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Data hygiene and system ROT

Author: Tim Steele

At Heureka, we talk quite often about data that is redundant, obsolete and trivial, often known as ROT.

Addressing this superfluous information has become a key element in across-the-board budgeting and strategy and today involves many departments including IT and cyber, risk and compliance and legal. At the end of the day, any company or enterprise ultimately wants to only spend money on storing and protecting the data that matters most to the organization.

Digital data hoarding has become commonplace and a “save everything” mentality ultimately costs companies a huge amount of money for storage and protection while at the same time exposing a wide attack surface for data theft or cyber security breaches.

One of the main questions Heureka poses to our prospective clients is, “do you think your organization is spending too much time and money protecting data that is meaningless?” If you think about your organization, how would you answer that question today?

Why ROT is bad

Statistics have shown that overall data growth is slightly over sixty percent per year and, of that data, eighty percent is considered unstructured.

By the Numbers:
52%: Share of data this considered “dark data”, meaning its value is unknown
33%: Amount of data considered ROT, meaning it has little to no organizational value
15%: Identifiable business critical data*
*Source: Global Databerg Report by Veritas Technologies

On the surface, it may seem harmless to have this unstructured data—and ROT—but there are many reasons to address it.

First, there’s a cost to store and maintain all information, including that which is unnecessary to an organization.

By the Numbers:
$3.3 Trillion: Unnecessary storage costs over approx. a 40year period if all global ROT were left unchecked
$650,000: Annual cost to store 1000 TB of non-critical data
*Sources: Global Databerg Report by Veritas Technologies, Prosysis

In addition to the obvious cost associated storing and maintaining ROT, there are lurking expenses related to compliance risks around GDPR, CCPA and similar regulations. ROT is typically hidden from view of management teams but continues to pose potentially significant risks.

ROT also leads to higher e-discovery costs.

  • Did You Know: To address e-discovery costs, Heureka provides the ability to rapidly search and analyze data at the point of creation. Intelligent, data-driven decisions can be made regarding possible relevance instead of needless over-collection and over processing of information.

And making matters worse, the data held by organizations that is actually important is at risk of getting lost in the shuffle.

Data Hygiene and Tackling ROT

If ROT is allowed to grow uncontrollably, IT investments continue to get wasted. To date, Heureka has helped organizations clean out tens of thousands of dollars worth of files in a matter of days.

The process goes like this: 1. Identify 2. Tag or classify 3. Remediate (move it offline, quarantine or delete outright)

Heureka was developed to specifically address the growing need to gain control of and insight into critical, unstructured data that is both a value and a risk, and to improve upon the economics of a resource-intensive process to manage that data.

Heureka quickly illuminates both ROT and risky files stored on desktops, laptops and file shares. We help companies plan and implement initiatives to clean up unnecessary information by removing whatever falls outside the scope of data retention policies. Heureka also provides automatic risk detection which can be hiding out within the storage content as well as the tools to clean it up by deleting or quarantining files that may pose the greatest risk.

Finally, with data growth pegged around 63% per year, data hygiene and cleanup should not be considered a one-time event. Heureka’s Intelligence Platform is the perfect tool for finding and remediating your redundant, obsolete and trivial data.

Schedule your personal DEMO today and see how Heureka can help you tackle your organization’s ROT.