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Is Data Putting Your Company in Peril?

Author: Tim Steele

Data is such a valuable resource that it is said to be the oil of the modern economy.

But if not managed properly, data can prove damaging both financially and reputationally for organizations—especially as cybercrime becomes increasingly common and regulators take digital privacy and security much more seriously.

That means an organization’s top executives, regardless of their day-to-day involvement in IT matters, should be at the table crafting policies and procedures related to data security. In fact, we’re in a “new era of data security accountability,” according to a report by Forrester: Is Your Company In Peril If Critical Data Is Breached? How Executive-Level Security Tools Can Protect Your Business. The report is more predictive than reflective—we only need to consider the headlines of major data breaches in the past 24 months:

  • Aadhar – 1.1B users
  • First American Corporation – 885M files
  • Marriott Starwood hotels – 5M users
  • GooglePlus – 52.5M users
  • Capital One – 106M users
  • Facebook – 540M users

Data breaches have far-reaching, negative impact for a company and its customers, including punitive damages, lost productivity, lost market share and damaged reputation. The average cost per incident can exceed $3 million by some estimates. 

Forrester concludes that, more than ever, senior business executives—not just IT and security teams—are being held accountable by external stakeholders in the event of a data compromise.

“It’s no longer optional: Business leaders must play an active role in protecting their company’s critical data assets. As recent, highly publicized breaches demonstrate, their firm’s reputation and stock price, and their jobs, are at stake.”

-Forrester report: Is Your Company In Peril If Critical Data Is Breached?

Forrester surveyed 150 leaders in IT, security and risk to learn about their approach to protecting data.

By the Numbers:

  • 51%: Say CEO or board of directors is most accountable to external stakeholders following a breach
  • 58%: Say they had recently suffered from a breach of critical data
  • 60%: Say executive-level security tools can improve ability to proactively manage the risk

Communication Divide

Notably, Forrester’s survey finds two-thirds of IT executives experience challenges with “understanding, identifying, translating, and communicating” the type of security information that business executives need. Frankly, IT, security, and risk teams speak a different language from many business leaders. Fortunately there are tools for business-relevant data security visibility that can help bridge the divide.

By the Numbers:

  • 60%: Of respondents agree that data security tools intended for business executives would improve their ability to proactively manage data risk

Investing in data security controls can prevent costly breaches and ensure that key stakeholders convene to help execute the company’s security strategy.

Effective Tools

Before business executives and IT leaders can begin to take these responsibilities seriously, the company’s critical data and information must simply be identified. This alone can be complicated: Forrester notes that 64% of IT leaders surveyed describe this task as “very” or “moderately” challenging.

By the Numbers:

  • 30%: Say their executive team has the operational metrics in place to provide visibility into the associated risk
  • 69%: Greatly value capabilities like a dashboard with views of business risk and affected sensitive assets, near real-time risk and exposure information, and analytics that assess risk type, among other business-friendly, highly visual features

There are companywide benefits to granting business executives access to a centralized command center with certain features:

› A dashboard with views of business risks and affected sensitive assets

› Near real-time risk and exposure information

› Analytics that assess type of risk, potential impact, and affected assets

› Security response guidance commensurate with the data’s value

› Graphic illustrations of affected information assets and business processes

› Drill-down capabilities to uncover, analyze, and visualize data-related business risks

› Continually updated risk registry to assess new risks and identify targeted info assets

› Mobile capabilities with views of business risk

Organizations equipped with the right tools will be positioned to protect personally identifiable information (PII), intellectual property and other critical data.

Heureka to the rescue

Heureka’s system is specifically designed to index, analyze and classify your unstructured data regardless of where it is within the organization. Having a full understanding around not only your data, but importantly, your data content allows you to protect the data that matters most. Auto classification of sensitive information allows users to quickly search, locate and remediate files before a data breach occurs.

Heureka’s centralized dashboard visualizes critical results: what was found, where it was found, and who was using the data. Heureka is an ideal solution for enhancing e-discovery, GDPR, regulatory, privacy and compliance applications.For more information, visit