More than half of all data remains untagged and unclassified

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On average, more than half of all data within organizations (52 percent) remains unclassified or untagged. That indicates that companies have limited or no visibility over vast volumes of potentially business-critical data, creating a ripe target for hackers.

That is the finding of a new survey by Vanson Bourne. For the research, commissioned by data protection provider Veritas Technologies, Vanson Bourne surveyed 1,500 IT decision makers and data managers across 15 countries.

Classifying data allows organizations to quickly scan and tag data to ensure that sensitive information is properly managed and protected, regardless of where the data is stores, the report said. This broad visibility into data helps organizations comply with data protection regulations.

Public cloud and mobile environments represent the weakest links in data security, the report said, with the majority of data across these environments most likely to be left unclassified and potentially unprotected.

Only 5 percent of companies claim to have classified all of their data in the public cloud, while 6 percent have classified all of the data on mobile devices. About two thirds of organizations (61 percent) said they have classified less than half of their public cloud data, while 67 percent have classified less than half of the data on mobile devices.

Organizations consider strengthening data security, improving data visibility and control, and guaranteeing regulatory compliance among their top drivers for day-to-day data management. But the majority of respondents admit that their organization still needs to make improvements in all of these areas.

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Data types Data management Data discovery