by Angela Guess
A recent article provides some helpful tips for implementing and maintaining a solid data governance program: “Businesses face challenges when implementing sound policies for dealing with their unstructured data, an ever-present thorn in the side of most enterprises today. It is estimated that more than 80 percent of enterprise data is in unstructured form, meaning it lives in files that are scattered around the file system… The key to making any lasting change is to have a solid plan of attack. The following tips can help your organization implement a system that makes governance on unstructured data a lifestyle change that any business can implement and stick to.”
The article starts on the topic of discovery: “There are a few key elements to getting a handle on unstructured data across your file system. The first step involves discovery. In order to take steps toward a lasting change, you must first take the time to understand your current situation; where you are most vulnerable. A good place to start this exercise is in Active Directory. Since access to files is often determined by group memberships, you can easily discover your current vulnerabilities by assessing groups that are obsolete or whose memberships may need to be updated. Couple this effort with a scan for accounts that are themselves obsolete. Perhaps the simplest way to do this is to identify accounts which have not been used to logon in more than 90 days or some other interval.
Under the topic of attestation, the article states, “After you’ve taken the time to understand the state of your files and folders and the access rights associated with them, the next step is to develop a routine process that enables business owners to easily review and approve user permissions and activity on critical files and folders, as well as to subsequently clean up users and groups with unwarranted access rights. Starting off with the smaller, simpler tasks is the key to making this process more manageable and sticking with it long term.”