A survey conducted by data management vendor Varonis last month found that data migration happens more often than businesses may realize. The survey consisted of 14 questions and was distributed online to IT personnel associated primarily with infrastructure and storage roles, and who come from various organizations ranging from SMBs to large enterprises.
For example, it was determined that a staggering 95 percent of companies move data at least once a year, while 44 percent move data more than five times a year. Almost half (47 percent) say that data migrations took place due to infrastructure upgrades. Other reasons cited for data migrations include company mergers and acquisitions (30 percent) and the upgrade of active directory (15 percent).
Not surprisingly, most organizations indicated that they do face a number of concerns when migrating data. Maintaining availability to the data ranked high on the list, and is followed closely by the need to determine if particular data is stale or active, according to page 7 of the report. The next top two, highest ranked concerns are the need to determine ownership of data, and maintaining or translating correct access controls.
Data Migration Concerns
In my opinion, while the problem is unlikely to be pronounced in SOHO and small businesses, the concerns outlined above are inevitable for a growing organization. One key issue appears to pertain to correctly identifying useful and stale data, which presents a window of vulnerability. Though it wasn’t addressed by the survey, it would be hardly surprising if the accidental deletion of current data by administrators were to take place from time to time.
The other concern revolves around ensuring that non-authorized personnel are not inadvertently given access to confidential information. Indeed, only a third (35 percent) of those surveyed here expressed confidence that sensitive data is accessible only to authorized personnel during the migration.
Though Varonis would obviously want businesses to buy into their suite of automated data migration solutions, the survey does draw attention to the fact that IT departments need to pay greater consideration to properly protecting fresh data, and maintaining data access rights in the midst of a data migration.
You can read the “Data on the Move” report (pdf) for more details.