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What does corporate data discovery have to do with the photos on your smartphone?

by   in Cybersecurity

Many people today have the luxury and convenience of always having a high-quality camera in their hand, that one that’s on the back of your smart phone. Even when we’re not traveling during these pandemic times, many people are taking a lot of photos and videos on a regular basis. Where are all those photos and videos being stored? Most people don’t have very good digital media management skills, and don’t consistently use organizational software tools or trust their photos to the AI engines of Apple or Google. So, what’s the problem?

What does corporate data discovery have to do with the photos on your smartphone.pngWhat happens when you want to find and remember a special time and place, or the face of a loved one or recall a fleeting moment? Some people will spend time scrolling and scrolling and scrolling through their photos on their smart phones to find that valuable visual memory, others will dig through boxes of old photographic prints; maybe they’re feeling very nostalgic and they’ll get their VCR out of storage and try and find those old home movies; maybe they are trying to recall the date of the file so they can try and find it on their computer file system and others may sadly just give up.

What we’re doing here is trying to get personal value from the massive amount of digital media we’ve been collecting for 15 years now as well as keep those rarer physical prints and video tapes close at hand.

I’m a keen photographer and videographer and continue to capture digital memories every day that adds to a massive collection of digital media and I'm old enough to have many family photo albums and video tapes around the house and in storage.

I couldn’t help think about all of this when my colleague was recently presenting the reasons customers need the Data Discovery capabilities within our File Analysis Suite of solutions. It’s no secret that the amount of consumer data that corporations are collecting is massive and continues to grow at an exponential rate. My colleague was explaining that before managing data there needs to be a good understanding of the data and its context. As we find data, we should be tagging it. When we find redundant (copies), obsolete (not longer relevant) and trivial data we should classify it as ROT for disposal in the future. Doesn’t that relate to what we should be doing as we skim through our photos and videos? Oh, and the disposal of ROT data (photos and videos) needs approval from a secondary authority – which would be of course in my case - my wife.

Data Discovery..png

 For me this is part of my daily digital media data flow. Things have gotten more complex recently as I purchased a new computer and was faced with moving files from the older computer – which then got me thinking about a new backup strategy. As I was migrating the files, I took the time to delete many rejected photos, find and trash duplicate movie files and add keywords for easier searching and sharing in the future. If you don’t do any of this, then you perpetuate the problems of inefficient file management, waste money on computer and cloud storage and get no closer to getting value from your crown jewel memories.

This is very much like the corporate data world. Only a few customers have good processes in place today, especially in the context of unstructured [file] data. And when someone from the boardroom thinks it’s a good idea to move everything to the cloud or when marketing wants to truly get a 360 degree view of the consumer, the IT folks are faced with a massive task to discover, classify and manage terabytes of data and no one wants to waste money storing ROT data in the cloud. And what happens when you get married, welcome your newborn or grandchild to the world - just think of how your media collection spikes. Kind of sounds like a corporate merger or acquisition, right?  

My wife loves to make photo books and I’m enjoying making compilation videos. These projects require a way to find not just your favorite photos and videos, but also content that follows a theme and relates in some way - content that has context.  This reminds me of the goal of big data analytics in the corporate world. It’s a major way we get value from our investment and our data – seeing it consolidated and presented as a picture of the health of a corporation’s business like a collection of important memorable images in our personal lives. The quality of these projects is only as good as the data – are you seeing the full picture, are there gaps, is it cluttered with distractions? To get the most from your masses of corporate data and your personal photos, you need to understand what you have and manage it well. 

And lastly, do we need to take special care when the data includes private information? In our private lives we use account passwords and application access controls to protect our privacy. The proliferation of personally identifiable information (PII) has driven privacy regulations globally.  It is imperative for an organization to understand its data and protect it.  A problem of this nature requires comprehensive enterprise solution platforms that Protect data, Detect advanced threats and Evolve over time.

Don't get me started about organizing and getting value from my music collection.


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