Computer storage has come a long way in the past 30 years. There are people alive today who have never encountered a 3.5” floppy disc. These storage devices could house a paltry 1.44 MB. To put this in context, you’d need over 736 floppy discs to equal 1GB of storage. We now have an abundance of storage available on every device we own, which means we get to be a lot less picky the data we hang on to, but this abundance of storage has led to a new security problem. Data hoarding.
What is data hoarding?
Data hoarding is what happens when individuals and companies don’t have a policy in place for sorting through their data and keeping the relevant information while deleting the rest. With storage becoming cheaper and more readily available, the risk of data hoarding is higher than ever before. After all, it’s much easier to just cling on to everything rather than making decisions about what needs to stay and what can go.
What does data hoarding mean for security?
Unfortunately, data hoarding can have serious implications for security. The reason for this is very simple. Imagine you have a giant stack of papers. Most of the pieces of paper contain useless information, but a few of the pieces have your bank details on them. If you lost track of a few pieces of paper, it would be difficult for you to know if the information contained on the paper was important or useless. Data hoarding works the same way. Unless you have a system in place for organising and then sorting your data by importance, then you could end up hanging on to some potentially damaging data in amongst the useless data.
Data breaches are sadly not uncommon and can have serious financial ramifications for companies. Ensuring you know what information you hold on customers is the first step in keeping it safe. Data hoarding can lead to holding duplicate files or hanging on to sensitive information for longer than you need to. Putting a plan in place to ensure only essential information is kept on file is the best way to protect against data hoarding.
Switching to cloud storage is one of the best ways to prevent duplicate versions of files causing problems for data security. By keeping everything in one secure and central place, this can help to prevent employees from keeping duplicate versions of the same files on their computers or mobile devices. This also makes it much easier to establish a system for organising the files and ensuring only essential information is kept around.