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How to eliminate the security risk of redundant data

When you move, you have a few choices of what to do with all the stuff you’ve accumulated. You could sell or donate most of the stuff you’ve accumulated over the years. Or, you could just move it, because you don’t have the time or the energy to figure out what you keep and how to dispose of what you don’t want.

Most enterprises migrate their data to the public cloud in that second way: they just cart it all from the data center to the cloud. Often, there is no single source of truth in the on-premises databases, so all the data is moved to the public cloud keeps all its redundancies.

Although it’s an architectural no-no, the reality is that most systems are built in silos, which is where the redundancies come from. They often create their own version of common enterprise data, such as customer data, order data, and invoice data.

As a result, most enterprises have several security vulnerabilities that they have inadvertently moved to the cloud.

I’m always taken back by enterprise cloud DBAs who do a very good job protecting customer data in the primary CRM system but keep access to the same customer data in the inventory system behind weak user names and passwords that are easily hacked.

But there are clear solutions you can take.

The best solution to this problem is to not maintain redundant data. I’m sure the CRM system has APIs to allow for secure access to customer data that can be integrated directly into the inventory system. Or, the other way around. The goal is to maintain data in a single physical location, even if accessed by multiple systems.

Even if you do eliminate most of the redundant data, all your data should be secured under a holistic security system that’s consistent from application to application and from database to database.

Also helpful are data-governance systems that let you place policies around data, including related to security. That way, even if you do have redundant data, you have a centralized place to control it.

Finally, master data management (MDM) is helpful as well. These systems, which public cloud providers offer, provide a comprehensive way of linking all data to a single point of reference. If used effectively, an MDM system should reduce data redundancy, including the sharing of data.

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