by Jonathan Sander
Data governance is critical to managing the availability, integrity and security of all data across the enterprise. Every organization must comply with today’s copious amounts of external regulations for handling data, and data governance is the discipline that helps the enterprise remain compliant and avoid regulatory risk. A data governance plan defines who is accountable for your unstructured data held in files, folders and shares across NTFS, NAS devices and SharePoint. It also establishes a set of controls and audit procedures that ensure compliance is continuous.
Along with establishing who is accountable for the data, a data governance plan defines the level of access for each of those data stewards. Ideally, this should be based on each employee’s role and responsibilities, and determined by the business stakeholders who have insight into who should have access to different sensitive data, and what kind of risk is posed by that access. The critical need to maintain regulatory compliance has changed the landscape for businesses today. In the past, business needed IT to perform a task, and, as long as the task was executed, nobody really cared how it was done. With today’s transparency and interconnectedness, businesses want governance and oversight to avoid potentially costly compliance breaches.