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Aparavi update focuses on managing, eliminating PII

Aparavi Platform's new capabilities include automation tools to isolate personally identifiable information and other sensitive unstructured data.

Aparavi Software wants its customers to take action on data in their stewardship through the latest update to its flagship Aparavi Platform, which includes added protection of sensitive personally identifiable information.

The latest update to the Aparavi Platform, called Version 2.0, adds new user capabilities including Data Actions and Action Policies. The cloud SaaS enables users to see, tag and move unstructured data either at will or with automated policies through a webpage console, agnostic of storage vendor or location.

Data Actions enables data management with automated metadata tagging capabilities. Through both automatically generated tags and custom tags, customers can query for specific files or data sets, such as personally identifiable information (PII), and set up policies for backup and migration.

Action Policies is a collection of 170 popular pre-configured data policies including retention times, deletion standards and more. Customers can also set up custom policies for further control.

Aparavi sells the Aparavi Platform to MSPs as well as a handful of direct users. The SaaS is priced at $8,400 for data assessments up to 25 TB and $25,000 for assessments of 100 TB. Action Policies follows another licensing model, negotiated by contract.

Crowd control

Promises of protection against ransomware and hacking continue to dominate discourse surrounding data backup, but unstructured data management services provide another form of protection against venial data transgressions, said Johnny Yu, a research manager at IDC.

"In a perfect world where all our IT isn't devoted to stopping bad guys, [our next focus] would be this uncontrollable data growth," Yu said.

Potential legal and financial issues can arise from unstructured data, such as keeping PII in unsecure files or paying for backups of outdated data that the organization hasn't bothered to review, he said.

"They're doing all the important work that goes on before backup," he said. "If you don't put that homework in first, you end up backing up data you don't need or want to back up."

Aparavi offers similar features and capabilities to Komprise, Yu noted, and it benefits from remaining platform agnostic for both on premises and cloud storage with S3 compatibility. Aparavi tends to focus on multi-tenancy, a key capability to support for MSP, Yu said.

Finding and eliminating PII is quickly become an important piece of proper data management and stewardship, according to Ray Lucchesi, president of Silverton Consulting. Data stolen by a hacking attempt can be frustrating, but leaving PII in unmanaged data leads to far more damaging fallout than just swiped data alone, he said.

Data is proliferating left and right. It's a catch-up game.
Ray LucchesiPresident, Silverton Consulting

"Customers have got personal information sitting around [company] data centers," Lucchesi said. "You really want to have something go out and find that information, wherever it is. Data is proliferating left and right. It's a catch-up game."

Aparavi Platform's Data Actions includes policies that locate PII not just by numbers, but also by analyzing context-sensitive statements and information, such as verbiage used in a credit card statement, according to Matt Carpenter, a senior vice president at Aparavi.

Inbox indexing

This release of the Aparavi Platform also marks a change in how upcoming updates will be released, according to Carpenter.

Future updates and storage connections will arrive in biweekly updates to the platform with future management targets that include Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace. Aparavi is also working on support for other Microsoft products including OneDrive and SharePoint.

The new Data Actions can also allow a customer to set up data policies in agreement with environmental, social and corporate governance data reports, such as moving files to a data center with a lower carbon footprint.

The company currently operates data centers in the Americas and throughout the EU.

User email and inboxes tend to be hotbeds of PII buildup and unstructured data, Yu said. Users usually don't go out of their way to manually tag and track email data, making inbox data automation an important data management strategy.

"Being able to introduce any sort of automated tagging, that's a big deal," he said.

Tim McCarthy is a journalist living in the North Shore of Massachusetts. He covers cloud and data storage news.

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