Businesses don't know what half of their data contains

The countdown to compliance with the EU GDPR (European Union General Data Protection Regulation) has begun, and companies now have exactly 24 months to organise.

To highlight the start of the race to compliance, Veritas Research has released a couple of numbers showing just exactly how big this endeavour for businesses will be.

According to Veritas, many companies don’t even know what type of data they have stored, and among those that do – only a fraction is actually useful.

More than half (52 per cent) of all information stored is considered ‘dark data’ – meaning no one really knows what it holds. Thirteen per cent don’t analyse the value of their data at all, and just 15 per cent of it is actually business-critical.

A third (33 per cent) is considered ROT (redundant, obsolete, trivial), and the global value of handling ROT is expected to hit $3.3 trillion by 2020.

The volume of unstructured data grows by 39 per cent every year, while almost half (41 per cent) of the data environment actually goes untouched.

“General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) aims to catapult data protection into the era of big data and cloud computing, ensuring that data protection as a fundamental basic right is regulated uniformly and consistently throughout Europe,” said David Moseley, Global Solutions at Veritas.

“Businesses operating in Europe or targeting European customers now have twenty-four months to implement the guidelines outlined in the regulation, including who is accountable for security and how data flows between EU countries and those outside the zone.”