What is data at rest?
06.10.2019Back to blog list
Under the conditions of today’s digital climate, sooner or later your information will eventually find its way into the wrong hands. Hacks are only the most obvious form of data breach while accidental data sharing and insider threats are becoming ever more common. Despite that companies invest in firewalls and successfully protect their biggest assets, many information security and data protection officers don’t know what data they have, where it is, and what it contains – along with the corresponding risks. “Data at rest” is a term that refers to all data stored at a specific digital location – databases, storage infrastructure, file systems, or digital media with the exception of data that is transferring to a new location or temporarily stored in computer memory so that it can be read or updated, which is referred to in turn as “data in use”.
Data at Rest vs Data in Motion
Naturally, hackers and fraudsters are more interested in information that is not constantly being transferred, since these less protected data don’t yield the real reward that data at rest do. It is usually not hard for them to identify in companies’ systems, as storage locations are normally labelled clearly as confidential. Even data at rest in fact moves around, despite this occurring more seldom. This leads to the company copying their data into virtualized storage media and portable media so that it is more difficult to access via the web or the network; however, employees taking such media home with them and to premises outside the primary office poses a whole new risk in its own right.
Securing Data at Rest
In the past, organizations’ sensitive information has been stored on physical media, such as CD’s and USB drives. However, data now popularly being accessed via a cloud due to the benefits of its flexibility has opened up access to information in unprecedented fashion over the last decade. How to secure data at rest has become a pressing, much more topical issue. USB keys of organizations and government agencies can sometimes be obtained via the web, accidentally sent to the wrong location, or lost – medical information, financials, personal data, secrets, etc., rendering encryption of the utmost importance.
Standard Methods of Data Protection
Particular companies specialize in developing data discovery tools that render data discovery more efficient. Smart data discovery allows easy data importing from text files, e-mail clients, and other apps followed by automatic analysis of the information, showing you new insights with respect to your data with the necessity for the company to explain their goals to a number of data scientists. Expert event timelines help take you through scenarios that could potentially play out in your business. Analytics software provides the basis to leverage business layer models to identify key catalysts of your information.