Data governance, in its most simple form, is simply the management of your data, covering the usability, availability, integrity and security of your data. As data volumes grow, and data regulations become more stringent, the importance of having a successful data governance strategy becomes more apparent. Establishing a watertight data governance strategy is not simply about ticking a corporate box, it is a vital part of keeping your business and client data safe. Here are three steps your business might take to achieve successful data governance.

Create a Data Governance Council 

Under the GDPR, certain businesses will be obliged to establish a Data Governance Council with Data Stewards, but this measure would genuinely improve the data governance strategy of all business types. Though all of your employees will be required to follow your data governance strategy, this council will liaise with the IT team, and the general staff to implement strategies and policies, overseeing compliance to data governance policies, and assuming responsibility in the case of a data breach.

Monitor Closely and Update Regularly

It is common for businesses to review their data governance strategies once a year but, in reality, this is not often enough and leaves many potential data risks unidentified. Businesses and their data change on a daily basis, which means that your data governance strategy will require close monitoring and updating. The process may seem challenging, but the security of your data is worth it. You should look out for many changes, but most notably who uses your data and how often, the types of data you are storing more regularly, and whether any data is no longer needed. These factors will all influence the attitude you take towards protecting your data and should be addressed as soon as possible, rather than once a year.

Educate Your Staff

Even the most comprehensive of data governance strategies will only work effectively if your employees understand it. Not only is it important that your employees are educated on how to follow your data governance strategy, they must also understand why it is important for them to follow it, and the consequences they and the business face if they fail to. It is also important that you regularly update your employee’s data governance training, ensuring that they are kept abreast of any changes in your strategy and their understanding of data governance issues remains up to date and relevant. In this training, be sure to ask your employees’ opinion and suggestions for additions to your strategy, they will be more engaged with to these guidelines if they played an active part in making them.

Information about your data governance strategy should be stored in an easy-to-understand format and an easy-to-access central location that employees can refer to easily. Finally, it is always best to present your data governance strategy with real life examples so that your employees have a concrete scenario to base your guidelines on.

Data Governance is an integral part to ensuring the quality and security of the data within your organisation. Achieving successful data governance may seem to be another difficult challenge, but it is actually an opportunity for you to protect yourselves and your customers from falling victim to an avoidable data breach.

If you have concerns relating to data security for legacy or end of life IT equipment then contact EOL today


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