Out of sight, out of mind? Not where dark data is concerned.
What is dark data? It’s information that a company has collected but no longer needs. And in the age of Big Data, that’s a lot of information: Outdated customer records, ex-employee files, old security videos, supplier details, phone numbers, email addresses, credit card numbers, SSNs, healthcare records.
In the hustle and bustle of everyday business, corporations sometimes don’t worry too much about dark data. They overlook it, leaving it unprotected — and that’s when cyber criminals pounce, stealing it for their own nefarious purposes.
According to DFIN’s new report — Understanding Risk: The Dark Side of Data — nearly 70 percent of enterprise leaders surveyed said that storing detailed information presents more risk than value to the overall enterprise.
They’re right. Criminals can sell dark data, use it to perpetrate financial fraud, even commit blackmail. And the corporations that the criminals steal from can be held liable.
Where does dark data reside? Unfortunately, it’s everywhere — on laptops, file servers, smartphones. It’s inside the walls of your business — and it’s in your suppliers’ systems as well. That’s bad news, because cyber criminals increasingly are targeting supply chains.
Enterprise leaders must identify dark data and decide whether to store it, protect it, or purge it. Fortunately, modern tools can speed along the process. DFIN has a suite of solutions that is helping clients today.
- Data Protect Solutions automate the finding and redacting of Personally Identifiable Information (PII).
- Venue virtual data room secures the M&A process — which typically involves sharing thousands of documents — with an integrated auto-redaction software tool powered by AI and machine learning.
- eBrevia contract review software has AI engines for scanning contract language to ensure that expected controls are embedded in supply chain agreements.
Cyber criminals are hoping businesses ignore dark data so they can keep stealing it. Companies that know better are educating themselves about this potentially grave exposure and taking action to help put the bad guys out of business.