Home Enterprise Podcast #116: Delete those files!

Podcast #116: Delete those files!

by Harold Fritts

Brian tackles the concept of data deletion on this podcast and why it is essential. Brian’s guest is Dr. Vincent Berk, Chief Strategy Officer at Quantum Xchange.

Brian tackles the concept of data deletion on this podcast and why it is essential. Brian’s guest is Dr. Vincent Berk, Chief Strategy Officer at Quantum Xchange.

Dr. Berk has a Ph.D. in AI/ML and describes himself as an “energetic technologist, entrepreneur, and animated thought leader in cyber security, driving growth through innovative SaaS solutions. He was the founder and CEO of FlowTraq, a cyber security company that Riverbed acquired.”  Dr. Berk is also a blogger, public speaker, and startup advisor. Before his current role, he was a computer science faculty member at Dartmouth College. He urged boards and executives to start viewing their hoarded data as a liability rather than a ticket to incredible growth. He stressed the importance of instituting policies that dealt with data destruction.

Why do we covet our data so passionately? According to Dr. Berk, the affordability, low maintenance, and ease of use of the cloud mean that organizations have an increasing tendency to hoard data. He asserts that this hoarded data is a corporate liability, a detriment to organizations that increases their appeal to bad actors. For example, from December 2022 through February 8, 2023, there have been nine data breach incidents. The unlucky targets included MailChimp, T-Mobile, JD Sports, and others. The Roomba data breach included leaked images from iRobot customers. Check your smart vacuum.

Brian wastes no time jumping right into the discussion by asking Dr. Berk how he got into the notion of people deleting data. It’s an interesting topic that gets overlooked. If you don’t have time to listen all the way through, the time stamps are listed below.

00:00  Intro (Jumping right into the topic)

  • Why the interest in data deletion
  • Risk profile
  • Why keep all that data
  • Inexpensive to store
  • Risk vs. Liability

05:00  Point of diminishing returns

  • It depends on what you will do with the data
  • Examples of value
    • Medication
    • Social Media
  • Finding a way to use the data
  • Risk profile
  • Is the value higher for older or current data
  • Purpose

10:00  Good hygiene for data

  • Encrypt
  • The cost of keeping data
  • Reasons to keep the data
  • Violation
  • Remediation

15:00 It’s hard

  • Data is stored everywhere now
    • files
    • databases
    • cloud
    • wire
  • Who is responsible
  • Risk justification
  • Where to start
  • Legal Ramifications

20:00  What are the processes

  • Encrypt or destroy
  • Long-term costs
  • Green initiatives

25:00  Philosophical

  • Should the Internet “forget” data
  • Leaving the decision to the social media companies
  • Clicking the “I agree” box without reading the content

30:00  What happens when companies get acquired

  • Risk to backups
  • Bad actors go for the backups
  • Is it necessary to backup
    • What do cloud service providers say?
  • Cloud is just different
  • Encrypt
    • who has access to the keys
  • What data does need to be kept
    • orphaned data

35:00  Is there an easy button

  • Externalized cost of the benefit of the computing industry
  • Drawbacks
  • Losing data is the exception
  • What happens to the data during troubleshooting
  • What happens to the data when someone leaves the organization
  • The industry doesn’t have this discussion

40:00  Shared docs

  • File sizes
  • Number of files shared
  • Docs that get shared over and over
  • What is the liability of the data
  • Should SAS companies create a best practices

45:00 Wrap-up

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