As enterprises increasingly ‘go digital,’ the constant flow of data has become the heartbeat of the business ecosystem. This growing mass of data is created, distributed and pumped through the veins of corporate networks, enhancing the requirement for protection and governance. Of course, this also creates greater opportunity for adversaries to actively target business’ critical data assets.
In the face of this new data and threat landscape, businesses need a renewed emphasis on data security and management. And this requires a total shift in mindset.
Many large organizations are starting to implement initiatives such as Data Loss Prevention (DLP) solutions to protect against hackers and internal threats, and Data Retention policies to ensure compliance. However, these alone are not enough, nor are they the first step any CDO worth his salt should take.
The success of such initiatives is dependent on having a clear sight of what your most critical data assets are. Therefore, in order to manage and protect data successfully, there needs to be a stage beforehand. We call this the identification and discovery stage, in which businesses can understand what data they have and organize it into groups by file type, value and so on.
This may sound so straightforward but, in reality, the fact that businesses now have millions if not billions of files means manually processing it would be entirely impractical. In fact, for a typical large organization with 100 million files (which isn’t a lot, in the grand scheme of things), it would take around 400 years in man hours to manually analyze the value of critical business data. That’s on the basis of five minutes being dedicated to locating, retrieving, opening, scanning and categorizing each file. In short, it is an impossible task for any enterprise.
Before you can begin protecting your most critical data, such as financial information, customer data and intellectual property, you must first know what data your business holds. This exercise ensures you know where your priorities lie and can then select a data management process to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Whether your driving factor is regulatory compliance or the protection of intellectual property, data first needs to be identified so it can be categorized and therefore protected correctly. There is no point in wasting budget protecting old, stale data when it could be used to secure and prevent the leakage of your most sensitive data assets.
Unfortunately, traditional solutions are no longer adequate. If you are a CDO or a business manager who values the data you own, or an IT leader/ records manager responsible for data initiatives, implementing an Artificial Intelligence (AI) data engine should be at the forefront of your mind. It is the only way to get a handle on the ever-growing amounts of data that business hold and rely on. AI can help discover, identify, classify and organize huge stores of information, without disrupting existing business processes.
At DocAuthority, our team still see many businesses suffering from data management challenges with their unstructured data, such as understanding what dark data they have, what data should be retained and how it should be accessed. With the influx of vast amounts of new data, much of it adding to the unstructured pile of data they already hold, IT lacks the precise knowledge of whether that data is valuable or not, and therefore where and how it should be stored. This simply compounds the issue.
Almost every large business has stacks of data they know nothing about. But by using AI, they can finally address how to sort, store and protect vast amounts of data with ease. The business benefits of using an AI engine to automate this are immense.
Firstly, you’ll be able to understand with 99.99% accuracy rate what and where the ‘crown jewels’ are stored, and who has access to them. As an example of how important this is, we’ve previously observed pay slips that were visible to all staff in one organization.
In addition, you’ll know which data presents a compliance minefield and should be discarded, be able to organize files for more effective and efficient data storage access, and know which files need the most attention for protection. And finally, you’ll be able to reduce data storage costs as you’ll effectively de-clutter your data.
For example, El Centro used our AI platform to make better decisions about which data they should protect and how to implement better data management practices across security, compliance and risk management. Within a short timeframe, we enabled El Centro’s IT team to apply encryption where needed, archive or eliminate unnecessary files, and complete their overall encryption project implementation. All this was achieved without the need for manual data handling.
DocAuthority’s AI platform brings value to businesses’ data chaos by automatically identifying and organizing unstructured data quickly and accurately. To find out how, request a demo here.
Mike is a full stack technology marketer with international enterprise and consumer experience in hardware and software products and solutions. Recently focused on digital, mobile and behavioural targeted marketing but with a strong background in humungous data, information and the networking and security of it, Mike is just as happy in a hectic startup environment as he is within a medium to large organisation. Get in touch with Mike on LinkedIn and Twitter.
by Alan Weintraub January 2019
by Mike Quinn December 2018