How Data Sprawl is Raising Issues

Data Sprawl is a growing phenomenon, especially with the remote and hybrid work models being adopted post-pandemic by many organizations. Broadly speaking, data sprawl is the spread of vast amounts of data being collected by organizations that often creep outside of traditional boundaries. For example, they might be stored in a remote location such as an employee’s private databank or completely outside the organization on the cloud perhaps on a piece of the cloud outside the purvue of the organization.

This gives rise to numerous issues.

Some of the data become invisible. In other words, they exist but cannot be readily found. Control over such data can easily be lost. Also, the data might be misconfigured and access controls might be compromised or configured incorrectly.

Data sprawl can also facilitate the leakage of sensitive data, violations of privacy, violations of data processing agreements with other organizations and compromised or stolen credentials for accessing and handling data. And some countries have laws around the residency of data, which might possibly be compromised with data sprawl.

Finally, data sprawl can lead to the unauthorised creation of derivative data sets, and what is known as data drift, where data can be altered and expanded to result in something quite different.

All of this is covered quite nicely in an e-book titled The Top 10 Threats of Data Sprawl and How to Mitigate Them by Dasera at

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