A new study from the Ponemon Institute found the growth of unstructured data, such as documents, spreadsheets and presentations, is creating data management challenges for companies, leading to increased costs as they attempt to achieve compliance with various regulations.
In a survey of 100 organizations, the research firm discovered that those organizations that fail to manage unstructured data properly pay an average of $2.1 million each year in compliance-related costs.
This figure varies depending the size of the organization and the industry. For example, heavily regulated industries, such as healthcare and financial, tend to pay more in compliance-related costs, averaging $2.5 million per year.
Smaller companies tend to pay less than their larger counterparts for unstructured data compliance. According to the report, businesses with fewer than 5,000 employees pay an average of $1.2 million each year. However, the report also stated that smaller businesses tend to pay more per employee for compliance, often six times that which larger organizations pay.
"The struggle to manage and maintain file systems on a regular basis is a consistent challenge for businesses. Factor in crippling compliance costs, and it's clear that organizations need a better way to intelligently govern their information," said Sophia Germanides, product marketing manager at Novell, which sponsored the report.
Data compliance is a growing concern across industries, regardless of their size. With this in mind, the PCI Security Standards Council recently issued guidance pertaining to virtualization for retailers and other organizations dealing with credit card information.
In its PCI DSS Virtualization Guidelines Information Supplement, the council attempted to allay some of the concerns companies have with deploying virtualization and help clarify how they can achieve compliance with the technology.
This is an important development, as business that fail to comply with the PCI DSS are generally more prone to data breaches and, thus, sanctions from federal and industry regulators.