it is the job of their PR department to recover the image of the company.

From the PRSA Code of Ethics, “We adhere to the highest standard of accuracy and truth in advancing the interests of those we represent and in communicating with the public.” Any PR professional should uphold their integrity as well as their company’s by giving the public the truth. Without integrity and trust, what do you have?

“We provide objective counsel to those we represent. We are accountable for our actions.” If someone were to skew the given data from their resources with big data, they would be held responsible for their actions. Big data is called into question often because of the fear of a security breach. Thousands of companies utilize big data but it is their job not to misuse it. IT is possible for it to be a great thing and so far it has been! The only downfall is bad people using it for bad things.

Under the section titled, “Free Flow of Information” the PRSA Code of Ethics states, “Core Principle Protecting and advancing the free flow of accurate and truthful information is essential to serving the public interest and contributing to informed decision making in a democratic society.”

In other words, the PRSA is an advocate for fair use of information.

“Intent: To maintain the integrity of relationships with the media, government officials, and the public.” I know I’m harping on it but it makes a lot of sense: no member of the PRSA should be using big data for harm or misuse. In my last post I discussed the pledge and the necessity of every member signing it upon admittance to the association. By signing this, you are committing to upholding a certain standard the PRSA is associated with and prides itself on.

To view the full code of ethics go to:

Works Cited

How to Avoid Mistakes in Big Data by Melanie Wieland

The past few years have seen an explosion of new technologies for storing, analyzing and displaying the enormous amount of data available to businesses today.

Therefore, modern day, successful businesses must not only have the latest and the greatest to demonstrate to their stockholders, to inspire them to invest, but also realize that in reality that success is neither automatic nor assured.

The three biggest mistakes companies make in Big Data are:


  1. Don’t rely on technology alone.


  1. Don’t use old models.


  1. Making your big data analytics program a success.

Big Data helping change the name of the PRSA


For centuries the public relations profession has had a bad reputation of providing false information. The public will often excuse public relation officials of “spinning words”. Public relation officials have been known as manipulators for this reason and as a result PR has become know as one of the most unethical professions. The PRSA is doing everything in their power to eliminate this bad reputation, even enforcing a code of ethics that all members must abide to after taking an oath.

Big data is helping to bring PR out of the dark ages in hopes of tarnishing this awful reputation. You see with the public relations profession starting to use big data it’s hard to provide false information that you can blame on the PR officials themselves. Big data uses “powerful monitoring and social media intelligence tools, pulling and analyzing large sets of data…” In other words big data provides public relation professionals with information received by analyzing Internet activity. For example you can use big data to find out what social media outlet middle school children most often with a small margin of error.

Big data is helping the PRSA advance into the future with a positive outlook of the public relations profession.

Works Cited:

Before Big Data

The PRSA holds the title of the world’s largest organization of Public Relations officials. Working in public relations you are responsible for creating and maintaining connections between your company and the public. In order to do so, public relations officials must collect information on the public that they are looking to attract and draw interest to their company. Valuable information such as a person’s likes or interests really helps when you are looking for your target audience. Big Data provides public relations officials with this kind of information by analyzing Internet activity.

Before big data was around this type of data was collected by questionnaires, interviews, and direct observations. While all of these techniques work in there own way and are efficient, they can be flawed. The main reason why questionnaires and interviews do not work as well as big data is because people just do not want to participate. For example, how many times has a register worker handed you your receipt while asking you to participate in the online survey at the bottom and you have actually participated? Most people do not participate and lack of participation leads to lack of data collected. Using big data gives you the information you need without the worry of lack of participation, which is just one of the many components that makes big data the future of the PRSA.

Works Cited: