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It’s 11 PM … Do you know where your data is?

Security of Sensitive Business Data

Just about every day, I hear yet another horror story about data loss.

To my ears, that term — ‘data loss’ — doesn’t do the problem justice. ‘Data loss’ sounds almost innocuous, too much like ‘Gee, I misplaced my gloves, anybody seen them around?’

In fact, there’s nothing remotely innocuous about data loss. For one thing, it’s epidemic, and for another, it can cost your business plenty — in terms of not just money, but competitive edge, reputation, and customers.

That’s because data loss is about valuable data that gets stolen and sensitive data that gets exposed and compromised (and stolen). And no wonder: There’s a huge amount of data out there, and that amount is getting huger by the minute.

Which raises the first question: How much of your data needs security (to keep it from getting ‘lost’)?

Everybody’s different, of course, but let’s consider the world as a whole:

Last year, says research outfit IDC , the amount of data created (and replicated) globally exceeded 1.8 zettabytes — that’s 1.8 trillion gigabytes — and worldwide data volume is more than doubling every two years.

Three-quarters of that data — documents, images, music, email, texts, etc., and the files that contain it all — is created by individuals. But along the way, enterprises have some sort of liability for 80% of it.

So how much of that data is sensitive enough that it should be secured?

IDC delineates five categories of security — privacy only, compliance-driven, custodial, confidential, and lockdown — and concluded that in 2010, 28% of all the data in the world needed some level of security. By 2015, that percent will grow to more than one third.

So, is 28% — or more — of your business data sensitive?

I’m going to keep blogging about data loss this month, because I’ve only just scratched the surface.

Tim Burke
Meet the Author

Tim Burke is the President and CEO of Quest. He has been at the helm for over 30 years.