Life looks hard for those with the responsibility for data control and governance. Chunks of data are in different places, in different systems, being organised by different people, probably with different standards of security and safety; much too much is unknown. It’s feels like herding cats, and the causes are not letting up any time soon.
GDPR and NIS regulations have brought data concerns to the fore and made them inescapable, but we were all heading in that direction anyway. Organisations have more and more data that’s crucial to the way business is done, to how things are delivered to customers. Growing regulation is just another rising trend around data making business operations more and more sensitive and delicate, like cyber security.
Never mind the governance framework coming in from outside, all these pools of data are becoming crucial assets, like people, intellectual property, and all the other things that organisations really care about. What will happen when something goes wrong, as it always does? The importance, value, and dependence on data are escalating. This is all getting really serious, whether that’s openly recognised and understood or not.
Most organisations have someone who worries about data control, security and governance. Even if this isn’t in the formalised role of Data Protection Officer, which many organisations must now have by law, that worrier will be thinking about the disruption and damage that could come with a data problem – be it loss or corruption, leakage, someone accessing it who shouldn’t, or simply that no one really has control of what’s going on and there is no firm grip on this important asset from good policies and best practise.
Increasing regulation and external threats are not going to reduce, and neither is the penetration of data across the organisation with the greater dependencies and volumes of data that brings. The answer lies in the way data and systems are organised – to move from an ad hoc world of diverse systems with fragmented governance, to an approach that is unified by good practice and appropriate policies: this can be driven by a Unified Data Access and Protection Strategy – UDAPS.
Organisations need to bring together sensible policies around where data is, who has access to it and how, and how is all this data protected. UDAPS is a management methodology that enables organisations to get a grip on this growing problem of data running out of control, from policy outwards. Bringing the data together brings it under control and makes it straightforward to secure and protect, whatever its role in the organisation – governance is easier, and so is compliance. Delivering the data and access through best of breed systems integrated with the data means that best practice and control can be brought to information sharing and collaboration, granting access when, where and how is appropriate.
Controlling data doesn’t have to be like herding cats. Organisations and their resident worriers can use UDAPS to bring clarity, compliance and good practice to what they do by implementing a unified data, access, and protection strategy.
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