The biggest information protection chance? Downloading data to a spreadsheet

These days, it looks like on every occasion you switch around some other enterprise pronounces a records breach. At the identical time, corporations spend thousands and thousands on their records warehouses, safety answers, and compliance tasks. But all of that spend can immediately be rendered useless with the aid of the ordinary commercial enterprise workflow of downloading information to a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.
Of route, commercial enterprise specialists aren’t trying to avert organization governance practices. They’re just looking to get the answers they want to make better enterprise selections. And due to the fact they lack the SQL programming know-how or enormous education required to paintings with data directly in maximum enterprise intelligence (BI) tools, they’re regularly powerless to answer the questions raised within the remaining assembly or email. So they flip to what they recognize nice: the spreadsheet.
Identifying the Problem
Data downloaded to a private laptop creates a mess of troubles:
Once you extract records from a BI tool to a spreadsheet, the statistics team loses visibility. They haven’t any idea of how personal use or share information.
The loss of visibility into the records way it’s out of reach for safety and compliance oversight, making it susceptible to misuse or hacking.
The downloaded facts are straight away obsolete as soon as exported from the warehouse.
The extracted records nearly virtually represent a subset of the complete dataset, meaning decisions are being made using best a slice of the available statistics.
The Lure of Downloading Data
If the risks of downloading data to an Excel spreadsheet are so clear, why do so many business professionals continue to do it? Here are some reasons that business customers decide to research records in the spreadsheet:
It’s easy. Sixty-two percent* of humans record using Excel due to its ease of use. Spreadsheets are acquainted territory. Unlike BI gear, they don’t require specialized SQL coding know-how.
It’s rapid. Business professionals don’t have time to fill out a price tag after which wait for the statistics professionals to come back-with an answer — only to discover that the answer, while it eventually arrives, raises greater questions, main to more tickets, and greater ready.
It’s bendy. BI analysis equipment provides ‘self-service’ interfaces for business customers, but these interfaces are minimal. They do not allow commercial enterprise professionals to invite novel questions, or to comply with their interest and explore problems in innovative ways.
Measuring the Impact
It would possibly appear to be downloading statistics to a non-public laptop is a trivial problem. But real-international activities endorse in any other case. The average data breach charges organizations $three.86 million, according to the “2018 Cost of a Data Breach Study” — up 6.Four percent from 2017.
Even the most harmless errors can value hundreds of thousands. In 2016, a Boeing worker mistakenly emailed his spouse a spreadsheet packed with personal records — which includes social security numbers and beginning dates — on some 36,000 different Boeing employees. As a result, Boeing had to offer every employee -year subscriptions to Experian’s identity theft safety offerings. Based on Experian’s carrier fees, this one spreadsheet error probably cost the enterprise someplace within the community of $15 million.**
Then there’s the impact awful information may have on research and choice making. A take a look at in Genome Biology in 2016 located that one in five genetics papers published in top medical journals contained errors attributed to autoformatting mistakes in Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.
So how do you keep away from those issues? Start via storing your data within the cloud. Even Microsoft’s hints for preventing safety breaches in its Office merchandise consist of “don’t forget shifting touchy facts and systems to a cloud company” rather than storing it on a personal pc.
*Computing Curiosity Gap Study, Researchscape, 2018

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