etiCloud | What is dark data?
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What is dark data?

Could dark data enable cyber criminals to target your business?


A recent study from international data management firm, Veritas Technologies, has revealed that almost half of UK company data is unclassified or untagged. Such data is referred to as ‘dark data’.

1,500 IT decision makers and data managers (100 located in the UK) over 15 countries took part in the survey. Even with the number of security breaches continuing to rise in the UK, and the implementation of GDPR last year, the results showed that 48% of the total data within UK organisations can be classed as ‘dark data’.

So, what’s the problem with dark data?

Dark data provides cyber criminals with almost everything they need to access your business-critical data and carry out a cyber attack.

Since dark data is unclassified or untagged it is not easily visible making it vulnerable to external attack. By taking time to classify or tag data i.e. sorting and categorising it into various types, forms or another distinct class, it can be properly managed and protected, irrespective of where it exists. Detailed classification also enables it to be separated according to specific requirements and able to be seen clearly.

Public Cloud and Mobile Environments – a data security challenge!

Data is a highly valuable asset in any business, so it’s imperative that it’s correctly stored and protected. Do you know where your company’s data is stored? Do you use a Public Cloud or a Private Cloud? And do your employees use mobile environments to access company data?

Public Cloud and mobile environments are relatively easy for hackers to infiltrate and do damage to your business. Data security is particularly weak in these environments as most of the data tends to be unclassified and, as such, not sufficiently protected.

Back to the survey and more eye-opening discoveries. Only 9% of UK firms stated that they had classified all of their data in the Public Cloud, with only 8% classifying all data housed on mobile devices such as iPhones and laptops. That’s a significant data security challenge to overcome for those who have only classified a small proportion of their data.

What’s the answer to the dark data issue?

Well, first of all, classifying and tagging ALL of your company data! Next, you need to make sure that any data generated from this point onwards is also classified and tagged to ensure it is protected. At the same time, you need to switch to a Private Cloud Platform.

Our Hosted Desktop offers the Fort Knox of digital and cyber security. You and your employees can access a private business environment via a Hosted Desktop which is ring-fenced through our purpose-built Private Cloud Platform within UK-based IBM Tier 4 ISO 27001 data centres; the crème de la crème of data centres. Data in transit is fully encrypted, and anti-virus and anti-spam software is all part of the package as is Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe PDF reader. Mobile tech is accounted for too. Every user can connect securely on any device, including tablets and mobiles, wherever they are in the world. Plus, it’s really easy to integrate software and transfer any current data you may require.

IBM’s MaaS360

We can also highly recommend IBM’s MaaS360, a cloud-based device management platform that we have implemented for several UK businesses. MaaS360 can be used to secure a broad range of different devices, operating systems and data in any company or organisation. It also delivers excellent visibility and control over all of the smart connected devices used within your company.

One challenge, two solutions

So, two solutions to the challenge posed by dark data from the team here etiCloud, both of which are tried, tested and proven to exceed expectations. If you need support protecting your business from cyber criminals, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0333 358 2222 or drop us an email to to arrange a free consultation.

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