2014 marked a noticeable shift with data breaches, big brands and mega-breaches dominating the news. Data breaches became very public and the accountability for these data breaches shifted; we even saw the CEO of Target lose his job following a data breach. 2015 has continued along the same path, with high profile breaches such as the 80-million-customer breach suffered by Anthem.
I recently contributed to an article in Information Age talking about how the increased media pressure, and the shift in accountability, has changed how organizations work with data – and not necessarily for the best. In “Data is not the bad guy: why you can’t let data risks inhibit your growth,” I worked with Information Age writer Chloe Green to talk about how fear of data breaches could be inhibiting innovation in the use of data by the implementation of “draconian policies” meant to protect the data.
When severe data policies are put into place, a workplace loses its data flexibility, impacting productivity. Employees may not be able to access data outside the corporate network, making it difficult to respond to customer needs or match the flexibility of competitors. When restricted, employees lose morale and this, in turn, leads to more mistakes with regards to data – not to mention the intentional attempts by employees to circumvent restrictions in order to remain productive.
In the article, I talk about the dangers of making data the “bad guy” and instead using a data-led approach to business through the company. This could include praise for teams showing good data-centric initiatives and the use of tools to embrace mobile working strategies, among other ideas. A data-led approach is based on three elements: policy (how data and devices can be used), training / education (that is engaging and relevant) and technology to protect the business if and when a data breach occurs. Such technology must be able to prove compliance processes are in place, such as can be achieved with Absolute’s Persistence technology.
In order to protect corporate data, and remain flexible, the attitude toward data must be set from the top. A corporate culture that can embrace a modern way of working is a very powerful asset for any organization. To learn how to secure your corporate data while maintaining flexibility, contact us here at Absolute.