By Swapnil Mishra - July 13, 2022 4 Mins Read
Dark data is a major challenge in enterprises, and it’s not going away soon. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce dark data and the risks that come with it.
Many businesses unknowingly ignore an entire category of data essential to their data protection and management policies in today’s ostensibly endless data volume and complexity. According to recent research by Veritas, Data’s Dark Side, a company’s data is typically more than 50% “dark,” or information stored in data repositories but has no assigned or established value. Dark data pose severe threats to an enterprise’s security and compliance efforts and has high storage costs, making it more crucial than ever to solve the underlying problems that lead to it.
Dark data threatens protection
The majority of firms are unclear about the data they must secure. Dark data reservoirs, which may house sensitive and important data, constitute a tempting target for hackers and ransomware attacks since dark data is frequently out of sight and out of mind for many companies. Clearly, understanding the data’s nature, location, and value is essential for surviving any ransomware assault. Organizations will be more successful in knowing how to safeguard data from risk and recover after an attack if they have a greater understanding of their data.
Dark data threatens compliance
Untagged and unstructured data makes it challenging to comply with continually changing regulatory environments. To comply with data compliance regulations, businesses may strategically implement data gathering, archiving, and surveillance capabilities. Companies will be able to adhere to strict standards and adopt retention rules throughout their whole data estate with better management of dark data.
Dark data and sustainability
Dark data plays a significant role in an enterprise’s environmental compliance. The environmental cost of dark data must be given attention as businesses attempt to create sustainability initiatives that will fulfill carbon reduction objectives. Companies must eliminate unnecessary data from their data centers and clouds to safeguard the environment from dark data. Enterprises have a great chance to lower their carbon footprint, adhere to industry environmental requirements, and achieve sustainability goals that are becoming more and more relevant to various stakeholders by appropriately handling dark data.
Managing and protecting dark data
Dark data compromises an organization’s compliance and security. Here is how data managers can better identify, manage and protect dark data within their company:
Proactive Data Management
For enterprises to obtain visibility into their data, manage data-related risks, and decide which data to keep versus delete before a critical security event occurs, data officers must adapt and act from a proactive data management mindset. Data managers can implement tactics to establish a proactive mindset, are data mapping and data minimization. These tactics can discover all sources and locations of collected and stored data, reduce the amount of data being stored and confirm that retained data is directly related to the purpose in which it was collected.
Using Technology Advancements
Businesses could benefit from technological improvements as well. Large pools of untagged, unstructured data may be efficiently identified, managed, and protected due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), which also play a crucial part in data management procedures. To ensure that sensitive or risky data is correctly managed and safeguarded, regardless of where it resides, the ultimate goal is to collect the information, not just the data, at the source (edge). This can be accomplished by fast scanning, labeling, and classifying information. As a result, by identifying vulnerabilities and mitigating risks, transparent AI and ML rules assist enterprises in gaining complete visibility into their data. The next frontier is that.
By lowering costs and enabling actions through untapped intelligence, properly managed dark data provides enterprises with a safer and more compliant future. It also opens up opportunities for organizational optimization and innovation within any company.
Swapnil Mishra is a Business News Reporter with OnDot Media. She is a journalism graduate with 5+ years of experience in journalism and mass communication. Previously Swapnil has worked with media outlets like NewsX, MSN, and News24.
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