- Dark data refers to unstructured, uncategorized digital data assets that are found in an organization’s repositories.
- This uncategorized data may increase cybersecurity risks to organizations.
Why do organizations have dark data?
Emails, documents, spreadsheets, presentations—all these add up to the collection of the dark data of a business.
- An organization may unknowingly collect dark data from different logs. Another possibility is that data is collected for different reasons but is not used.
- Usually, dark data is stored for compliance or record-keeping purposes. Sometimes, it may be stored with the belief that the data may be useful in the future.
- There are also possibilities of an organization being unaware of some data in its ecosystem.
- Organizations may also store this data because they don’t have the resources required to process the volume of information available.
There are a number of affordable data storage options available making it easy to accumulate dark data.
What cyber risks does dark data pose?
Allowing dark data to build up brings various risks in terms of cybersecurity.
- Data such as firewall logs can provide various insights, especially to the security professionals. This can also help in building better cyber defense strategies against possible attacks. Not looking at this data would mean missing out on a lot of opportunities.
- When there is a large amount of dark data, the implications could be harmful in the case of a data breach. When the organization doesn’t have an idea about what is stored, a breach may result in the exposure of confidential or sensitive data.
- With new privacy and data management policies on the rise, organizations may be unintentionally violating them by storing personal information of customers.
It is important for organizations to regularly look at what data they’re collecting and storing. Any data that is required must be processed and categorized, while old or unnecessary data must be discarded right away. This not only frees up space on your data management system, but also helps gain insights that can boost your business.