Data management was already becoming more and more of a challenge. Companies have been churning out more data than they know what to do with. But with more employees working from home and companies scrambling to find data solutions, another breed of data has propagated: dark data. This data poses a threat to your data analytics and data security.
Gartner defines dark data as “the information assets organizations collect, process and store during business activities, but generally fail to use for other purposes.” Some may think that if the data is dark, it must not have been that important in the first place, so there isn't much to worry about. But that ignores several problems presented by these files lurking on your servers.
Dark files are most often temporary files created by programs or work-in-progress files that were later abandoned when the job was completed. These files can contain sensitive information. Older installations of Outlook, for instance, left massive PST files with full records of all the user's emails. Imagine that falling into the wrong hands.
When you don't know what data you have, you won't know when it's gone missing or what went missing. That security risk is unacceptable for companies today as it puts them in great risk from cyberthreats.
When your data goes dark it not only poses a security risk, but it also provides no value for your business. Some of this data could be very useful for your data analytics. Perhaps some of these files could shed light on your business practices and help you develop better policies moving forward.You'll never know unless you discover and identify those files.
Dark data can also end up being included in your analytics without your knowledge. Hidden files in folders or misplaced files can get mixed in with the rest of your data. If you unknowingly use the wrong data, you will get misleading results, putting your entire analysis in danger.
Security risks and the threats to data analysis are clear, but that's not where the problems end. These files accumulate over time. They must reside somewhere, whether that's in the cloud or on your servers or on local machines. In either case, they add to your data storage costs.
When employees do stumble upon these files, you slow down their productivity.Like finding a random key on the floor, and not knowing what it opens. Valuable time is wasted determining the value of these files.
To sum up, dark and unknown data is not harmless. It's a risk to your data security, negatively impacts your employees, fails to provide real value, raises your data storage costs, and can even corrupt your data analysis efforts.
How do you drag data out of the dark and discover your unknown data? An intelligent data platform can discover your data, learn where it lives, identify the file types, and present it to you through a single dashboard. Additionally, the automated classification that you select will further identify and classify that sensitive data.
Once you know what data you have, and can identify redundant files, obsolete files and trash data – you can take control of your data and deliver the value to your organization.
If you'd like to see what Aparavi can do for your company, visit our Try Now page and schedule a call. Our Data Experts are ready to get you started. Installation takes less than one hour, and no salesperson involved. What do you have to lose?