Data is at the heart of today’s business. It’s an essential business asset, the lifeblood of the modern organization. While essential, however, it’s also a real headache—and those headaches come from everywhere.
- Management: The amount of data now being held presents a huge challenge. Whether the focus is storing it, protecting it, or just managing the volume, the issues can seem endless.
- Regulation: The increasing regulation of data shows no sign of abating. Becoming and remaining compliant with the appropriate regulations and ensuring the organization is correctly governing the use of data is not easy.
- Security: Security remains the primary challenge for most organizations and data is the number one target. Cybercriminals’ main goal is to achieve access to data. Whether to steal it, deny an organization access to it, or use it to commit other crimes, data is the ultimate target in most cybersecurity cases.
It was hard enough when the data was in one location. But today, it’s in the cloud, on SaaS platforms, and in mobile and IoT devices. The challenge is further exacerbated by ongoing needs for collaboration, analytics, and everyone’s new favorite, generative AI.
Regardless of how much value an organization sees in its data, discovery, compliance, and security all need to be addressed. The failure to do so will almost certainly cost businesses money and lead to problems with regulators and customers alike.
Approaches to tackling these problems are not new. Individual solutions for data management, compliance, governance, and security already exist and are often mature and widely adopted. However, as data and the demands made of it have grown, those traditional individual tools have begun to creak.
The use of individual tools is now adding to the challenge. Perhaps it’s the gaps between tools presenting risk, the increased operational overhead of managing them, or the difficulty in pulling together the disparate results into a cohesive overall solution.
No matter, it’s time for a better approach: the data security platform (DSP). These solutions bring together the individual elements into a single platform, a platform that delivers the end-to-end capabilities for managing, governing, and securing the data an organization needs.
What is a DSP?
At a high level, a comprehensive DSP delivers across the three main areas of data management and security.
- Discovery: The ability to find data and understand where it is, how it is used, and by whom.
- Classification: The ability to build a comprehensive view of the types of data held–in particular, sensitive information that could pose a risk.
- Security: The ability to safeguard data as needed using a range of methods, including access controls, data loss prevention, encryption, and rights management.
Bringing these capabilities together into a single platform has real value. It provides a holistic picture of the data environment, allowing for a better contextual understanding of the data, how it’s being used, and by whom. The more context an organization has regarding its data estate, the more accurate its view of risk is, enabling the implementation of protection that’s both accurate and robust.
While organizations can and will continue to use individual tools to tackle the challenges that data presents, the value to be had from a single DSP can be significant.
Before deciding if DSP is for you and jumping into an investment, there are some things you should consider.
- Are you ready? A comprehensive data platform only works if an organization is ready for comprehensive data control. Data security projects are complex and take time, and new approaches will require cultural change in how data is handled. Organizations need to fully understand what this means and be ready to commit fully. Without this commitment, projects will fail.
- What’s the plan? An organization needs to create a viable adoption plan. Data security is complex and moving to a DSP will take time. However, it doesn’t all have to be done at once. Organizations can build their DSP approach over time, starting with discovery and building an understanding of the data. This in itself can help an organization to develop a strategy and an understanding of the controls it needs before attempting to implement and enforce them.
- What are you protecting? There are many ways to deploy DSPs and lots of approaches to how they work. It’s important to know what you’re doing in advance. What does your environment look like? Traditional and on-premises? Modern and cloud native? Or a mixture of both? The answers will drive the kind of platform you should consider and the criteria you’ll need in order to evaluate potential solutions thoroughly.
The challenges of ensuring the safety and availability of your data are not going to get easier. Finding a solution to help is not a trivial task, but the basics covered here should help as you start the journey toward finding a DSP that will meet your needs.
For further help, you’ll want to take a look at GigaOm’s DSP Key Criteria and Radar reports. These reports provide a comprehensive view of the market, outline the criteria you’ll want to consider in a purchase decision, and evaluate how a number of DSP vendors performed against them.
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