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Oct 20, 2023 Denzil Wessels - CEO

Keep Your Data Where It Is: The Secure Approach to Data Access

In the realm of data management, where the prevailing wisdom has long been to centralize, migrate, and consolidate data, an idea is gaining momentum: keeping data exactly where it is. This approach challenges the traditional concept of data mobility by rethinking how we interact with and harness the power of data – without the need for extensive migrations. However, it's crucial to scrutinize this concept through the lens of security and risk. 

In addition, the way people are leveraging AI today poses a significant challenge when it comes to safeguarding your data. For instance, when you create a vectorized data set for AI and machine learning applications, you inadvertently throw away security, as these models inherently create mathematical relationships between words, making it easier for attackers to decipher sensitive information. In this scenario, all access control goes out the window, leaving organizations vulnerable to data breaches and cyber threats. 

Therefore, the evolving data management paradigm must strike a balance between agility and security, ensuring that data remains accessible and protected simultaneously. In this AI era, now is the time for a paradigm shift. We are poised to transform the way organizations secure, manage and leverage their data. 

The Data Mobility Dilemma

Historically, the mantra has been to centralize data, making it readily accessible from a single location such as a data lake, a data warehouse or cloud repository. This approach, often necessitating complex data migrations, was motivated by several factors.

Centralizing data was seen as a way to provide fast and efficient access to information that fosters collaboration and analysis. As organizations grew, centralization offered a scalable solution, allowing for the expansion of data storage and processing capabilities. Maintaining data in a single location seemingly simplified data management, which in theory, should reduce overhead and complexity. But as with any methodology comes its challenges.

From the cost, complexity and risk of data migrations, to compliance and data sovereignty concerns, these challenges underscore the importance of carefully considering data management strategies. Now add in AI and already complicated data access controls, and exploring alternative approaches to ensure efficient, secure, and compliant data operations is a must.

The New Approach:
Data Access Over Data Movement

The emerging idea challenges the traditional model by advocating for data access over data movement. This approach requires advanced technologies, such as distributed computing, edge computing, and secure data access, to enable real-time access to data wherever it resides. Here's why this paradigm shift is gaining traction:

Data Sovereignty and Compliance: Whether it’s GDPR, CCPA, HIPPA, PCIDSS or one of the other, numerous data compliance regulations, they all require protecting sensitive information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. By enabling secure access to data in its original location, organizations can maintain compliance, whereas, when you migrate that data or begin to make copies of that data, your control disappears. 

Reduced Complexity and Cost: Eliminating the need for large-scale data migrations simplifies data management, reduces infrastructure costs, and mitigates the risk of data loss or corruption during transfers. Plus, organizations can avoid adopting yet another development paradigm. 

Improved Data Freshness: With real-time access to distributed data sources, organizations can work with the most current information, without needing to gather, export, and normalize the data for it to be used in real-time, thus enhancing decision-making and analytics. 

Data Security: Data can remain in its secure, trusted environment, utilizing the controls you’ve already built out, reducing the risk of exposure during migration or centralized storage. In addition, you eliminate new points of risk by eliminating data moving around the network. You only give users access to the data they need and you centralize your compliance-aware access policies while delivering robust audit logs and compliance reporting. 

Minimized Disruption: Critical systems and applications can continue to function without interruption, as they access data directly from its source.

When Does This Approach Make Sense?

The data access over data movement approach may be particularly beneficial in several scenarios:

Distributed Data Sources: When data is generated and maintained across multiple locations, such as IoT devices, edge computing nodes, development servers and the like, accessing data where it originates can be more efficient.

Data Sovereignty: Ensure data remains in compliance with regulations, such as GDPR, by maintaining it in the location where it's subject to legal requirements, preserving data sovereignty.

Regulatory Constraints: In industries or regions with stringent data compliance requirements, this approach ensures compliance without the complexities of migration.

Real-Time Data Needs: For applications that require access to real-time data for decision-making, accessing data at its source can provide a competitive advantage.

Data Diversity: In cases where data types and formats are highly diverse, accessing data directly can reduce the need for data transformation and consolidation.

Future-Proof your Data: When new data structures are introduced, avoid the need to overhaul your processes and retain the advantages of your existing data setup..

Embracing the Future of Data Management

The shift towards data access over data movement represents a bold step towards a more agile, cost-effective, and compliance-friendly approach to data management. By leveraging modern technologies and reimagining data access, organizations can harness the full potential of their data while avoiding the complexities and risks associated with large-scale data migrations. This paradigm shift not only aligns with the evolving data landscape but also sets the stage for a more adaptable and efficient future in the world of data management.


Join Dymium on our journey as we revolutionize data access and governance, transcending the limitations of traditional data management and protection.

Published by Denzil Wessels - CEO October 20, 2023
Denzil Wessels - CEO