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A recent global survey by PWC titled “Revitalizing privacy and trust in a data-driven world” makes some sobering observations in terms of where the corporate world stands on privacy and data security. There is little question that data is growing at an exponential rate, and shows no signs of slowing. On average, corporate data grows at 60% per year with 80% of all data determined to be unstructured meaning the data is sitting loosely in places like file shares, cloud repositories or on the physical endpoints themselves.

PWC notes that smaller businesses are still in their infancy when it comes to data-use governance with only slightly over half of 9,500 respondents having an information security strategy. Only fifty-one percent of respondents have an accurate inventory of personal data.  Larger corporations ($25B+) have shown to have a better handle on data-use governance with 70% having an information security strategy with 67% having an accurate inventory of personal data. The PWC report clearly shows that Middle Eastern businesses have the lowest overall ratings when it comes to data strategy, privacy and compliance.

Many organizations worldwide are not doing all they can to protect privacy

One of the main take-away’s from the study is that C-Suite executives need to own the management of digital risk. Hiring a Chief Privacy Officer is certainly a first and vital step, but executives must do more in order to gain traction on their data security. Below are a few of the next-step suggestions made in the PWC report.

  • Engage your board – Board members should be engaged and knowledgeable about data protection and privacy policy and steps taken to manage it
  • Prioritize data-use governance – Businesses should balance data use with strong protection and detection controls
  • View GDPR as an opportunity – GDPR can force companies to align themselves to an overall strategy for success versus simply being compliant with existing regulations
  • Consider the risks of regulations abroad in a strategic context – Create a policy on how to respond to foreign regulations should you encounter them
  • Champion responsible innovation –  Industry needs to support developing standards and most importantly build ties between privacy and technology professionals.

Businesses that rush to transform digitally without building in security and privacy are on the path to obsolescence.

Heureka Software Automatic Risk Dashboard

Heureka Software provides innovation and intelligence at an unprecedented level. Explosive data growth has illuminated the fact that there has been a serious lack of tools capable of providing context around unstructured data. Heureka provides the vital intelligence needed at a deep level whether the data lives on a laptop, desktop or a corporate file share.

Our automatic, daily classification engine exposes risk deep within file content where traditional tools have normally failed. Users can quickly and efficiently locate high-risk assets and then use Heureka’s remediation tools to collect, quarantine, or delete files.

Heureka ACT Master Tag Library

Heureka Classification Library

In addition to Heureka’s automated risk classification, users can classify documents at truly global scale using Heureka ACT (Advanced Classification & Tagging). File-level information can be identified using powerful combinations of search tools and regular expressions to identify sensitive data such as PII or PHI, or files that may contain financial information, intellectual property or any other type of sensitive data.

Once a file is classified in Heureka, the system globally applies an identical classification tag regardless of where the file resides! Classification tags always remain in-sync across all endpoints ensuring that classifications are always up-to-date and available regardless of which computer or file share is being searched.

With strong data privacy and security comes trust. Organizations are being forced to deal with the reality of data privacy through regulations and laws. Almost daily news stories about data breaches, unencrypted plain text data storage, spyware and ransomware prove that not knowing where your sensitive data resides will have consequences in your organization. Sound policies and procedures for protecting sensitive information is a critical step in building and maintaining trust with your clients.