(The Hosting News) – A growing number of businesses are storing their data on mobile devices and cloud solutions that are beyond the scope of traditional data protection security measures, a new survey has found.
Research by security software firm Symantec revealed that the rise of cloud computing solutions and growing use of tablets and smartphones are the main drivers for this information sprawl. It observed that 46 per cent of all global business information is now stored away from data centres. However, among small and medium-sized businesses, this rises to 53 per cent, including data stored on laptops and other mobile devices.
Francis deSouza, group president of Enterprise Products and Services at Symantec, said that “businesses are undergoing a transformation unlike anything we’ve seen before” due to the impact of new technologies.
He added: “With mobile devices and cloud giving employees access to information from nearly anywhere, we’re also seeing more sensitive information living beyond the traditional IT boundaries.” However, he warned that this is leading to new concerns about the safety of sensitive information.
Mobility is one of the key drivers of this trend towards information sprawl, Symantec noted, with 14 per cent of corporate data now held on smartphones and tablets. But this is an area that needs to be monitored closely as it could be a potential weakness in a firm’s security.
The study found more than one in three firms have had confidential data compromised because of the loss or theft of a mobile device. Therefore, it will be vital that companies put adequate precautions in place when employees are using these gadgets.
Cloud computing is another area where businesses may need to take precautions, as many firms are turning to these solutions because of their lower costs and the fact they can boost a company’s agility. The survey revealed 23 per cent of global business information is now stored remotely, including public, private and hybrid cloud deployments.
This may be set to grow even further in the coming years as more firms adopt the technology. A recent study by Spiceworks suggested almost three-quarters of companies will adopt some form of cloud solution by the middle of next year.
Therefore, Symantec stated it is vital data stored on cloud or personal devices has robust protection in place. It recommended the right strategy for doing this will focus on protecting the information itself, rather than focusing on the device or data centre where they are stored.
It is also important companies are able to prioritise data and assess what should be their focus when putting in place security solutions. It noted not all information is equal, so “businesses must be able to separate useless data from valuable business information and protect it accordingly”.
Other tips offered by Symantec for ensuring firms make a success of their data include ensuring they are efficient in how they store it. It was noted many organisations may face issues because they store their information in so many disparate locations it is hard for them to find it quickly when they need it. Therefore, techniques such as deduplication and effective archiving will be vital in bringing this wealth of information under control.