Data Ownership, Access and Location. It’s A Mystery.

toys.jpgWhen I look at the growing toy collection of my children. Fond memories come to mind – of their growth, maturity, younger years and etc.
However, what’s quite interesting is that the toys seem to grow in number as well. We lose track of who owns which toy at times. We wonder where is that doll from Aunt Jane or that car from Uncle Steve. Know what I mean? I think business data goes through a similar phase.
A recent survey by the Ponemon Institute, a privacy and information management research firm, done for Varonis a provider of data governance solutions indicated that being able to manage data is a challenge for many companies. The survey of 870 individuals who work in IT operations and have an average of approximately 10 years of IT and business experience found that knowing who created the data, who should have access to it and where it’s at is often a mystery.
For very small businesses that might not produce a lot of data knowing that most of the data is on one server or “Joe’s computer” is relatively easy. However, as your company grows in employee and client size (good for you) your data increases as well. It’s not just text documents, but spreadsheets, images, video and so much more are all “user generated content” that’s stored on your network. Knowing what data you have and where it is, is absolutely critical.
Additional key findings of the survey include:

  • 91 percent of organizations lack a process for determining data ownership and 76 percent can’t determine who can access unstructured data
  • 61 percent of organizations do not have a process for monitoring which users are accessing unstructured data
  • 84 percent of respondents believe controlling unstructured data access will remain important or get more important within their organization in the next two years
  • 77 percent of respondents note that automating the process of managing unstructured data is currently lacking, with the same percentage indicating that they would likely evaluate such a solution

To hear an overview of the problem of managing unstructured data check out this video