“Ninety percent of all data today was created in the last two years—that’s 2.5 quintillion bytes of data per day,” according to business data analytics company Domo. That would be a mind-bending statistic, except that it’s already five years old. 

As data usage has undergone drastic expansion and changes in the past five years, so have your business needs for data. Technology such as cloud computing and AI have changed how we use data, derive value from data, and glean insights from data. Your organization is no longer just crunching and re-crunching the same data sets. Data moves, shifts, and replicates, as you mingle data sets and gain new value in the process, as Google say in their Data Cloud story. All the while, your data resides in—and is being created in—new places.

Data lives in a myriad of locations now and requires access from different locations and mediums, yet many of today’s security models are not geared towards this. In short, your data has fallen out of love with your security model, but attackers have not. So, how do we realign data and security so they are once again in a healthy relationship?

Google Cloud, as a leader in cloud data management and cloud security, is positioned uniquely to define and lead this effort. We’ve identified some challenges around the classic approach to data security and the changes triggered by the near-ubiquity of the cloud. The case is compelling for adopting a modern approach to data security. Google contend that the optimal way forward is with autonomic data security

A relatively new concept, autonomic data security is security that’s been integrated with data throughout its lifecycle. It can make things easier on users by freeing them from defining and redefining myriad rules about who can do what, when, where. It’s an approach that keeps pace with constantly evolving cyberthreats and business changes. 

Autonomic data security can help you keep your IT assets more secure and can make your business and IT processes speedier. For example, data sharing with partners and data access decisions simultaneously becomes faster and more secure. This may sound like magic, but in fact relies on a constant willingness to change and adapt to both business changes and threat evolution.


Taking the precepts, concepts, and forward-looking solutions presented in this paper into consideration, Google strongly believe that now is the right time to assess where you and your business are when it comes to data security. Cloud also brings an incredible scale of computing. Where gigabytes once roamed, petabytes are now common. This means that many data security approaches, especially the manual ones, are no longer practical. 

To prepare for the future of data security, we recommend you challenge your current model and assumptions and ask critical questions, evaluate where you are, and then start to put a plan in place of how you could start incorporating the autonomic data security pillars into your data security model.

There are two sets of questions organizations need to discover the answers to as they start this journey. The first set of questions will help you identify the nature and status of your data, and inform the answers to the second set.

  • What data do I have?
  • Who owns it?
  • Is it sensitive?
  • How is it used?
  • What is the value in storing the data?

The second set focuses on higher-level problems:

  • What is my current approach to data security? 
  • Where does it fail to support the business and counter the threats?
  • Does it support my business? 
  • Should I consider making a change? And if yes, in what direction?

The path to improved data security starts by asking the right questions. You can read the full Autonomic Data Security paper for a more in-depth exploration here and learn more about the idea in this podcast episode.