With over 30 years in the tech industry, it's fair to say that Paula Long has seen a few things that you wouldn't believe in her time. During this period she enjoyed both successes and failures when she found herself caught right in the middle of the 1998 tech start-up boom. She is one of the few that can say they have seen it all before.

After selling her first startup EqualLogic to Dell for $1.4 billion back in 2008, she has earned her title as one of the most successful female entrepreneurs in the tech industry.

Anyone who has spent a considerable amount of time in tech will be familiar with the what's old is new, and new is old cycle that seems to be stuck on repeat. But the biggest change in attitudes Paula has seen over the years is how the so-called techies no longer deliberately attempt to make the simple appear complicated.  

IT used to be shrouded in mystery, but the simplification of everything has changed all that. Paula Long is now the CEO of DataGravity focusing on how data-aware solutions can drive businesses forward with tangible results.

DataGravity tries to solve the age-old problem of protecting organizations from themselves. Implementing a holistic solution to prevent unnecessary risk to data security is their big objective. The majority of security leaks or breaches can usually be attributed to human error and this is where technology offers a helping hand.

A Data strategy that involves software to understand exactly where confidential information is located and add appropriate access to monitor should always be paramount. But, is sadly often neglected.

It's disturbing to learn how many companies are still unaware of how much confidential or sensitive data is being shared by their own staff.  Usual suspects are often cloud storage services such as One Drive, Dropbox or Box that offer an easy way to migrate data under the radar of old systems.

A security breach of any description will cause instant loss of reputation at the very least. Customers now have exponentially higher expectations and assume organizations treat data security seriously.

DataGravity is attempting to take businesses on a journey to a security utopia. Automatic smarter data management is also top of the agenda. A promised land where organizations know the location of their confidential information, exactly who accesses it and when.

The biggest challenge for both developers and businesses is that there simply isn't one product for everything. There are a wealth of applications that all require access to information from unique access points to make a difference.

The silver bullet to this modern problem is ensuring APIs are compatible with different products to increase collaboration. Meanwhile, security needs to be foolproof enough to stop the bad guys but also let the good guys in too.

Proving the ROI of cyber security is notoriously difficult. Many fall back on the risk vs. reward philosophy. But, the harsh reality is that failure to comply could end up with the doors to your business being closed to the global community. Can anyone afford to take this risk?

DataGravity specializes in data-aware solutions to help thwart cyber crime by tagging files from the moment they are created. This provides an audit of who, what and when of accessed data. This becomes invaluable when administrators receive alerts when all any staff member accesses a credit card and Social Security numbers

Files are tagged and tracked as soon as they're created, so the who, what, when and where of the documents can be monitored and audited. The system scans every file for sensitive elements such as credit card and Social Security numbers. When it finds something, it alerts the system administrators immediately putting the business back in control of their confidential information.

With tech royalty at the helm and a wealth of experience, it will be interesting to see if DataGravity can both protect and unleash the hidden value in company data.

Check out my recent conversation with CEO and co-founder Paula Long on my podcast. We discuss her role at DataGravity and why we shouldn't listen to men when it comes to advice about women working in tech.