Symantec has announced the launch of Data Insight, a technology that investigates unstructured data and establishes ownership. The technology addresses a painpoint in businesses struggling to manage and secure critical information such as e-mails and spreadsheets. Data Insight will be integrated into Symantec’s portfolio of security and storage products – the first being DLP, which is expected to be released in the middle of this year.

“Unstructured critical data continues to be problematic to manage and secure,” says Shantanu Ghosh, vice-presidnet: product operations at Symantec. “By classifying this data and assigning ownership, information loss can be prevented, and storage costs and data usage can be optimised.”
Organisations can control the storage costs associated with unstructured data by storing it on the right tier throughout its lifecycle, based on a dynamic classification of its business importance. Data Insight with Symantec DLP helps organisations identify their most critical information and enables simplified data clean-up and remediation through automated data owner identification.
First, Data Insight finds files that are accessible to everyone by querying enterprise storage systems. It then determines who has modified or accessed those files.
Armed with visibility into who is accessing and using the information, organisations can make rule-based ownership inferences and alter access to stored data in order to prevent data breaches.
Information security teams can create notifications to send to the user if data has been exposed or can aggregate and send a report that has all the sensitive files the user has accessed.
“As always, the driving consideration for implementing this technology has been to control costs – the cost to a company’s reputation if data is lost; and the cost of storing unstructured data in expensive storage arrays because the company cannot establish which information is critical and which is not,” says Ghosh. “Data Insight will provide the necessary functions of automated discovery, ownership attribution and management to lower these costs and at the same time boost information security.”