Data is growing rapidly, and with so many applications making up modern business systems it is often largely unstructured. Data sprawl across an organisation starts to create new challenges with data and how it is stored, managed and protected. There is also a significant risk to data in the form of cyber-threats, ransomware still being one of the most common in 2017. In addition to protecting systems, organisations have a responsibility to ensure they are compliant with data protection laws and industry regulations, something which becomes increasingly difficult without a full understanding of what data the organisation holds.
What is eDiscovery?
eDiscovery, otherwise known as electronic discovery, is the process of identifying, collecting and managing electronically stored information (ESI). ESI includes emails, documents, databases and other digital content. One of the most common challenges with eDiscovery is the large volumes of data created across an organisation on a daily basis. As data grows over time, eDiscovery becomes more important as it will play a large role in underpinning how data protection policies are carried out across the organisation.
Challenges with data
By implementing secure policies and procedures to manage and protect data, organisations are able to increase their chances of compliance and reduce avenues of risk. This also acts as best practice and will often form part of disaster recovery and business continuity plans in the event that a full site loss occurred. However, there are inherent problems with this, as many organisations are unable to identify clearly what data they have, how long it should be kept for and the best way to protect it. Certain data sets will have to be kept for longer-term retention, however without being able to clearly identify which this will also be a challenge for organisations and there is the likelihood that ROT (redundant, obsolete, trivial) data will also be held.
One of the most common ways to protect and store data for longer-term retention is to utilise an archiving solution. Historically, tape has been the most common media used for storing archive data however this presents challenges of its own. While tapes are a relatively cheap storage option, they often require an element of human intervention to take tapes from the primary site to a secondary storage location; the secondary storage location will often have an associated cost too. When data is then required for access, tapes must be located, retrieved and restored before data is usable, presenting a challenge if the data must be accessed quickly.
Unstructured data refers to any data that does not sit in a structured database or storage structure. Often this data is data generated by individual users that is not stored centrally. This will also include any data that is generated in or stored in shadow IT systems; shadow systems present a huge challenge in terms of protection for IT teams, as more often than not they do not know this information exists.
How is cloud archiving different?
Cloud archiving utilises cloud based storage, to securely migrate data from primary storage to secondary storage systems. As with many cloud based systems, this often utilises automated policy driven selections of data. By using an insight tool cloud based archiving solves the challenges of eDiscovery by giving organisations a full overview of their data. As it is a cloud based solution, it can be quickly and easily rolled out across multiple systems, giving a centralised view of data volumes, data types and the age of the data. This gives organisations the ability to identify data, update data protection policies and improve the way they manage and protect data.
Having identified data and gone through an update process with the data protection policies and procedures, it will be easier for organisations to ensure compliance with data protection laws and industry regulations. This also gives a platform for more accurate reporting which will help to demonstrate compliance.
Redstor’s cloud based archiving solution has a built-in intelligence and identification tool, to assist organisations in understanding their data so that it can be securely protected. Utilising automated data policies, Redstor archiving mitigates the need for human intervention and reduces the possibility of human errors that could lead to data breach. To learn more about Pro Archiving, sign up to hear all about it here.