October 19, 2015

Computer Technology Review

New Actifio study enables enterprises to handle common gaps in data control

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Copy data virtualization vendor Actifio commissioned IDC research to reveal that enterprises struggle with providing proper access and control of critical data throughout both backup, and application development and testing processes.

With the increase in the number of enterprise customers using Actifio to better control access to their confidential data, particularly throughout their data protection and application development processes, IDC found that several enterprises are still struggling to control their critical data, with two-thirds of enterprises failing to meet best practice standards for data control.

Actifio’s Virtual Data Pipeline technology offers a holistic approach to data management that enables large organizations to capture data directly from production applications, manage a single “golden master” copy of that data in their most secure environment, and then use virtual copies to maintain both accessibility and control.

Actifio platform uses the Virtual Data Pipeline (VDP), which virtualizes copy data, eliminating redundancies and re-purposing unique data for multiple data management applications. VDP captures a single copy or “gold copy” of data from production and reuses that data for multiple purposes, allowing applications to directly access the data from the Actifio platform without any physical data movement.

The use of a copy data virtualization platform severely limits the proliferation and availability of physical data copies, when data is both at rest and being moved or migrated between production and non-production environments, generations of hardware, data centers or cloud infrastructure, as copy data virtualization decreases the number of targets available to those with harmful intent.

Keeping enterprise data both safe and accessible is a complex balancing act made all the more difficult by the geometric growth rate of production data. When coupled with conventional data protection programs and a siloed approach to copy data creation, the result is an unintended and uncontrolled proliferation of “rogue copies” of sensitive data. This data is difficult to keep track of, let alone protect.

Organizations and individual users dissatisfied with the responsiveness of infrastructure and operations can often lead to ‘shadow IT’ operations that contain such rogue copies. Each added physical copy increases the “surface area of attack” for this data, creating additional opportunities for the wrong people to get access to confidential or personally identifiable information of clients.

The Actifio-commissioned white paper contains insights from a survey of senior executives at 429 mid-to-large scale enterprises across five industry sectors including government, financial, education, healthcare and retail, and focuses on current trends related to data access, management, masking, copy proliferation and tracking.

The objective of the study was to recognize prevailing adherence to best practices and identify common gaps. The study focused on data access, management, masking, copy proliferation, and tracking. Beyond elements of security such as encryption and authentication, the study looked at treatment of databases, copies, locations, policies and access control for both structured and unstructured data.

“Our research clearly identified two major challenges faced by IT executives – the copy data proliferation problem and the copy data access problem,” said Phil Goodwin, research director, Storage Systems and Software of IDC. “Copy data is costly, and introduces risk when it needs to be accessed. Organizations need solutions that can automate copy data management and subsequently reduce risk and cost in the enterprise and public sector environments; manual efforts are simply insufficient.”

The enterprise copy data access problem is simply too large and broad for IT organizations to handle manually. By 2018, IDC estimates copy data will cost IT organizations US$50.63 billion, and currently consumes up to 60 percent of the IT storage hardware and infrastructure budget.

Read More:  http://wwpi.com/new-actifio-study-enables-enterprises-to-handle-common-gaps-in-data-control/