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Data, data everywhere. It’s time to stop and think.

Data is a highly sensitive topic. We all assume that we know what “data” means and that our security measures in place are protecting it. It turns out that almost no one realizes the full extent of what protecting data looks like in today’s organizations.

When we (Flying Cloud) meet with customers, we don’t automatically assume that our definitions of “data” match. To us, data is defined as bits, bites, and BLOBs. When we ask customers which data is the most important to their business and what they’re protecting, answers include “credit card numbers,” “healthcare records,” and similar categories. Of course, those are critical and must be protected. But what about the actual data contained within those records? And to take it further, what about data captured in chat apps or customer support bots? Communications around project or product performance? Voicemails? Backups? The company’s social media accounts? Biometric data? Organizations generate terabytes of data every day—and to threat actors, it’s all valuable.

The same data also exists in many different forms. Healthcare records are one example. When I go to a new doctor, I fill out a lot of paper forms. The forms are often scanned into a PDF, then the PDF goes through optical character recognition to be put into text, and alphanumeric information is entered into a database. Handwritten comments might be added. If you have diagnostic procedures done, images are added to the file(s). And so it grows.

We see the same dynamic occur in engineering or manufacturing. An engineer scribbles a note or quick diagram. Someone takes that idea and renders it in a CAD drawing, which is subsequently entered into a PLM system and broken out into alphanumeric text. Some of that is put in columns and rows in a database. This design data might be shared with business partners for collaborating on new products. Suddenly, the same data now lives in multiple formats, and it can be anywhere and everywhere at the same time.

Data sharing and proliferation is an organic process that’s different for every company. Different people in the organization see different slices and formats of that data in different phases of its lifecycle. Although it’s easy to assume that we know the status of our data, it’s also easy to see that maybe we don’t.

If you’re a security professional, this might be a difficult realization to swallow. But you can know exactly where your data is and have positive proof. Flying Cloud CrowsNest data surveillance provides tangible reporting on the status of your data. Any data. You can know in seconds what every piece of data is doing, where it goes, how it proliferates, who’s accessing it, and who’s using it. Now, when anyone asks if you can verify the security of data, you can tell them that your company has a data surveillance system in place that monitors everything. So yes, you do know where the data goes and who has it.

Let us show you how data surveillance delivers data assurance. Book a meeting.