Increasingly, we’re seeing Dark Data posing a serious threat to businesses in terms of reputational, regulatory, and financial risks. The recent Sony Hack was enough to alert the whole world to the potential dangers of unmanaged and unprotected content.

At one time, Dark Data was only thought of in reference to unstructured data files sitting on a file server in a far off data center. Today, Dark Data is widely acknowledged for encompassing structured, and even semi-structured files such as popular SharePoint intranets and email systems. As we move further into 2015 we’ll continue to see the increase as wearables pick up speed and unorganized data continues to grow.

This flood of Dark Data leaves the enterprise facing an internal battle of embracing BYOD and cloud platforms versus accountability for managing the impact these devices are having on risk and data levels. Presenting a double edged challenge: How should the enterprise manage it’s legacy data yet unlock the business value of Dark Data?

While you’ll likely never be able to completely rid yourself of legacy data, information governance can speak to an accountability framework. A strong information governance program which includes a defensible deletion strategy mitigates the Dark Data crisis by assessing risks,  and understanding gaps. Also, it should include some advanced planning and putting policies, procedures, and tools in place that let professionals proactively manage and organize legacy information enterprise wide. This tactic keeps the risk and cost associated with dark data at a reasonable limit.

For more information on tackling the challenges of Dark Data, look for our upcoming Webinar: Illuminating Dark Data and it’s Challenges!

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