July 28th 2020 – By Anna Cotton

Data managers fear their cybersecurity is not as strong as their bosses think

Originally published in RegTech Analyst and Fintech Global

Most executives believe their cybersecurity is up to scratch, but their data managers are not as certain, according to new research from Exonar.

The data discovery software provider has polled 500 IT professionals. It found that 84% C-Suite executives believe their organisation is continually able to identify the dark data it holds, whereas only 49% share their optimism.

Dark data refers to information that organisations collect, process and store during regular business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes. Dark data is primarily unstructured data – including documents and information which has been shared and stored in email inboxes, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets and cloud storage drives, and can pose a security risk if it contains sensitive information.

Indeed, 65% of the professionals polled said dark data poses a high risk to their organisation. However, only 39% of businesses are taking active steps to gain visibility of their data.

“Every organisation is storing dark data. This poses a risk, because you can’t secure what you don’t know you’ve got.” said Danny Reeves, CEO of Exonar. “Confusion between teams over their ability to find and analyse dark data is understandable, because so few organisations truly know what data they’ve got and where it is stored. We hope that by identifying this disparity we can help organisations to address it.

“Data is a business’s most valuable asset, yet a considerable amount are unable to identify what data they hold. Advances in data discovery means organisations can now find and reveal both structured and unstructured data at scale right across the estate.

“This is the only way to understand the breadth and depth of information existing within a company. Once you know your data, you can protect and power your organisation and the people it serves by both mitigating the risks in the data and also using it in positive and proactive ways to drive the business forward.”