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The importance of classifying unstructured data ahead of a migration to the cloud

Posted by Mark Hobart on Jun 18, 2019 10:00:00 AM

The importance of classifying unstructured data ahead of a migration to the cloud

With a huge amount of data around in modern business and set to grow further according to IDC by a factor of 10 by 2025, cloud migration appears to be the logical solution for long-term storage and management.

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A necessary stage in migrating data to the cloud is understanding what you have, classifying it, removing the Redundant, Obsolete and Trivial data (ROT) and putting it in order ahead of the migration.

This is particularly important when it comes to unstructured data: files and documents that are not fully understood, undermanaged or even un-discovered (such as excel files of budget estimates, salary sheet downloads, PDFs containing important patents, or Word documents containing personal employee or customer information) - in general, data that is not managed in an orderly fashion or, dare I say, not managed at all!

This is the kind of data that we know so little about. It has the potential to be misplaced, misused, abandoned, hacked, or leaked in the cloud, and local server repositories putting enterprises at significant risk of a data breach. Cloud consolidation is one solution but only if knowledge and understanding of the data is attained and processes for ongoing data governance put in place to ensure it is managed correctly for the long term.

Given these potentially high risks to the enterprise, categorising and classifying the data is essential before, during and after migration; however, this process of formatting, organising, and validating terabytes - or even petabytes - of information can present much bigger challenges than the process of moving them to the cloud. This critical issue poses several questions:

  • How best to identify and get rid of ROT?
  • How can you tag and track your business-critical data across platforms, ensuring the sensitive information is allocated and classified correctly whilst still being secure?
  • How can you scan extremely large, unstructured data sets in a more efficient, fast and automated manner to be able to govern it in the future?

The key to every problem is to identify the best solution and put in place the technology, people and processes needed to be able to leverage its benefits. Infoboss is one such solution that utilises powerful search-based data discovery techniques to effectively democratise and manage your data. For a cloud data migration, it will enable you to:

  • Classify and track all unstructured and structured personal and sensitive data, enabling you to assess its relevance to your organisation
  • Automate data labelling and protection processes
  • Securely and efficiently populate data migration tools to streamline your cloud migration and automatic target environment labelling
  • Put in place monitoring and automatic classification process for future data, either on-premise or in the cloud as it enters the data estate

Infoboss can process any type of data: emails, documents, images, databases and even data ingested via APIs from social media feeds. Data is intelligently analysed, classified and stored and then exposed to automated monitoring rules enabling you to constantly audit your data for classification, quality and compliance purposes. Its powerful, easy to use, intuitive search-based interface enables you to put in place effective data governance to support your cloud migration before, during, and after.

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Topics: Migration to the cloud

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