Data is often described as the lifeblood of modern organisations, but as recent cyber incidents have demonstrated unless that data is properly categorised and protected, it can very quickly become a liability.
For more than a decade the Australian technology service provider Wyldlynx has been helping customers understand and manage their structured and unstructured data.
According to Wyldlynx' general manager Carl Duncan, his company's searches through corporate networks have turned up everything from cat videos to unprotected customer data and personal medical records.
Duncan says this knowledge can be critical in the event of a data breach, where the key question should be what data has been compromised, rather than how much.
"In recent times the focus has changed," Duncan says. "Because people's personal information has now been breached, they think about that a little bit more, and because of that reputational damage, the risks, and the associated cost, people are now looking to solve this proactively."
A key tool in Wyldlynx' arsenal is the CyberRes Voltage File Analysis Suite from Micro Focus, which is used to scan and categorise network data. A series of out-of-the-box tools are then used to make determinations on the sensitivity of the data discovered, and these can be tuned to suit the needs of the organisation.
"It allows an organisation to really understand their risk level and sensitivity level," Duncan says. "If you've got my Medicare data, my driver's license, and my passport, for me that's pretty sensitive, whereas things like addresses or email addresses may be less sensitive, so you can change those levers to suit your organisation."
Duncan says CyberRes provides additional benefits over just helping secure data. He says it can also be used to reduce storage costs by finding and eliminating duplicates, while also making recommendations for how data is stored, or whether it actually needs to be kept at all.
This functionality can also prove useful for any organisation that is asked to undertake an information search, such as for legal purposes.
"So going out and finding everything about a topic, a person, or a subject, and being able to bring back that data efficiently," Duncan says. "At the end of the day, it's about having the tool looking at the content as opposed to the staff."
According to Anna Russell, worldwide vice president for Micro Focus' CyberRes Voltage business, interest in the product has increased significantly thanks to the growing awareness amongst CISOs and their peers of the damage that can flow from a data breach.
"A horrendous breach might not just impact their revenue, it might impact their customer retention or their share price," Russell says. " if you are not discovering that data to begin with, across the whole enterprise, and if you don't know what that is, how can you link that back to privacy regulations that you need to adhere to? How do you know what to protect?"
With cyber security and data skills in high demand globally, Russell says organisations such as Wyldlynx are proving critical when it comes to providing the competency that organisations need to ensure their data house is in order.
"Wyldlynx has experience across many different verticals in Australia," Russell says. "They will end up being an extension to your team in the areas where we see that skillset shortage, and really help you accelerate in the business-related outcomes with regards to data discovery, data remediation, and data protection.
"By being able to deliver that via managed service, projects get delivered much faster, and produce results to the board faster than we've ever seen in the past."