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New York (US) and London (UK): Varonis – the leader in data governance software, has gone out on a limb to predict that the world will not end on December 21, 2012. In stark contrast to many Doomsayers who warn of an apocalypse being a reality next month, Varonis instead warns organisations to prepare for an increase in ‘Salami Attacks’ - a series of minor attacks that together result in a larger attack.

Speaking about this warning, Varonis CEO and co-founder Yaki Faitelson explained, “A bit like a sandwich is pieced together one ingredient a time, we believe that the vast expanse of information about employees and business partners poses a new and very real threat to organisations. All the individual scraps of information about an individual online can be researched and pieced together to create a complete picture – who they are, where they work, which school they attended. It’s all there waiting to be plundered and the primary thing that saves most people is nobody is looking for them. But what if someone were? It’s important that, as an organisation, you make sure your employees – especially those in key positions, are made aware of the risks. Consider collecting the information that’s easily accessible on one employee to demonstrate what can be done to really bring the message home.”

Varonis has five more predictions of the challenges organisations will face over the next twelve months:

A Rise in Internal Search

There’s a growing gulf between the people who know how to find the right information quickly and those that don’t. Organisations need to get their employees thinking about what needs to be kept, what has to be kept legally, what can be removed and how to intelligently archive their information. Yaki adds, “Organisations are storing so much data – intelligent search, retention, and archiving will be a competitive advantage.”

A Growing Chasm between IT and Everyone Else

There’s a growing disparity between how people use technology in their personal and professional lives. With a huge portion of the workforce connecting remotely via both personal and professional devices, the traditional infrastructure is being assaulted by new requirements, devices and services. This will impact a number of business areas. For example, who owns the intellectual property of documents created on a personal device? If an employee uses a personal device to check their work email, what rights does the organisation have to access, search, or wipe the memory? Organisations must become master in their own home, yet still offer the flexibility the workforce is increasingly demanding.

Inter-organisational Collaboration

Organisations are used to collaborating internally but the need to collaborate with third parties—business partners, contractors, vendors, customers, etc.—is increasing, and files are growing too numerous and too large for email. Organisations need to introduce processes that ensure the right sensitive information is shared, with the right people, securely.

The Data Mountain

Analysts concur that data is growing exponentially – with IDC quoting 50% year on year. In contrast, Moore’s law estimated that processing power doubles every two years, although many believe that 2013 will see this growth start to slow. Organisations need to look for solutions that will intelligently archive their information, while automating management and protection.

Shortage of people with big data analytics skills

While technology exists which allows organisations to store and analyse huge amounts of data, there is a serious lack of data scientists to interpret the results and make informed decisions. More information doesn’t always lead to better decisions. But, if you have the automation and the talent to distinguish causality from coincidence, you can gain an edge.