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It’s no secret that your digital footprint is growing. Whether your business has 10 employees in one office or 2,000 employees in offices all over the world, you’re creating more content today than you did two years ago—or 2 months ago for that matter. Along with increased volume, content itself has evolved to encompass much richer media, like HD videos and CAD files. From a storage perspective, what was once measured in megabytes and gigabytes is now measured in terabytes, or even petabytes for larger organizations.

Pair this explosion of data with employee mobility, as today’s teams collaborate across the globe via thousands of applications and devices, and you have what we like to call the “content complexity challenge.” With so many variables for how content is accessed and shared, it’s increasingly difficult for businesses to maintain complete visibility and control, making them much more susceptible to being breached. Whether an internal user unintentionally shares sensitive content or ransomware infiltrates your organization, the hard costs of being breached can be crippling.

To illustrate the financial impact of a data breach in 2019, our team of data scientists analyzed data from over 15,000 businesses. Here’s what a single terabyte of exposed data could cost you:

Our research and analysis concluded that the risk exposure for just one terabyte of data would total $129,324.

We also ran the numbers for the average commercial business (fewer than 500 employees) and the average enterprise (over 500 employees). Most commercial business actively manage over 533 GBs of content (~0.5 TB), giving them a risk exposure of $67,330. Moving up market, the average enterprise actively manages over 7,448 GBs of content (~7.25 TBs), giving these businesses a risk exposure of $940,720.

To operate in today’s complex, digital environment, organizations must accept some level of risk. However, every day that a business goes unprotected is another day that puts thousands (even millions) of dollars worth of data at risk, potentially hindering growth and efficacy. Our analysis helps to highlight the importance of proper content management and data protection for businesses of all sizes.

Start protecting your business data

The first step toward securing your content is to understand what data you have and identify who has access to it. This may sound easy, but can be quite difficult for businesses with siloed data, many individual user accounts, and no centralized point of administration for IT. It’s like hitting a moving target. Every day presents a new wrinkle in your digital environment – new content is created, new users are added, devices get lost, etc.

The next step is to identify sensitive content and define how it should be accessed and handled. Do you want to make sensitive data available to certain groups? Are you required to comply with data regulations, like GDPR or HIPAA?

Once you’ve set your criteria, it’s time to remediate and monitor. You should make sure that all of your data is properly organized with the appropriate permissions in place. From here, it’s simply a matter of monitoring the flow of data – creating reports and setting alerts to ensure you’re made aware of unusual file behavior or user activity.

All of these steps can be achieved using a modern content governance solution, like Egnyte Protect. In the past, content governance solutions were very expensive to deploy and required significant resources to manage, which made availability limited to large companies with big budgets. Egnyte Protect can not only be deployed in a matter of hours, but is also cost-efficient and can be managed without significant resources.

A few years ago, many organizations viewed content governance solutions as a luxury. However, a rise in data-driven business models, and the data breaches that threaten them, have helped to change the perception. We’ve reached a point where more businesses are starting to understand the importance of proper content governance, recognizing it is a necessary investment for long-term success.