With every passing year, the landscape of data security becomes more crowded, more complex and, consequently, more challenging to manage.

According to an Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) survey that polled IT decision-makers, 66 percent of respondents said IT is becoming more difficult than it was two years ago. The added challenge is attributable to the explosion of new types and sources of data that have emerged over the last few years. Similarly, when Forrester conducted its “Global Business Technographics Security Survey” last year, it found that, in addition to the ever-shifting nature of threats, 31 percent of business and IT decision-makers cited the complexity of the IT landscape as one of their biggest security challenges.

Defining Data Protection in an Age of IT Complexity

The traditional response to coping with this complexity has been for chief information security officers (CISOs) to purchase and deploy an ever-expanding arsenal of security software and hire more staff to implement those solutions. Enterprises employ as many as 80 distinct security products to meet their security needs, according to an estimate by IBM. However, this plan is not scalable in the long run. Even organizations that consider data security as mission-critical to their core business — financial services, healthcare companies and government agencies, to name a few — will ultimately face budgetary constraints when it comes to data security.

KuppingerCole, in its first Leadership Compass report published in two years on database and big data security, reflects this new reality. In the introduction, KuppingerCole recognizes the shift that has occurred in the market over the last two years: “A notable change in the direction the market is evolving has become apparent: as the amount and variety of digital information an organization is managing grows, the complexity of the IT infrastructure needed to support this digital transformation grows as well.”

Download the KuppingerCole Leadership Compass on Database and Big Data Security

In its previous report, published in March 2017, KuppingerCole identified each of the key functional areas of data and database security solutions available when determining their ratings, breaking the market into eight distinct categories. This year, the report’s authors decided to forego a specific breakdown in favor of a more holistic view of the category, writing that “because of the broad range of technologies involved in ensuring comprehensive data protection, the scope of this market segment isn’t easy to define unambiguously.”

A Leader in Database and Big Data Security

So, how should business leaders and IT decision-makers meet the challenge posed by mounting IT complexity? Large-scale enterprise security companies offer integrated best-of-breed solutions across broad portfolios, providing solutions for myriad data protection pain points. Traditionally, these offerings focused on securing structured data, but the next frontier is securing unstructured data. Every hour, organizations produce a torrent of messages, documents, presentations and other unstructured data. In fact, the majority of data produced by organizations is unstructured, and much of it may contain business-sensitive information. Large enterprise security vendors have the breadth of portfolio, the cross-platform and integration capabilities, and, crucially, the development budget to conquer the mounting complexity.

With that in mind, it comes as no surprise that KuppingerCole listed IBM Security Guardium as a leader in the Database and Big Data Security category. In rating IBM as a “strong positive” in all five of its categories (Security, Functionality, Integration, Interoperability and Usability), KuppingerCole cited the breadth of Guardium’s portfolio, its support for hybrid multicloud environments and its nearly unlimited scalability as some of its greatest strengths.

All signs indicate that, with its broad and sophisticated portfolio, superior data discovery and classification system, and automated data compliance and audit capabilities, IBM Security Guardium is well-positioned to meet the critical challenges of the ever-changing, ever-expanding IT landscape.

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