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Information overload, data explosion and big data – terms we are now reading about on a daily basis.  It’s no secret that the amount of information that businesses are dealing with today is huge, so huge in fact that the actual size is still difficult to grasp.  But what does this mean to businesses today and should they be concerned?

Our recent State of Information survey found that an unimaginable 2.2 Zettabytes of information is stored by businesses.  To try and put this in context, imagine filling the Empire State building with one page documents – 1,287 times – or getting every grain of sand in the world and multiplying the amount by 300.

And it’s continuing to skyrocket.  In fact, over the next year information is expected to grow 67% for enterprises and 178% for SMEs.  Yet for most businesses, storing all this data isn’t a concern anymore as it’s easy to increase storage space in the cloud. However, where businesses are still falling short is when it comes to effectively managing and securing all this data. The reality is that bad management is either leading organisations to spend far more than necessary on storing and protecting their information or worse ignoring the problem and not doing either.

A key issue that has been identified is information sprawl – the overwhelming growth of unstructured information that is disorganised, difficult to access and often duplicated elsewhere.  Companies believe that nearly half (42%) of their information is duplicated, meaning they are paying to store and manage much more information than they need to.

The dog days are over – time to change those pet-based passwords

Having a weak password is making life easy for them and essentially freeing up their time to go on intruding on many more accounts. So it’s important that we give serious thought to the passwords we use, veering away from the more obvious choices such as birthdays, pets, favourite sports teams and other topics close to our hearts. The more obscure and unrelated to us that a password is, and the more unusual, the harder it will be for a hacker to break. Combining numbers and letters provides additional complexity, as does changing the case of the characters. Avoiding writing down passwords and changing them at regular intervals will also bolster our protection from cyber criminals.

At best, a weak password is tempting fate, and at worst, it is providing a welcome sign to criminals looking for easy access into our personal information. Make sure you do all you can in protecting yourself from this threat.