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The Impact of Data Governance in Cybersecurity

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Read more about author Y’vonne Sisco – Ormond.

Data is a critical asset that supports operations, drives decision-making, and gives businesses a competitive advantage in the marketplace. Unfortunately, today’s data can also be easily targeted by cybercriminals looking to access and tamper with sensitive information. This is why cybersecurity is increasingly becoming a top strategic priority for enterprises of all sizes.

As concerns of cyberattacks continue to rise, security teams are making greater strides in building out the capabilities needed to prepare for and respond to these threats. And as data volumes grow, remote working models mean organizations are now expected to balance productivity and data accessibility with security.

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In addition, staying compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act(CCPA), and other data regulations means that along with safeguarding information, businesses also have a legal obligation to guarantee data privacy with regard to how data is collected, distributed, and used.

This has resulted in the demand for regulatory Data Governance. According to the Data Governance Institute (DGI), Data Governance is defined as “a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.”

How Data Governance Is Essential to Cybersecurity 

Though they are distinct concepts, Data Governance and cybersecurity share a common goal of protecting valuable data assets and ensuring high-quality data is made available to the right people at the right time.

At its core, cybersecurity involves protecting a company’s infrastructure and data against attacks. When it comes to implementing a cybersecurity strategy, Data Governance delivers the insights corporations need to pinpoint their high-value and high-risk data sets and allocate specific resources to protect that information.

Growing Concerns Regarding Cyber Threats

With fraud becoming substantially more sophisticated and data breaches eroding customer trust, there are several different cybersecurity issues to be aware of in today’s business landscape.

Malware

A shorthand for “malicious software,” malware is a catch-all term for any intrusive software such as spyware, ransomware, viruses, and worms designed to harm or exploit a programmable device or network.

Malware occurs when a user clicks on a malicious link or attachment and unknowingly installs dangerous software. Once activated, malware can block access to key network components, covertly retrieve information by transmitting data from the hard drive and make the existing system inoperable.

Phishing

Phishing attacks often rely on emails or text messages that are designed to look like they’re coming from a reliable source, such as a business, bank, or government agency. When recipients click on the link or open an attachment within the email, they unwittingly expose their network to malware.

Phishing scams can take on a variety of different forms. Some emails will ask you to verify your personal financial information by clicking on a link that will take you to a fraudulent website. Others may warn that your email account is in danger of being shut down and that you need to take action.

Crypto and Blockchain Attacks

This digital form of monetary exchange has become fertile ground for hackers, as the infrastructure needed to protect the information associated with these assets has been slower to develop.

The good news is the Cloud Security Alliance is actively monitoring this issue, continually adding to a list of almost 200 weaknesses that apply to blockchain and smart contracts.

Data Governance in Cybersecurity Best Practices

Given the evolving threat landscape and privacy regulations, Data Governance is no longer a choice for organizations that need consistent protection from cybercriminals.

By following these cybersecurity best practices for 2022, you can ensure that your organization is well-equipped to anticipate online threats, neutralize attacks, and recover quickly in the event of a large-scale data breach.  

Take Control of Data Privacy

Many organizations understand the importance of data privacy regulations, including the GDPR and the CCPA. However, many are unprepared for the data privacy regulations that will impact them down the road, such as the Virginia Consumer Data Protection Act. To manage data privacy more effectively, you’ll need a bird’s-eye view of your company’s structured and unstructured content. 

Improve Data Visibility

While data may be your business’s most valuable asset, you won’t be able to manage data that you can’t see. To improve data visibility, consider deploying Data Governance technology to find out where your sensitive files are stored and utilized. From there, you can purge any redundant, obsolete, or stale data with the goal of reducing storage costs and improving the user experience.

Identify Vulnerabilities

Instead of taking a shotgun approach to cybersecurity, evaluate the areas where your current cybersecurity measures need to be streamlined. Identify which risks are threatening your company assets and then establish systems to defend those critical assets.

Today, Data Governance holds the key to the future productivity and sustainability of enterprises. Ultimately, leveraging Data Governance outcomes in a cybersecurity context creates an additional line of defense for the modern corporation’s most valuable assets: data.

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