Fears for security in data migrations
Preventing unauthorised access during migration a major concern, finds survey
Tech4Biz | 20 Sep 2012 :
A survey of c-level executives in larger organisations has found that while 95% of organisations had undertaken some form of data migration project in the last year, 65% admitted that they were not confident sensitive data was protected during a migration.
The research carried out on behalf of Varonis systems in August of this year, found that the most challenging and time consuming aspects of performing data migrations were maintaining availability (68%), identifying and cleaning up old, unused or redundant objects (67%) and keeping data safe by ensuring correct access permissions (59%).
When it came to reasons for data migration, the primary reason cited was infrastructure upgrades at 47%, though mergers and new platforms also figured.
The majority of respondents said that they carried out the migration work themselves (60%) rather than those who hired in professionals to accomplish the task (40%).
Despite these security concerns, the majority admitted that they were not very confident that sensitive data was only accessible to the right people during a migration. Some 79% 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.
"The survey underscores that maintaining who has access to what is an ongoing problem for organisations," said David Gibson, VP of Strategy, Varonis. "The scale of the problem that organisations face when moving terabytes of data may be surprising, as a typical terabyte contains about 50,000 folders, and of those folders about 5%, 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% 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 increase exponentially, making manual management of permissions and migration near 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.