What does “Data Governance” even mean?
In a vacuum, data governance is simple. It’s the process of managing data to accomplish certain objectives. Often these objectives are related to security, privacy, or compliance with external regulations. The term is also associated with responsible management or stewardship of data.
The concept becomes more complex when it is applied across industries or use cases. The scope and impact of data governance is wide-ranging and far-reaching, which can make applying data governance strategies more complicated.
This is especially true for enterprises that already handle huge amounts of data and are examining data governance options to address compliance needs. Increasing regulations worldwide make it so that few businesses can escape the web of compliance requirements.
Data Governance is so much more than complying with regulations though. Read on to find out if you could benefit from a data governance strategy. (hint: you probably can!)
Do I need Data Governance?
- Do you handle data that could be used to identify clients or customers?
- Anything from full names, ages, family members, credit card numbers, social security numbers, license plates or VIN, transaction records, prescriptions, doctor-patient information, policy and account numbers, and so much more!
- Do you work in a highly regulated industry like Defense, Healthcare, or Finance?
- Do you store proprietary or business-critical information, plans, schematics, technology, or logistics details?
- Are you subject to large-scale/international regulations like GDPR?
- If your data was compromised because of a virus, breach, ransomware, or leak, could you face fines, legal penalties, or significant loss of profit?
- Are you subject to internal or external audits of your data or processes?
- Are you trying to leverage data insights to grow your business or build market resilience?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, good news! A data governance strategy can be of help.
Learn more about data governance models, how to build one for your business, and how FileCloud can help with our whitepaper.
Turn Your Data Governance Nays into Yays!
You’re on board with building up your data governance: improving security, addressing compliance needs, and future-proofing your business. Sounds optimal, right? But now you have to convince everyone else.
This could be the most difficult part of implementing a data governance strategy. We’ve assembled a few of the most common barriers to data governance and shown how you can knock those barriers down.
Data Governance/Compliance is too hard!
Recognize that Data Governance is about proactively creating business value and future-proofing data security, rather than reactively complying with external controls. It’s an investment that pays off.
I don’t know where to start.
Identify meaningful tools that will integrate with existing IT or find a new system that can simplify your data governance tasks. Investing now will improve efficiency of business operations and protect future data assets.
Shouldn’t IT handle this?
Take ownership of the Data Governance model. For data governance to succeed, everyone must be involved from the ground up in the data lifecycle (not just the IT department).
I’ve already tried, and it didn’t work.
Don’t try to take on all of your data at once. Start with your most important data and empower your teams with training and communication. Remember that implementing a new system will take time. Once everyone is comfortable with the governance strategy, you can always scale up.
Take Control of Data Governance with FileCloud
FileCloud is a Content Collaboration Platform (CCP) that specializes in hyper-security and data governance. With standard and enterprise options for on-premises or cloud systems, you can rest assured knowing you have the tools to safeguard and govern your data to comply with regulatory requirements and build business value.
Check out our whitepaper for an in-depth review of data governance models and strategies. Read on to discover different tools in FileCloud that can help support your data governance objectives.
FileCloud supports a multi-tiered approach to security, including automatic antivirus scanning upon upload, ransomware and malware prevention, integrations with security event and incident management (SIEM) software, and implementation of REST APIs for precise data management functionality.
Admins can set additional login requirements through Single Sign-on (SSO) and two-factor authentication (2FA) or integrate with Active Directories. File locking and unlimited file versioning ensure that data is preserved internally, so that collaboration never leads to data loss or overwrite.
FileCloud also uses advanced encryption modules, including AES 256-bit encryption for data at rest, SSL/TLS secure tunnels for data in transit, and FIPS 140-2 encryption certification. Bring Your Own Key policies mean clients can leverage site-specific, managed encryption keys in a multi-tenant setup.
Granular Sharing and User Policies
Admins and users can utilize granular sharing options to ensure only specified information is distributed, whether that information resides in a folder, sub-folder, or a specific file. Share links can be sent as public or private (password protected) with varying degrees of permission (read, write, download, share).
Shares can also be set to expire after a certain time. Furthermore, access permissions within the system can be set according to user, group, and global policies. Admin access can also be fine-tuned through role-based access controls (RBAC).
Retention policies are a critical element of data governance. With an enterprise FileCloud license, you can leverage a hierarchical list of retention policies to meet the distinct needs of your organization.
Admins can automate retention processes to secure and manage digital content more consistently and to meet industry or regulatory standards. Available policies include:
- Admin Hold: Outranks all other policies and prevents any update or delete of digital content for an indefinite period of time.
- Legal Hold: Freezes digital content to aid discovery or legal challenges. During a legal hold, file modifications are not allowed.
- Retention: Identifies digital content to be kept around for an unlimited amount of time before being deleted or released.
- Archival: Moves and stores old organizational content for long term. No Deletion is allowed until a specified time period is reached. After this time, content gets moved to a specific folder.
- Trash Retention: Can be configured for automatic and permanent deletion of all files in the Trash bins or to expire with no actions.
Content Classification & DLP
Classification is a major component of data governance. With FileCloud, admins and users can leverage either default or custom metadata tags to support the content classification engine (CCE).
FileCloud’s smart CCE automatically sorts uploaded content, enabling improved search optimization (including e-discovery and pattern search for GDPR compliance).
With a classification system in place, admins can also leverage FileCloud’s Data Leak Prevention (DLP), which uses a system of rules and metadata to guard against unauthorized sharing or access. The DLP expression builder ensures even team leaders and managers without an IT background can set up the rules they need to secure their data.
Comprehensive Reports & Audit Logs
FileCloud offers various administrative features to maintain user control over data such as file analytics and reports, as well as detailed, unchangeable audit trail logs.
These logs capture who (username) did what (access, modify and delete) to what data (files/folders), when (timestamp), where (IP address), and how (web, mobile, sync client and drive). Admins can search transactions and export audit logs as CSV files for detailed analysis.
Endpoint/Remote Device Management
Endpoint device management provides an inventory of all the devices connected to the FileCloud system such as computers, laptops, and smartphones. Administrators can remotely block users or even wipe data on any connected device. The Access Map in the Admin dashboard provides a unique view of connected IP addresses (Geo-IP) to support identification of suspicious activity.
FileCloud’s Compliance Center organizes security and sharing features listed above into one streamlined interface to support your compliance needs. System administrators can follow FileCloud’s specialized configurations for ITAR, GDPR, and HIPAA to apply the necessary security and sharing settings.
Individual rules can be enabled or disabled to reflect the existing governance and compliance protections in place, and linked documentation provides more information on what the requirement is and how FileCloud supports compliance.
Digital Rights Management (DRM)
DRM prevents unauthorized sharing, screenshot capturing, copying, or printing of intellectual property including contracts, sales/marketing reports, eBooks, training materials, and other sensitive documents.
For even greater control, files can be shared through a secure viewer, where only specific elements will be visible. Password requirements ensure only authorized users access shared information, and download limits curtail the distribution of materials. Share links and permissions can also be updated and access revoked at any time.
In reality, data governance can be tricky, intimidating, and even expensive. But it doesn’t have to be. FileCloud can help set your worries and woes aside, thanks to its intuitive user and admin interface, automated tools like metadata, Smart Classification, DLP, and retention policies, compliance support through the Compliance Center, and a hyper-secure platform.
~By Katie Gerhardt, Digital Content Specialist