Data growth continues its relentless march, leading to larger data volumes for every organization. As a consequence, companies have shifted more of their data storage to the cloud. However, if you're not careful, cloud storage can result in your data being scattered across several data centers. This increases your data security risks and your overall data footprint. Although these may seem like minor issues, the two have the potential to cause serious problems for your enterprise.
What Determines Your Data Footprint?
Your data footprint is difficult to measure because it depends on a combination of factors, some of which are outside of your control. The simplest way to calculate it is to add up how much data you have stored in data centers. However, this method doesn't take into consideration how that data is stored. More modern data centers could fit that data into fewer, more efficient machines. An older data center, in contrast, might spread that data over many locations.
Data footprints have emerged as a valuable metric for a number of reasons. For one, there's an environmental cost to having a large data footprint. The more data you store, the more CO2 you're adding to the atmosphere. Likewise, there's a significant financial cost to having a large data footprint. However, another reason that should concern you is the connection between your data footprint and your data security.
The Link Between Data Footprint and Data Security
As your data footprint grows, so does your data risk. That doesn't mean we should be afraid of having more data, though. It's a part of doing business nowadays. However, how you manage that data will have a major impact on your security. If all of your data is indiscriminately uploaded to cloud servers, you're unnecessarily increasing your risk. Unfortunately, that's what many companies do.
You need to know your data in order to determine what belongs in the cloud and what doesn't. You may have hundreds of gigabytes worth of insignificant files and data you don't even know about. While many data centers are very secure, not all of them employ the same level of security. As you upload more files, they get sent to multiple centers. If one suffers a breach, all of your data can be made vulnerable.
Two Problems, One Solution to Reduce Data Footprint
Datacenter consolidation can only be achieved by minimizing your data footprint and relying on service providers that make consolidation their goal. However, even the best data center has a limit to how much it can contain on a single server or at a single location. Therefore, you have to know your data to prune unnecessary files from your cloud storage, and thus shrink your footprint.
When you know your data, you're also able to make smarter decisions for your security. Perhaps you avoid uploading sensitive information to the cloud, protecting it within the confines of your offices. Or, if you must upload it, you encrypt it and ensure that only the most trustworthy personnel have access. But how can you keep up with the ever-growing volume of data your organization has to manage? The answer is automation.
Automation Leads to Consolidation
You can't manage your data by hand anymore. There's simply too much for you to keep track of. Even if you could sift through your data manually, there'd be even more once you finished. Fortunately, automation can handle all of the work for you. Intelligent Data Automation tools can locate all of your data no matter where it lives, organize it and present it to you in a single dashboard. Uncovering hidden files and dark data that your organization was unaware of. Putting you in control to make better informed decisions to assist in reducing your data footprint. By knowing where your data lives and what type of data you have, you can avoid exposing sensitive information to the world and improve your overall security.
Know Your Data with Intelligent Data Automation
Intelligent data automation goes beyond classification and lets you take back control of your data. The SaaS platform finds your data no matter where it lives and presents the data in a single dashboard – showing where data lives, what type of data you have, how much data exists, who has access to this data. Allowing you to make informed decisions on what data to keep, what data to archive, and what data you can delete, ultimately reducing the size of your data footprint.
Reducing your data footprint has a number of benefits, with security being just one of them. To consolidate your data, improve internal operations, and strengthen your security, you need automation. Ask Aparavi for a demo of our data intelligence platform to see how easy it can be to automate your data management and improve your security and take back control.