August 24th 2020 – By Anna Cotton

Infographic: IT professionals disagree over their ability to keep businesses secure

IT Teams and C-Suite executives have differing views when it comes to the perception of how visible their data is, and how to keep businesses secure. Exonar recently ran research in the UK to understand how much visibility businesses have of the unstructured or ‘dark’ data in their organisations, which revealed this surprising disparity.

The survey of 500 IT professionals found that eight out of ten (84%) C-Suite executives believe their organisation is continually able to identify the dark data it holds. However, less than half (49%) of data managers agree that their organisation is able to locate this information. This suggests that C-Suite executives may overestimate their ability to identify dark data, or that their teams do not yet feel equipped with the tools to do so.

Dark data is defined by Gartner as 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.

“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.”

Despite this disparity, the security risks posed by dark data haven’t gone unnoticed – with two-thirds (65%) of respondents in the research saying it poses a high risk to their organisation making it a struggle to keep businesses secure.

However, there is evidence of a further disconnect as only a third (39%) of businesses are taking active steps to gain visibility of their data. Similarly, there is disagreement on how much data security in general is being prioritised within businesses – with a third (32%) of business owners believing their organisation is as focused on securing their data as on cyber-security, compared to just 8% of IT managers.

“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 mitigating the risks in the data and also using it in positive and proactive ways to drive the business forward.”

Exonar’s data discovery software makes structured and unstructured data easy to access, instantly searchable and usable in one place. Exonar can index a company’s full data inventory, enabling organisations to reveal where the most sensitive data sits, where policies and regulations are being adhered to by employees and where they are not – and crucially, to unearth the hidden value init.

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For further information, please contact Hannah Thompson: Hannah.thompson@tytopr.com, 07875 292187

Survey methodology

All statistics are based on a survey commissioned by Exonar in partnership with market research specialists, Sapio Research, in July 2020. The survey garnered responses from 500 IT professionals – manager level and above – working for organisations employing more than 500 people.

About Exonar

Exonar is the world-leading data discovery company building the crucial software organisations use to discover their data at scale, keep it safe and realise its value. Every company faces the same problem; knowing what data they’ve got, and where it is stored.

Exonar is the only software available today able to find and reveal billions of items of structured and unstructured information; enabling businesses to ‘know the truth’ about their data in order to reduce risk, uncover business value and deliver digital transformation.

Backed and funded by Beringea, Amadeus Capital Partners, Winton Ventures and Downing Ventures, Exonar boasts a growing list of customers from large and well-recognised brands in national critical infrastructure, pharmaceutical, financial services industries.

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