By Emma Okonji
Symantec said its recently launched Digital Information Index (DII), will protect business information data, in the era of cloud computing, where almost half of an organisation’s data is stored outside the firewall.
The DII, the company added, would enhance the significant impact that cloud computing and mobility is having on businesses.
The 2012 State of Information Report reveals the benefits and also growing challenges of “information sprawl” as organisations increase the level of information stored and accessed outside of the firewall.
Speaking at the launch, the Country Manager for Indian Oceans, West and Central Africa at Symantec, Mr. Sheldon Hand noted that, “Businesses are undergoing a transformation unlike anything we have seen before. With mobile devices and cloud giving employees access to information from nearly anywhere, we are also seeing more sensitive information living beyond the traditional Information Technology (IT) boundaries, and this is creating concern about how to best protect information.”
He explained that, globally, almost half (46 per cent) of an organisation’s information is being stored outside of its own data centre. According to him, at 53 per cent, small and medium businesses (SMBs) outpace enterprises when it comes to information residing outside the firewall, when taking into account mobile devices and laptops. In some countries this number rises to more than half, such as India (83 per cent), China (60 per cent) and Singapore (60 per cent).
Hand further disclosed that Symantec created the Digital Information Index to represent the information sprawl visually, and provided a barometer of where information sits today in different parts of the world. The Index highlights markets experiencing high information sprawl, such as India and China while other markets are dealing with less information sprawl, such as Japan and France.
“Modern technologies and information sprawl clearly has benefits, but over a quarter of businesses surveyed have experienced challenges as a result. More than one-third of businesses had experienced the exposure of confidential information as a result of lost or stolen mobile devices. Other issues arise from being unable to find what they need, with a large proportion of their information being unorganised or difficult to find. And even within the firewall, their storage utilisation is at just 31 per cent, dipping even lower outside the data centre,” he said.
The surge in mobility is contributing to information sprawl. “In fact, smartphones and tablets store 14 per cent of business information globally. For enterprises, this is 14 per cent, compared to 11 per cent for SMBs. This number is much higher in countries including India (62 per cent), Australia and New Zealand (46 per cent) and Italy (38 per cent). Information accessed on mobile devices is even higher at 28 per cent globally. Here again we see enterprises leading with 31 per cent, compared to 25 per cent for SMBs,” Hand said.