The nature of network access means that current trends such as bring your own device (BYOD) and online storage is resulting in large holes within organisations.
Databases are becoming increasingly unstructured as a result of producing and saving information in file shares. It is believed that 80% of emails, videos, images, PDFs, etc are not saved in structured formats and therefore not easily or readily available.
With more and more data sitting in inaccessible devices and uncontrollable file shares it is becoming increasingly difficult to locate or identify relevant and essential information. There is no way of judging what is critical? What is not? Or who does it belong to? And even if it is possible to identify, can it be found in the first place?
Director of Identity and Access management at Quest Software, Phil Allen, spoke to SC Magazine and suggested that one solution is a proper access governance policy, but over the last two years he had not seen evidence of users providing ‘the right access at the right time’ to applications and data for this to be possible.
“This is what has occurred with unstructured data; we are giving good control via identity and access management (IAM) to manage access of applications, but access to data is unchanged so there is no trend to ‘identity manage’ the system, so we see a rise in 12 months. We’ve got to get more control around our unstructured data,” Allen said.
He said: “Good IAM and access governance is about putting controls in place, with SharePoint, it becomes very relevant. The data is visible to everyone and without good governance. There is a business risk about data falling into the wrong hands, but it is just as important to provide the means and mechanisms to request access to information easily. Those processes are going through to request access to information and there is not a good way to do this as there is for identity management, bringing together the separate identity management system to detect governance is very important.”
The problem with unstructured data is that the file share has been there so long that there is a problem in getting visibility to what is in the infrastructure.