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Business leaders say ‘dark data’ poses more risk than value to their companies

by uma
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  • Tips for improving and enhancing corporate data security

At a time when UK businesses are facing an ongoing heightened cyber security threat from Russia, the 2022 DealMaker Meter* by DFIN, the leading provider of financial software solutions, has found that business leaders are concerned that their companies’ dark data holds more risk than value.

The dark side of data

The study of Finance, HR, Legal and IT professionals in the UK and the United States found nearly seven in 10 business leaders (69 per cent) said they felt data storage presents more risk to their organisation than value.

Following the drive for companies to collect and store ‘big data’ to improve data analytics and insights across multiple areas of their organisation, from sales and marketing to HR, companies now find they have an increasing cyber security risk from their ‘dark data’. Dark data is the data a company has collected and stored but hasn’t utilised or no longer needs, ranging from outdated customer information to old employee records.

This untracked and unused ‘dark data’ poses a significant cyber security risk to businesses and over half of C-suite level executives and IT professionals (53 per cent) say dark data is an extremely pressing concern.

Rising risk of data fraud, data breaches and phishing

Cyber security and data security incidents are on the rise across businesses of all sizes. The majority of business leaders polled said their company had faced several incidents in the past 12 months. Over half of respondents (52 per cent) reported phishing incidents had increased, half (50 per cent) said data breaches had increased, and over four in ten (42 per cent) said data fraud incidents had increased over the past 12 months.

Dannie Combs, Chief Information Security Officer at DFIN commented: “With the ongoing cyber security threat, companies need to put themselves on a war footing when it comes to their data security.

“Many businesses have only used a virtual data room for financial transactions, but we now have an increasing number of clients looking to use data rooms for enhanced security for their data storage and management across their organisations for optimum security. Businesses with large amounts of dark data should look to the latest technology tools and software to help them quickly and easily identify and redact sensitive data.”

Top tips for improving corporate data security

  1. Shine a light on dark data

Introduce software that shines a spotlight into the dark recesses of your organisation to identify and surface dark data.

  1. Safeguard sensitive data

Ensure that sensitive information is properly secured and redacted to safeguard it from falling into the wrong hands, particularly phishing scams.

  1. Scrub devices before disposal

When disposing of or donating dated hardware and devices, ensure that they are properly scrubbed of all business information. Familiarise yourself with Secure IT Asset Disposition processes and identify an appropriate partner to manage this for your organisation.

  1. Increase security for sensitive information

Increase security around, and even redact, sensitive information like National Insurance numbers and credit card information, making them only accessible to chosen high level employees to reduce the risk of a purposeful or inadvertent data leak.

  1. Educate all employees on cyber risks

Data privacy regulations are tightening around the world, and enterprises can suffer multi-million-pound fines for noncompliance. Protect your assets by raising awareness company wide and by investing in software that automatically redacts personally identifiable information (PII) and other sensitive data.

  1. Chose a cyber security partner that understands your security posture

Carefully select a software provider that fully understands and meets your cybersecurity needs to keep the organisation safe and sound.

 

 

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