#DSCloud16: Strong governance needed to manage new data ‘high water mark’

Businesses need to implement effective information governance to maintain control over the huge volumes of data they create.

Speaking at Data Security in the Cloud 2016, Bennett Borden, founder and chair of the Information Governance Initiative, said: "The main problem we find with most companies is that they have not purposefully gone about creating information.

"It is a byproduct of their business."

He rejected the common rhetoric of "explosions", "floods" and "tsunamis" in terms of data, preferring instead to refer to it as a "permanent change in the high water mark".

"Every one of our companies is made up of employees and managers and executives who execute their jobs through electronic means," Borden said. "They create data in that they do and it has not been purposefully governed."

He explained that many firms look towards information technology to solve this problem, but it does not. The answer actually lies somewhere between marketing – which wants to distribute information – and security, which wants to keep it within the organisation.

“The problem is how you get these competing interests and lines of sight to find a solution that suits the business,” Borden said.

The answer, he explained, lies in a balanced and formal mechanism that can apply to everything from creating BYOD policies to deciding upon data classifications.

“You cannot answer any of those questions without knowing what the company’s objective is,” he said. The most important question is, “What information do I need to do my job?”

Unfortunately, Borden said, many big companies cannot answer simple questions like these.

But to effectively govern their data they need to know exactly what they need, how long they need it for and how they can safely get rid of it when it is no longer needed.

However, 75 per cent of firms say a lack of understanding and awareness of the value of information governance is standing in the way of these processes.

“Companies that figure out are they are information companies are the ones who will govern their information effectively and will be more effective in everything they do,” Borden said.

Click here to catch up on all our coverage from Data Security in the Cloud 2016.


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