According to recent research carried out by Veritas Technologies, a leader in enterprise data protection and software-defined storage, organisations around the world continue to house “dark data,” increasing the threat of cyber attacks.
The amount of data being generated by companies is doubling approximately every year and half. However, much of this new data will remain invisible. Dark data which Gartner defines as the information assets organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes is endangering businesses.
Value of Data, a survey carried out with 1500 IT decision makers and data managers across 15 countries highlighted that on average, more than half (52%) of all data within businesses remains unclassified or untagged, indicating that companies do not have visibility over huge volumes of data increasing the risk of cybercrime.
“Classifying data allows businesses to rapidly scan and tag data to guarantee that any proprietary or confidential data is appropriately managed and secured, irrespective of where that data resides,” says Rhea Sarmis, Veritas business unit manager at Axiz.
“Having full visibility into data ensures that organisations remain compliant with increasingly stringent data protection regulations, that are highly specific about data retention, as well as how it must be protected and managed,” she explains.
The research also revealed that public cloud and mobile environments remain the weakest links in the data security chain, as the bulk of data housed in these environments is most likely to remain unclassified and therefore not properly secured. “A mere 5% of those surveyed say they have classified all of their data in the public cloud, and a meagre 6% claim to have classified all of their data that resides on mobile devices.”
Alarmingly, 61% of companies admit they have classified less than half of their public cloud data with 67% having classified less than half of the data on mobile devices.
According to Sarmis with the vast majority (69%) of businesses are under the erroneous impression that data protection, privacy and compliance, are their cloud service providers responsibility, even though contracts usually stipulate that the onus is on the business itself.
Today’s workforces are no longer office bound and as they grow increasingly mobile the lines between personal and business environments become blurred, so does the organisation’s data.”Any data that is fragmented and invisible threatens the company’s reputation and even its bottom line, as it could fall into the wrong hands,” she adds.
Businesses need to take full responsibility for guaranteeing that their data is effectively managed and protected, and this is where Veritas solutions come in. “Veritas believes in knowing now what you have, keeping what you need and eliminating what you don’t need,” concludes Sarmis.