The unexpected key to sensitive data management

Do you have high-value data at risk of exposure?

With more than 40 percent of companies experiencing a breach last year (according to the Ponemon Institute), it’s clear that it’s not enough to just secure your perimeter to rest assured that your sensitive information is safe. Instead, you need to proactively dig into your files, identify sensitive content and properly manage it. The only problem: Companies don’t always have an actionable strategy to gain visibility into their storage, never mind locating or protecting this information.

Sensitive information doesn’t always play by the rules

Not every instance of sensitive data follows a predetermined format. Sure, when you see Social Security, phone or credit card numbers, you can likely recognize them. However, most organizations are storing vast quantities of files and folders that may provide home to employee records, contact databases, plus tracked URLs and other analytics that help them personalize experiences for customers, maintain professional partnerships and more. Depending on the industry a company operates in, that data might be further targeted to aid in student enrollment, legal case records or medical histories.

By creating custom tags tailored to your company’s needs, your IT system can help you track and protect this data by proactively alerting you about its location and status. If you’re wondering whether your data is fully secure, consider whether you can respond to questions such as:

  • Where exactly does our sensitive data reside?
  • Who is accessing which files, and how frequently?
  • When were these files last read or changed?
  • Are there anomalous spikes in data activities?

Enhanced search and discovery are critical for data insights

If you can gain insight into the locations and file paths where sensitive data resides, you can conduct the security measures necessary to protect it. For example, you can limit access, change permissions and delete instances of unnecessary information. By knowing where your sensitive data lives, your team can more accurately determine your risk profile and potential compliance liabilities, and protect your company from:

  • Data theft
  • Cryptolocker and malware attacks
  • Data destruction
  • Careless data management
  • Disgruntled employees

When you can evaluate your exposure risks, analyze security incidents and audit your data in terms of industry compliance guidelines, you can define, detect and defend your sensitive data – and rest assured that any confidential or regulated information saved to your servers and file shares isn’t at risk of a serious exposure.

Learn more tips for identifying and managing sensitive data.

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Tim Sherbak

Tim Sherbak leads product marketing at DataGravity, aligned to his passion for helping customers adopt new technologies and solutions to deliver breakthrough results. Tim has held sales and marketing leadership roles in some of the most pioneering companies in technology.