Half of data held by A/NZ businesses is 'dark'

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Wednesday, 05 June, 2019

Half of data held by A/NZ businesses is 'dark'

Australian and New Zealand organisations have limited or no visibility into more than half the data they hold, according to research commissioned by enterprise data protection company Veritas.

The research, conducted by Vanson Bourne, found that 52% of all data held by organisations in the two countries is ‘dark data’ that remains unclassified or untagged.

Public clouds and mobile devices are the weakest link in data security, the study found, with just 5% and 2% of companies respectively having classified all data that fits within these environments. Around two-thirds of respondents have classified less than half of this data.

Previous Veritas research indicates that 63% of cloud users wrongly believe that data protection, privacy and compliance is the responsibility of cloud service providers, despite many cloud provider contracts placing data management responsibility on their business customers.

Classifying data involves determining key criteria such as its level of importance, its location, whether it is subject to compliance regulations, and whether it is permissible for the data to reside in the public cloud.

Determining these criteria enables businesses to gain visibility and control over data regardless of where it sits within an enterprise environment, according to Veritas Technologies Managing Director for Australia & New Zealand Howard Fyffe.

“As workforces become more mobile with diminishing boundary between work and personal life, company data has become dispersed across numerous environments,” he said.

“When data is fragmented across an organisation and has not been properly tagged, it is more likely to go ‘dark’, threatening the company’s reputation if it does not adhere to global and local data protection regulations such as GDPR and Australia's Notifiable Data Breach. Organisations need to take full responsibility to ensure their data is effectively managed and protected.”

But while organisations consider strengthening data security (49%), ensuring users are able to back up and recover data effectively (44%) and improving visibility and control over their data (43%) to be among their top priorities for improving data management, the majority admit that their organisations need improvements across all these areas.

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/valerybrozhinsky

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