For more than 20 years, Information Managers have been talking about the data explosion. Moore’s law has been referenced many times in seminars and conferences as it relates to how quickly the data we create and manage every day, being that it doubles every two years.
A recent survey of industry professionals confirmed that most of them had seen between 100 and 500% growth in the data they were responsible for over the two years of the pandemic, with most expecting it to rise a further 50% again in the next two years.
But this wasn’t the most telling statistic. Most organizations surveyed said that they had increased the number of sources of data by at least two new sources, some saying they had introduced more than five new sources of critical data over the same period.
Why is this important? It’s important because the information management industry has been struggling to manage the data that we already had, well before a global pandemic changed the very way we work. Now, that challenge has exploded. But it’s not just a pandemic that has changed this game.
Security breaches are inevitable
Security and privacy breaches across the globe are at the forefront of everyone’s mind. I don’t know anyone who hasn’t been subject to a ‘hack’, from as simple as a Facebook account being phished, through to someone using your credit card details for their own personal purchases. And like all of us, for businesses, it’s no longer a matter of if, but when this will happen to you.
The consequences can be far more dire than having to change all of your direct debits and subscription details. Ransomware, loss of public trust, and even significant fines from more and more prevalent privacy legislation are just some things that keep organizational executives awake at night. While having a better understanding of where your data is and what type of data you have won’t stop the inevitable, it puts you in a better position to react and give you the information you need to defend against the worst consequences.
Creating an exhaustive data inventory gets more difficult with every new tool adopted
A high-quality data inventory is just one of the tools of the modern cybersecurity team. However, traditionally these are expensive to create. They involve organizational surveys of the types of data departments and teams keep and where they keep it. These take valuable time away from other employees but are also redundant straight after the survey. And that’s assuming the employee understands the critical nature of the task.
For years, records management has relied on the end-user, who is either apathetic or doesn’t have the time to provide the real detail or capture everything important. Building a complete data inventory using employees is a task fraught with danger for the same reason.
Modern tools like RecordPoint allow organizations to consistently and quickly monitor their data sources to provide a high-value, accurate inventory. This can then be used for many other value-add purposes like data minimization, identifying ROT and PII/PCI, and providing a window into the corporate data corpus.
But the problem has evolved. Now there are so many sources, even these tools designed to capture the bulk of your unstructured data like SharePoint Online and One Drive are caught without the ability to really provide their value across all of the new data sources introduced in the last few years.
What’s worse is a lot of these other sources of information are highly configurable, and the traditional integration process can be costly and have ongoing issues of maintaining changes over the lifetime of the integration.
That’s where the introduction of Connectors becomes a real game changer for our customers. They can quickly and efficiently provide the same high-value inventory and sensitive data identification to more and more data sources without the ongoing headache of integration maintenance and code-based customization. This allows a customer to target the wide range of data captured across their organization.
Connectors use readily available technologies so they can easily be configured to your exact needs, allowing the establishment of connections to data repositories like Salesforce, SAP, Workday, and others, more quickly than ever before. Hundreds of connectors are ready to be configured on a highly scalable and available platform to make sure you have an accurate representation of what your data estate looks like.
Armed with this information, you can identify the dark data in your environment (data you didn’t know you had) and ensure that your security and records management practices around that data are compliant and relevant with the type of data stored. Allowing you to secure the important stuff better and perhaps the less important stuff more cheaply.
In the event of a breach, knowing where the intrusion was and what type of data was available becomes even more important to understand the response from your organization. I’d much prefer to be in a position to say, “yes, there was an intrusion, but we are confident they didn’t have access to any important or personal information.” Better than saying, “yes, there was an intrusion, but we don’t have any idea what they got.”
A data inventory gives you that confidence. The Data Trust Platform ensures you can analyze that data to have that confidence, and now in concert with Connectors, you can ensure that confidence has reached far beyond the traditional unstructured data stores we have struggled to manage for years.
View our expanded range of available Connectors, including popular SaaS platforms, such as Salesforce, Workday, Zendesk, SAP, and many more.
About the author
As Vice President of Product at RecordPoint, Kris Brown is responsible for developing and executing a long-term strategy for RecordPoint’s products. Working across Australia, New Zealand, the UK and the US, Kris has a unique perspective on the Information management industry and the needs of regulated entities with regards to trust and transparency. With over 20 years in Enterprise Content Management, mostly in positions driving technological change, Kris is excited about how Machine learning and AI will change the Records management products of the future.