It’s no secret that the volume of data created by organizations and people multiplies daily. That data is spread across more tools, platforms, devices and clouds than ever before, creating regulatory challenges and security risk. This article looks at simplifying data governance by taking a bird’s-eye view of the state of your information assets and mapping where they live.
According to IDC, “the ‘Global Datasphere’ in 2018 reached 18 zettabytes.” This is the total of all data created, captured or replicated. Most of the world’s data has been created in the last few years, and this astonishing growth of data shows no sign of slowing. In fact, “IDC predicts the world’s data will grow to 175 zettabytes in 2025.” Data is massive today. Just one zettabyte could tile over New York City two times over.
Here are some key daily statistics (numbers are approximate):
- Five-hundred million tweets are sent.
- Two-hundred ninety-four billion emails are sent.
- Four petabytes of data are created on Facebook.
- Four terabytes of data are created from each connected car.
- Sixty-five billion messages are sent on WhatsApp.
- Five billion searches are made.
By 2025, we’ll most likely reach 463 exabytes of data created each day globally. That’s the equivalent of about 213 million DVDs per day.
And that data is spread across more tools, platforms, devices and clouds than ever before, creating not only regulatory compliance challenges but security risk. By having a strong governance approach, you mitigate that risk and reduce the attack surface of a security breach, should one happen.
Most research indicates that data governance concerns effect a slow burn on boards and c-suites that can rapidly ignite into a wildfire. A 2021 survey by Protiviti and NC State University of over 1,000 chief officers and board members from around the world put “privacy and identity management” as fifth and “managing cyber threats” as sixth in a ranking of most-pressing risks.
Breaking Down the Journey
The volume and variety of data are increasing across on-premises and multi-cloud environments. Maximizing the business value of data through broad, compliant data governance across an organization is significant. Organizations must ensure secure data and regulatory compliance is a core part of business operations. This is not just for reassuring corporate stakeholders and partners but also for attracting and keeping customers. According to EY’s 7th Future Consumer Index report, 66 percent of American customers believe that brands must behave ethically and follow community expectations.
By using machine learning to automate many processes and bring the information overload under control, data governance will ease the burden for organizations. At the core, data governance design is about protecting data and preventing unauthorized access or exposure. Organizations need to understand where their data is scattered throughout operations and whether they are compliant with data privacy regulations. This has been a struggle for many organizations, and traditional governance approaches have often been manual and labor-intensive.
Siloed approaches are failing because they are limiting. Good governance tools are not an after-thought but occur in the context of day-to-day information work — and focus on the entire lifecycle of the data. Managing your organization’s data from a protection and governance perspective can be simplified through technologies today. For organizations to overcome the uncertainty of the safety of their data today, organizations must have a bird’s-eye view of all their data. How is this accomplished?
- Putting trust at the forefront of your goals, planning and strategy; do that, and your customers will put faith in you.
- Leveraging automation and AI. Automating tasks like data organization and compliance auditing frees up time for higher-priority issues like privacy and security functions.
- Using a modular approach to data classification. Scan data sources, collect their metadata, detect lineage information and classify sensitive data on an automated basis, populating a “data map” or “knowledge graph.”
- Leveraging extension points for the creation of new data source connectors and new data classifiers.
- Finding a solution that addresses the twin needs of keeping data discoverable and managing its use in compliance with data protection regulations in multiple jurisdictions worldwide.
- Managing the lifecycle of data. This helps manage risk by reducing the amount of content you must protect.
The Data Governance Institute lists the most common goals organizations have for data governance initiatives:
- Enable better decision-making
- Reduce operational friction
- Protect the needs of data stakeholders
- Train staff to adopt common approaches to data issues
- Build standard, repeatable processes
- Reduce costs and increase effectiveness through coordination of efforts
- Ensure transparency of processes
Establishing the right goals for processes and technologies will help your organization reach success.
A Complete and Clear Picture
Data governance can deliver high-quality, trusted and compliant data, which is why many data professionals are pursuing better governance initiatives.
Today, it is imperative that those responsible for data governance understand what data they have and where it lives, how it is used and critically, how it’s all governed. How an organization stores its data and how long it is kept is a regulatory compliance issue and a security issue.
In the End
Complete visibility across all the places where your data lives makes it easier to manage, garner insights and govern. An integrated approach to data governance will help you better understand and analyze your data and reduce your attack surface. Organizations around the globe look to integrate governance and protection into all data and IT projects across their organization to meet business requirements for remote work, digital transformation and legal compliance.
Our new normal demands this.