Securing support

Features - Software Focus

To support IT professionals, stakeholders within the business need to be invested in a data protection solution.

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October 30, 2015
Janson Hoambrecker

In the digital age, data security is vital to brand reputation and business continuity. And with the digital universe doubling in size every two years, according to a study from EMC Corp., Hopkinton, Massachusetts, businesses now, more than ever, need to ensure vital information is protected, wherever it resides.

However, many organizations struggle to meet the now-critical necessity of data security and are, subsequently, paying the price. Consider the following data:

  • Nearly 52 percent of digital information created by corporations, especially financial data, is stored in ways that are unsecured.
  • Seventy-one percent of businesses are not fully confident of restoring their data, and 64 percent of companies suffered data disruption in the past 12 months, according to EMC’s 2014 Global Data Protection Index.
  • Ninety-three percent of companies that experience a data center failure go bankrupt within a year, according to the National Archives and Records Administration, Washington.

The bottom-line costs of these data disruptions can be massive: nearly $3.79 million, or an average of $159 to $174 per record, according to the Ponemon 2015 Cost of Data Breach Study. This doesn’t even take into consideration the cost to the company’s most critical asset: its reputation. In a 2012 study, the World Economic Forum estimated that, on average, approximately 25 percent of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation. Lose the trust of your customers and prospects, and you risk the loss of one-quarter of your business.

Recall launches CommandIG

Recall, Norcross, Georgia, announced the general availability of Recall CommandIG at the ARMA Live! 60th Annual Conference & Expo, Oct. 5-7, 2015, in Washington.

The company describes CommandIG as “a secure cloud-based or on-premise information governance solution that enables companies to easily govern paper records and digital information wherever it resides and address the challenges of secure collaboration.” Recall adds that regardless of whether a company operates locally, regionally or globally, CommandIG supports the information governance requirements for companies of all sizes and in any industry.

Ron McMurtrie, senior vice president and global chief marketing officer at Recall, says, “CommandIG is the solution needed to address secure distribution, collaboration, management and governance for all the physical and digital information created and consumed by an organization, regardless of how widely dispersed across industries and geographies they may be.”

Recall began commercial trials of the product more than six months ago, while technical trials began earlier, McMurtrie says. Several hundred of the company’s clients in the U.S. and Australia have been working with CommandIG from 60 days to several months, he adds.

With the growth of digital documents greatly outpacing that of paper, the information governance challenge is a technical issue, Recall says. Successful compliance depends on technical solutions that factor in legal interpretations, IT (information technology) expertise and records management insights.

CommandIG provides records management, legal and IT departments a way to apply consistent life cycle policies to documents, according to Recall.

As the volume of data grows for a company, it is more difficult than ever to keep up with the necessary infrastructure to store that information. Often, information technology (IT) professionals are tasked with maintaining information rather than with protecting it. A myriad of security solutions are alive and at work in every organization, but the approach too often is focused on simply “keeping the lights on” and leaves very little time for IT professionals to focus on proper data protection.

While IT departments know they need to have a data protection strategy in place, they don’t always have the time or resources to ensure the right solution is implemented. New data privacy threats and changes in regulatory requirements mean businesses need to continually evolve security. Although data protection is a business challenge, the responsibility falls on IT departments to make certain it happens.
 

Changing technology, increasing demands

Most mature companies already have a data protection solution in place, but many are not updated enough to fit current needs with new technologies. A disconnect between current business continuity and the data protection solution can spell disaster for many companies.

The demand on IT to drive business goals has increased significantly in recent years and has been complemented with an always-on culture. Compared with as little as five years ago, nearly every worker has a smartphone and works constantly. This shift to more digital- and IT-focused systems means IT departments are stretched and rarely given more budget or resources to handle day-to-day needs and update data protection solutions. The result is that data protection solutions and the “what if” of potential risk to data loss are put on the back burner.

Even though IT knows data protection solutions need to be updated, the necessary data points to make the argument are not always available. Most IT departments see the problem but don’t know how to make an urgent case for implementing the right data protection solution. Additionally, IT often views data protection as a lesser priority because business can continue if backup and archiving are not completed each day. The always-on culture is the priority instead.
 

Solutions introduce more challenges

Moving to automated and cloud-based systems allows IT departments to better address data protection without distracting them from their day-to-day responsibilities and emergencies. Automation removes the need for manual data backups. The result is a reduction in time associated with backing up data by IT departments as rules can be put in place to automatically back up and store data on a regular schedule.

Cloud is a more modern technology that is more appealing than traditional tape backup. The ability to store off-site without manually moving physical data (paper documents, tapes or hard discs) also increases efficiency by reducing the time spent backing up data by a factor of 10. Additionally, most organizations experience a reduction of potential costs associated with secure transport when using cloud storage.

Modernizing and moving to the cloud helps business users—finance, human resources, marketing and purchasing—meet business demands, but these same users can contribute to the No. 1 problem in the data protection space: human error. People are more likely to introduce a virus into a system or accidentally delete a file.

To address human error and ensure that information is properly protected on cloud applications, IT departments need to confirm that management and security solutions are in place, and they should be configured to meet each business’ unique needs. If the solution does not adhere to the regulatory and compliance requirements specific to the business, it is not the right solution.
 

Supporting IT for data protection solutions

To support IT professionals, stakeholders within the business must be invested in the data protection solution. For example, the IT department may maintain the system, but the accounting team knows which data are most critical to the business and must be backed up appropriately and can relate that information back to other company stakeholders. Alignment among stakeholders ensures IT gets the buy-in needed to obtain the investment and resources to create the right data protection solution for the business.

IT can have the best and most active role in being prepared and keeping the business going regarding the protection of data but only when others within the business provide the right support for data protection solutions.


 

Janson Hoambrecker serves as vice president and global market leader for Data Protection Services (DPS) of Recall, Norcross, Georgia. As the global market leader for Recall, Janson is responsible for the global strategies and product direction of DPS. He has a broad understanding of the data protection market and cloud marketplace.