Data management strategy
Risk reduction thanks to data governance
By Joerg Markus Horn
providers about it
Regardless of whether it is digitization of operations or working from home: a clear regulation of who is granted or denied access to what data, for when and how the security and quality of information is ensured and how data is managed is no longer ‘nice to have’, but an absolute necessity.
If companies neglect to control access rights to sensitive data, there are negative consequences for the organization – just think of the occasional disclosure of sensitive information such as project, customer, or even health and decision templates, personnel data, or strategy sheets. This is why well-researched data exists The verdict indispensable. But what exactly does it include and what is the best way to do it?
There is no clear definition of “data management” – but the term can be roughly broken down into “guidance for handling specific data”. In particular, the rights to access information are defined in such a set of rules. Above all, however, are the methods, responsibilities, and processes that define how data in organizations are standardized, integrated, protected, and stored. Well-thought-out data governance ensures that an organization’s employees can only access the information they really need (the need-to-know principle). In addition, with data governance, the risk of legal breaches for the organization and thus the risk of severe penalties can be reduced to a minimum. Because it ensures that all organizational processes comply with legal provisions – for example in relation to Total.
However, it is important that the strategic as well as the tactical and operational level of the organization is involved. And: Data management should not be seen as a one-time procedure, but as an ongoing and iterative process. Appropriate data management tools ensure the implementation of such a strategy. On the one hand, this simplified data management allows, and on the other hand, secure access to information at all times. It also offers other advantages that should not be underestimated.
spoiled in choosing the right tool
However, when deciding which data management tool to use, organizations face a complex decision, because such tools—at least those with common management functions—are plentiful. However, some are designed to perform specific tasks, such as ensuring data quality or compliance. The best solution for each organization ultimately depends on the purpose it aims to achieve. If, for example, data protection is particularly important, it is important to consider not only access authorization regulations, but also those referring to compliance, database and Risk Management is aligned. You should also pay attention to which of the possible solutions provides the highest level of security for data protection compliant information exchange – between employees and outside organizational boundaries. Cloud-based services such as a virtual data room provide effective support here. In particular, structures where even the provider does not have access to the data provide a clear advantage here.
Virtual Data Room Data management tool
A virtual data room is basically a digital version of a physical data room. Because such a platform, like its analogue counterpart, who was there and when is thoroughly documented, enables secure online access to documents and papers. Unauthorized persons do not have access, nor is the unauthorized theft or copying of documents possible. Another advantage: Virtual data rooms with the highest level of security allow full documentation and audit proof of all activities that take place there, which is required for compliance purposes. Better yet, if unauthorized access is completely technically impossible thanks to security and privacy by design. Therefore, these systems are particularly ideal for use in due diligence checks, in the documentation process, in board communications or for persons subject to professional confidentiality.
Another point that should not be neglected is the location of data storage. Because the location of the cloud provider and data center is critical to data security. If these rooms are located in Germany, the default data room is “Made in Germany”, it is ensured that data storage and processing are GDPR compliant and are not outsourced to third countries without an adequate level of protection.
Such a high level of data protection is required if, for example, the cloud service is additionally protected by a number of other technical measures and is “sealed”, so to speak. With these tightly closed infrastructures, unauthorized persons—whether internal or external—can’t access the unencrypted data. The cloud provider itself cannot access the data stored in its platform. Furthermore, both application data and metadata are protected throughout the entire processing chain – whether during transmission, processing or storage. Thus, Sealed Cloud is also ideally suited to people subject to professional confidentiality such as lawyers, doctors or bankers.
Conclusion: Mandatory Program Data Governance
Organizations today have vast amounts of data at their disposal, whether it relates to their employees, customers, clients, patients, suppliers or customers. Since the collaboration of heterogeneous teams (such as internal and external people), sometimes spread across different locations and even different regions, is now the norm, the processing of this information is now shifting more and more to the cloud – a risk that should not be underestimated. This can be addressed through well-thought-out data governance, which enables full documentation of the source, use, and storage of data. Most importantly, such a strategy makes it easy to find and access relevant information while ensuring data is protected at all times. Here at the latest, it becomes clear that well-thought-out data management, which ensures that sensitive information is secured at every stage of use, is not a “cool feature” but a must-have for every organization. With an individually appropriate data governance tool, smooth implementation is also possible.
About the author: Cybersecurity expert Jörg Markus Horn is the chief product officer of the Munich-based cloud and dataroom services provider Unicon GmbH He has been working in the IT security sector for over 20 years. With his extensive experience, he is responsible for the further strategic development of the idgard secure content collaboration platform.