The most sensitive information must be secured at all costs. Without proper governance, disruption to business and revenue loss may occur. Effective governance can increase revenues and customer satisfaction while cutting operational costs.

In order to develop the right controls, you must first know the importance of your data. This requires a thorough understanding of your data and records and the regulations that cover it and the consequences any breach could have on you.

The process of identifying critical data elements isn’t simple but the process is well worth it. It allows your organization to align tasks and goals more accurately, resulting in higher quality products, greater revenue, and reduced risks. It also lets you reduce the number of tasks required to be carried out which can free up resources.

Critical data for your business can be defined as data that should be lost or compromised will have a moderately to significantly negative impact on the ability to perform essential tasks and services. It should be secured by security measures that are matched to the risk and are specified in your policy.

To determine if your information is crucial, consider the three components of any access control: who, what, and how. What refers to the asset itself such as an electric power plant, computer system, or database. Who are the users that are seeking access. This could be humans or computers, and their level of risk. How refers to the level of access required based upon your security policies and guidelines like least privilege and separation of privilege.

A business must also take into consideration the amount of time it’s willing to devote to analyzing and governing important data. If your company doesn’t keep records for long enough to be considered vital and therefore, you can save money and time by deleting them as fast as you can. However, this should be done in a controlled way to ensure that the records that still need to be kept are reclassified to a lower classification.

In addition to identifying and separating critical data, you must create a process of organizing and decluttering your data and records. This means deleting data that is no longer required or valuable, and ensuring that the remaining data is deleted promptly. This will help ensure that your organization only keeps the information that is vital for its operation, and prevents the storage of data which could pose a risk of exploitation.

As the cybersecurity landscape continues to change, it’s crucial that businesses constantly review their most critical data and security controls. By implementing a centralized and easy-to-use database management system companies can reduce risk, improve efficiency and improve satisfaction of their customers. Download this white paper to get more details on managing your data effectively.

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