Technology adoption is rarely linear. In fact, the best way to think of it is something that moves through various cycles; from the earliest innovation spark to mainstream adoption and productive use. This graphical representation was pioneered by Gartner, whose hype cycle for various tech product categories now informs enterprise purchasing decisions across the globe.
The analyst’s latest Hype Cycle for Data Security report not only recognizes comforte as a sample vendor for both Format-Preserving Encryption (FPE) and Data Security Platforms (DSPs). It also provides compelling evidence for why organizations should have data protection at the heart of their cybersecurity programs, and how they can deploy the technology effectively.
A distributed, cloudy world
Business and IT leaders live in a cloud-centric world; one where data analytics can generate intelligence to make potentially critical decisions. But the price they pay for such information is a huge requirement for data storage and backups. With data stored and processed across distributed cloud environments, often siloed in nature because they’re built by different providers, efficient discovery and accurate classification becomes a major challenge. Organizations operating across multiple jurisdictions have an added headache to manage—keeping regulators happy amidst an increasingly complex patchwork of data protection laws.
Their work is made that much harder because the security products they use across these siloed cloud environments are themselves often non-interoperable. As Gartner says, many companies’ security controls “use proprietary data classification, act on specific repositories or processing steps, and do not integrate with each other.” This impacts the ability of teams to deploy effective and consistent data security which can meet the needs of the business for prompt access.
What comes next?
Against this backdrop, Gartner recommends DSPs, which “aggregate data protection requirements across data types, storage silos and ecosystems, starting with data discovery and classification.” Spurred by open data regulations, DevSecOps initiatives, distributed data stores and demand for advanced analytics, enterprises are waking up to the potential of DSPs. The analyst claims that these platforms currently have a market penetration of up to 5%, but with maturity classed as “emerging” and potentially “high” benefits, this share is sure to grow significantly.
Gartner says DSPs reduce integration costs, manual work and friction by linking up formerly disparate data security controls. This in turn can generate a range of benefits including increased visibility and control, enabling “wiser decisions” and “better outcomes.”
The report claims FPE is further along in market penetration (5-10%) and maturity (adolescent). It’s useful in protecting data at rest and in use (such as when accessed via an app) while maintaining the original data length and format. This will protect fields in databases and document types, to avoid breaking key enterprise systems. But it will still offer great protection against insider threats, external hackers and other security, privacy and compliance risks.
Forward with comforte
Among Gartner’s recommendations are to prioritize DSP investments by assessing the technology for all new data security projects. And to choose solutions which can provide a “well-integrated, broad spectrum of controls such as tokenization and FPE.”
This is where comforte can help. Our Data Security Platform automatically and continuously discovers and classifies enterprise data, wherever it is, and offers a range of data protection methods, including FPE and tokenization. It’s time to optimize your data security.