We’ve been offering free data security assessments for a while now, and it’s striking how similar the experience is for many of the companies who reach out to us. The process always starts the same: someone in IT, security or compliance wants a confidential look at whether the company’s data is at risk. They’re pretty sure it’s not. These are conscientious people running capable teams, and they know the threats they’re facing: ransomware, dormant data, and human error… or human anger. And yet, here’s this free assessment, so, why not?

We get on the phone with these folks and tell them how the whole process will work. We’ll download our software and let it run for a few days on one of their VMs. Then, we’ll send them a report and get back on the phone to talk through the results. That’s the a-ha moment – the moment in which people who were SO CERTAIN understand they were wrong. Either they didn’t realize they had sensitive data, they didn’t realize where it was, they didn’t realize who was accessing it, or all of the above.

Ninety-nine percent of the people we talk to find sensitive information in their data and realize it is vulnerable. I tell people this all the time, and yet we still get the steadfast trooper who stands up and proclaims we will not see anything suspicious in their data because they have taken X and Y measures to insure no Social Security numbers, for example, exist in their client logs.

This happened recently during a conversation I had at a private wealth management firm. I bet one of the compliance leaders dinner for two that we would find something in the data she believed was pure. She and I shook on it. And then we performed the data security assessment. Long story short, my wife and I sure will enjoy the free surf and turf coming our way. Even though this compliance leader lost our friendly bet, she won – she saw firsthand what data awareness can do.

DataGravity for Virtualization is a combination of an MRI and a GPS for your data. The companies that see it are amazed by what we find and the simplicity with which they can use it. See for yourself: sign up for the data security assessment here. It’s free – you don’t even need to buy me dinner to get it.