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Data Governance Can Strengthen Your Cybersecurity Efforts

The problem of securing an enterprise’s data resources is one of those things that keeps a CIO awake at night. New threats are always being introduced into the computing environment and many of them revolve around gaining unauthorized access to the confidential and sensitive information residing in corporate databases. Keeping malicious entities away from this precious data can be the cause of very disturbing nightmares.

Protecting the personal data that an organization has compiled about its customers or employees has always been an important component of their security policies and procedures. This importance has been ramped up by the proliferation of privacy regulations that need to be negotiated for businesses to remain compliant and avoid penalties that affect their finances and reputations. Led by the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR), many other jurisdictions are introducing standards for the handling of individuals’ sensitive personal data.

Failure to comply with privacy standards and regulations can increase the damage that ensues in the aftermath of a data breach. In addition to the cost of lost customer confidence and business, an organization must deal with substantial fines for non-compliance. This raises the stakes and makes it even more essential that data resources are properly protected.

How Data Governance Helps Protect Sensitive Data

A required first step when implementing a plan to protect enterprise data is to understand what you have, where it is being stored, and who has access to it. Armed with this knowledge, systems and procedures that impact sensitive data can be hardened to reduce the success of cyberattacks. Data governance is an integral part of enterprise data management that can assist in providing cybersecurity to your data resources.

Data governance is defined in a variety of ways. One definition is the practice of organizing and implementing policies, procedures, and standards for the effective use of an organization’s structured/unstructured information assets. It has a direct impact on your ability to establish strong data management and cybersecurity procedures throughout the enterprise. Here are the ways it helps to keep your company’s data safe.

  • Identifying at-risk data is a priority that can be facilitated through data governance. The collaborative process of building a data model incorporates diverse departments to create enterprise-wide classifications that make it possible to understand the type of sensitive data that may be at risk.

  • Locating an enterprise’s sensitive data is essential in their quest to protect it. Inventorying data assets during the development of the data governance program shows where it is stored and may uncover previously unconsidered areas of concern. Knowing where sensitive data resides makes it easier to rapidly respond in the event of a data breach.

  • The issues of who is using an organization’s sensitive data and how access is controlled are other critical aspects of data protection that are assisted by a strong data governance initiative. The standards and policies adopted through data governance should reduce the chances of mishandling sensitive data and enforce accountability in the event that issues arise.

Instituting Data Governance

IDERA’s ER/Studio Enterprise Team Edition offers the perfect collaborative tool with which to build the foundation of a viable data governance strategy. A common language revolving around enterprise data provides the building blocks of the program. ER/Studio gives organizations the right tool to implement naming standards and a data dictionary for consistency across departmental lines. This avoids confusion where different areas of an enterprise may view data in radically disparate ways.

ER/Studio lets you discover and document current data assets throughout your environment. Determine data sources and manage its transformation as it moves throughout the organization. The tool allows you to ensure consistency between data models and databases and lets you analyze the impact of new policies before they are implemented. It’s a valuable tool that enables the construction of a strong data governance foundation to help maintain robust cybersecurity.

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