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Businesses Are Collecting More Data Than They Need

Businesses have gotten into the habit of collecting lots of data, but the mounting data they’ve compiled surpasses its usefulness. Nearly half of all companies having no idea where their sensitive data is stored, according to a new survey from Gemalto.

The fifth annual Data Security Confidence Index surveyed 1,050 IT decision makers and 10,500 consumers worldwide, revealing that 46% of companies don’t know where all of their sensitive data is stored and a majority of companies are unable to analyze all the data they collect. 

The research found that for most businesses, the ability to analyze the data they collect changes depending on geography. In India, for example, 55% of businesses are able to effectively analyze the data they collect, yet only 47% of businesses in Australia can.

India and Australia rank best at using the data they collect. While 89% of global organizations said analyzing data effectively gives them a competitive edge, only one in five Benelux (20%) and British (19%) companies report that they are actually able to do so. 

Two-thirds of respondents said their organizations are failing to carry out all procedures in line with data protection laws, suggesting a decline in confidence when it comes to businesses securing customers’ data.

“If businesses can’t analyze all of the data they collect, they can’t understand the value of it – and that means they won’t know how to apply the appropriate security controls to that data,” says Jason Hart, vice president and CTO for data protection at Gemalto.

“Whether it’s selling it on the dark web, manipulating it for financial gain or to damage reputations, unsecured data is a goldmine for hackers. You only need to look at the recent hacks on the World Anti-Doping Agency and International Luge Federation to see the damage that can be done. What’s more, data manipulation can take years to discover, and with data informing everything from business strategy to sales and product development, its value and integrity cannot be underestimated.”

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