What is Your Corporate Data Worth?

There is something about numbers that soothes me. Which explains why a recent study by the research group, Forrester, caught my attention.  Microsoft and RSA (the security division of EMC) commissioned Forrester to research the value of corporate data. 
The study breaks down corporate data into two catagories:
·         secrets - intellectual property like product plans, earnings forecasts, and trade secrets;
·         custodial data information that must be kept secure like customer, medical, and payment card info
Intellectual property is generally scattered.  It is created and stored all over the enterprise. It includes financial statements, raw accounting data, marketing strategy documents and sales forecasts. It can be found in email, documents, images, drawings, video, spreadsheets and Powerpoint presentations. Custodial data tends to be more centrally located.
Keeping all of this data secure is a huge job and billions of dollars are spent each year in managing this process. But security is really a small part of guarding all of this data. Not only must it be secured it must also be unalterable and accessible. And finally, you have to have a way to find discrete files and information in a convenient and timely manner. . . remember, data is an asset only when it is where you need it;  when you need it.