Corporate data is of great importance in many ways. As we come to the end of 2009, a year which has seen a number of damaging data breach incidents, information is a valuable commodity.
For this reason, it could be a wise move for companies to protect themselves against the various kinds of data theft, including screen scraping.
The importance of data was recently underlined by Mayank Bawa, chief executive officer and co-founder of Aster Data. He claimed that “the next five years are all going to be about data”. From 1995 to 2000, it was about networking and communications, while 2000 to 2007 was all about computation, he explained. Now, he said, it will be about data.
Now there are networks and data can be moved around, people will be thinking about how they can use this information to gain a competitive edge over others, Mr Bawa commented.
This desire to stay ahead in the data game may lead people to scrape information, however, so again it would be wise for those who do not want their data moved elsewhere to protect from this kind of activity.
A recent report by IDC showed that disc storage systems capacity shipped reached 2,661 petabytes over the third quarter of 2009. This is equivalent to around 2.6 exabytes, a storage capacity capable of holding the entire internet, 28 times over.
Again highlighting the importance of data in today’s world, IBM recently said that trusted information lies at the heart of “business transformations”. The company claimed that to perform in the “dynamic business environment” of today companies need to unlock the value of critical data stored both inside and outside firms.
“Organisations are grappling with government mandates, industry standards and business demands to ensure that their critical data is protected against internal and external threats,” commented Arvind Krishna, general manager of IBM Information Management.
His comments came after IBM announced the acquisition of Guardium, which carries out real-time enterprise database monitoring and protection. The fact that big-name companies such as IBM are investing in data protection indicates the value of information.
The IBM Global Chief Information Officer Study recently revealed that one-in-three business leaders often make decisions based on data that they do not trust or do not have. According to the firm, now that there is more of a focus on transparency and accountability, both organisations and government bodies need to avoid using information which has been compromised.
Companies also need to be compliant with various kinds of regulatory requirements that are around, such as the European Data Protection Directive, IBM claimed.
There is help out there for firms looking to comply with regulations, as the Information Commissioner’s Office recently showed with its Guide to Data Protection. Its aim is to provide businesses with practical advice about the Data Protection Act and how to keep personal information safe.
Christopher Graham, information commissioner, commented: “There are still too many organisations playing fast and loose with personal data. Security breaches, inaccurate records and instances of data being held for too long are too common. This new guide will help organisations comply with the law and demystify data protection.”
The guide may not help firms protect against the dangers of screen scraping, however. One organisation that can help out in this area is Sentor. Its managed anti-scraping service ScrapeSentry can detect and block scraping attacks within minutes from identifying them.
With data being so valuable, it would only be wise for companies to get help where they feel they need it. If data or screen scraping is something that will concern them, then Sentor could be the ideal choice.