Is data a valuable asset or a business risk? – Part two
In the second of a four-part series of articles examining how data is a valuable asset as well as a business risk for organisations, Laurence Pitt, the director of security strategy for EMEA at Juniper Networks, explores the new data dependency.
Throughout its rise through the pyramid, the data’s elements remain the same. Their value increases because of the way they are combined with other data elements and how this enables organisations to move from a passive to proactive data stance. For instance, more customer insight enables a greater degree of personalisation which, in turn, should lead to more customer engagement and ultimately sales.
But we all know that data underpins every successful business. Shipping companies are lost if the data isn’t there to tell them where to collect and drop containers. Banks can’t function unless they have real time access to trading data. And retailers cannot keep the shelves stocked unless the data that tells them goods are needed (and in what quantity) exists. Whether it’s business, the process of government, research or medicine, our dependence on data will continue to grow and the consequences of that data being corrupted or denied grows too.
Yet the amassing of data, especially about customers and prospects, is for many organizations becoming the rope by which they hang themselves. New regulations, such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), mean companies must have the right storage, security and processes in place to protect this high-value commodity.
And, not only are the regulators keen for you to keep an eye on the data, so are your customers. The value of your data is only sustained if you can protect it. As soon as a breach occurs the effect on customers can be immediate. Many may lose their trust in your ability to store their data and under GDPR can demand all of their information be removed from your systems. Ultimately, many may simply never buy from you again, nor recommend you to others.
So the challenge for CISOs is that while more data helps the organisation make better business decisions, keeping that data secure is costly and more risky than ever. With data in various places, from CRM systems to inboxes, networks to databases and third-party clouds, securing it all is no longer achieved with just an endpoint solution.
- The way we access, correlate, and use data will continue to evolve driven by technology.
- New legislation, such as GDPR, is enforcing tough security, process, and access rules on companies who amass customer information.
- While data has increased in value, the cost to an organization of not safeguarding it effectively will also escalate.