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Data migration creates protection and availability issues

Research conducted by Varonis Systems has found that while 95 percent of organizations move data at least once per year, 65 percent of those surveyed admitted that they were not confident that sensitive data was protected during a migration. The research, conducted in August 2012 with C-Level IT executives, revealed that while migrations and consolidations affect virtually everyone, 96 percent of respondents reported concerns when performing data migrations, with many leaving their data overexposed and vulnerable.

Respondents listed the most challenging and time consuming aspects of performing data migrations as maintaining availability (68 percent), identifying and cleaning up old, unused or redundant objects (67 percent) and keeping data safe by ensuring correct access permissions (59 percent).

Despite these security concerns, a worrying 65 percent admitted that they were not very confident that sensitive data was only accessible to the right people during a migration. In fact, 79 percent admitted that they could not guarantee that their folders and SharePoint drives were safe from global access groups, with one third of these admitting that unprotected folders were rampant or unidentifiable. This is particularly worrying as nearly a third of migrations and consolidations are due to mergers and acquisitions, often leaving unprotected folders open to thousands more people after a migration.

David Gibson, VP of Strategy said: “The survey underscores that maintaining who has access to what is an ongoing problem for organizations. The scale of the problem that organizations face when moving terabytes of data may be surprising, as a typical terabyte contains about 50,000 folders, and of those folders about 5 percent, or 2500 folders, have unique permissions. An average access control list (ACLs) contains 3-5 security groups, and a typical group contains anywhere from 5-50 users, as well as other groups that contain even more users and groups. Let’s say each access control list represents 5 minutes of work to re-create—that’s over 200 hours of work per terabyte of data moved.”
With IDC estimating that 90 percent of the 1.8 zettabytes generated in 2011 is unstructured and predicting that over the next decade, the information managed by enterprise data centres will grow by a factor of 50, the scale of this problem is likely to explode even further - making manual management of permissions and migration virtually impossible.

When respondents were asked which features they would like in a technology to help automate migration activities, their responses aligned with their challenges and concerns. Most hoped for a solution that could provide easy selection criteria for choosing what data to be moved, automate incremental copies (allowing users to use source data during the migration), and automate permissions optimisation.
The data migration survey was conducted by Varonis in August 2012 with 200 IT professionals of whom one third were C-level executives. 41 percent of those questioned were from companies with 5,000 employees or more.

To download the full data migration research report, visit http://www.varonis.com/research/#data-migration

•Date: 18th Sept 2012 • World •Type: Article • Topic: ICT continuity

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