The New Rules for Protecting Unstructured Data

March 5, 2018 Avani Desai

How many places do you store work-focused unstructured data? For many people, handwritten notes, digitized ones in OneNote or Evernote, cloud-based storage systems, such as Dropbox and Box, and productivity software is merely a partial list. And this varies from person to person and department to department across most organizations.

Managing such disparate information is challenging enough, but securing it is even trickier. Many companies have established policies and procedures that govern access to structured data, but these often fail to extend to all that unstructured information. This can leave organizations woefully vulnerable to breaches from hackers, state-sponsored groups and other rogue entities, who may seek to take advantage of the rising price of such data on the Dark Web and other recesses of the internet. There’s also the risk of losing a competitive advantage to unscrupulous competitors, who might gain direct access to your data or obtain it when your employees leave and join a rival.

Such issues are compounded by the increasing proliferation and variety of mobile devices and employees logging in to company servers via unsecured networks at home, in coffee shops and in airports. Simply put, it’s more difficult than ever before to protect unstructured data and prevent unauthorized, third-party access to it.

So what are you to do? Simply throw up your hands at the Gordian Knot of information that has been created and resign yourself to hacks and breaches, and the potential fiscal and regulatory consequences? Not at all! Luckily there is some hope.

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About the Author

Avani Desai

Avani Desai the President at Schellman. Avani has more than 15 years of experience in IT attestation, risk management, compliance and privacy. Avani’s primary focus is on emerging healthcare issues and privacy concerns for organizations. Named as one of the 2017 Global Leaders in Consulting by Consulting Magazine she has also been featured and published in the ISSA Journal, ITSP Magazine, ISACA Journal, Information Security Buzz, Healthcare Tech Outlook, and many more.

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