Thursday, December 6, 2007

Protecting Sensitive Data .... problem or hype?

Today we create, share and store information [data] of all types leaving it laying all across the cyberframes landscape.

You see, data has not followed the circular evolution of mainframe computing, the data we share and how we share it is very different than 20 years ago. Today we create more data and it is in the hands of more humans now than when we were connected to either mainframes or isolated personal computers.

Whereas we used to know where our data was [its in the data center][its on my hard drive] now we don't have a clue, therefore we don't know what is being done with it and we don't have any control of it. Its often unknown to us that sensitive data is buried in the context of saved, shared and communicated work. We don't even realize that we are seeding the web with sensitive information.

How's this for ironic; the age of the PERSONAL computing brought us such an intense level of collaboration that our data is no longer PERSONAL.

Lets visit the source of our data protection problem!

  • Everyone in the world has access to the WEB, a network that connects everyone to everyone

  • Everyone stores data on computers that are on the web

  • Everyone is compelled to use the web for commerce and communications.

  • Everyone has to "give up information" at some time to be part of the above.
The data that we give up and how it should be managed is the focus of this discussion. The data that I am talking about is any data that is sensitive enough that its owner cares where it is, who has access to it and what it is being used for.

So instead of just calling it personal I guess we should refer to is as SENSITIVE, we will italicize it for emphasis.

The diatribe that preceded this post was a protracted way to say that we need to start paying attention to protecting data, specifically sensitive data. Our current IT architectures need to change in a profound way if we are to have the level of protection that is necessary for us all to live and play freely in this connected world.

A key question: are our IT infrastructures designed to be able to fully protect sensitive information? If not what needs to change?

That is exactly where this blog is headed......

Don on data!

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