David Gibson, VP of Strategy, Varonis (www.varonis.com), says:

Recently we conducted an industry survey that revealed some interesting results around data migration and security.  While 95% of organizations move data at least once per year, 65% admitted that they were not confident that sensitive data was protected during a migration. While migrations and consolidations affect virtually everyone, 96% of respondents reported concerns when performing data migrations, with many leaving their data overexposed and vulnerable.

Respondents listed the most challenging and time consuming aspects of performing data migrations as maintaining availability (68%), identifying and cleaning up old, unused or redundant objects (67%) and keeping data safe by ensuring correct access permissions (59%).

Despite these security concerns, 65% admitted that they were not very confident that sensitive data was only accessible to the right people during a migration. In fact, 79% admitted that they could not guarantee that their folders and SharePoint drives were safe from global access groups, with one third of these admitting that unprotected folders were rampant or unidentifiable. This is particularly worrying as nearly a third of migrations and consolidations are due to mergers and acquisitions, often leaving unprotected folders open to thousands more people after a migration. 

The survey underscores that maintaining who has access to what is an ongoing problem for organizations. With IDC estimating that 90% of the 1.8 zettabytes generated in 2011 is unstructured and predicting that over the next decade, the information managed by enterprise data centers will grow by a factor of 50, the scale of this problem is likely to explode even further – making manual management of permissions and migration virtually impossible.

Which features would these pros like in a technology to help automate migration activities?  Most hoped for a solution that could provide easy selection criteria for choosing what data to be moved, automate incremental copies (allowing users to use source data during the migration), and automate permissions optimization.

The data migration survey was conducted by Varonis in August 2012 with 200 IT professionals of whom one third were C-level executives. 41% of those questioned were from companies with 5,000 employees or more.  To download the full data migration research report, visit http://www.varonis.com/research/#data-migration