Information governance is increasingly complicated in the digital age: Companies no longer have only mobile devices and cloud data to contend with, as emerging technologies, such as wearable devices and the Internet of Things, become inherent to business operations.
But while constantly evolving technology will require a new look at how companies handle business information governance, they can also take advantage of cutting edge tech to boost productivity and even save costs, according to vArmour CISO Demetrios Lazarikos.
"Technology is an enabler," Lazarikos said during a recent SearchCompliance webcast. "As we look at what's happening with technology, it's giving business the opportunity to move faster, have a competitive advantage and use digital assets, digital media and digital delivery for a lot of really, really powerful things."
These digital technologies are changing the way companies conduct business operations but also potentially create unforeseen obstacles when it comes time to take advantage of them. For example, a strong data analytics program is likely necessary to effectively monitor and track corporate data as it moves through these new digital technologies, Lazarikos said.
And before companies can take full advantage of advancing tech, Lazarikos noted that it's important to remember that mobility, cloud and IoT create numerous business information governance challenges as well, including:
- Difficulty developing audit trails due to lack of visibility into mixed environments
- Co-mingling of data between legacy environments and new ones
- Cost management issues
- Developing a bimodal strategy for your IT, Engineering, Infosec and Support teams
- Protecting unencrypted data at rest
- Maintaining consumer privacy and data integrity
IoT governance complications
At the center of these business information governance challenges is the continued proliferation of the Internet of Things, and associated IoT governance processes, into the corporate setting.
Demetrios LazarikosCISO, vArmour
"If you look at different types of manufacturers for electronics, appliances, business or home automation, security and monitoring -- IoT is everywhere," Lazarikos said.
The IoT data, along with mobile and cloud information, often flows through multiple data centers and requires new ways to track, process and store this data. This makes IoT governance and other data management techniques very complex as companies add and embrace new technology to solve business problems.
A top priority for businesses should be figuring out how to protect data as it moves through these rapidly advancing environments, Lazarikos said. It's vital to start at the beginning, he said: The first step is figuring out what specific data will be stored, transmitted or generated when any new technology or application is being used by the business.
Companies must also continue to track and monitor this data throughout its lifecycle as well, using strategies such as internal scans and pen testing to make sure the data is adequately protected as it moves through the new, agile environments.
"We have to integrate security into the business process," Lazarikos said. "Solutions and tools aren't enough to protect your infrastructure."
In this webcast, Lazarikos discusses how companies can adapt business information governance strategies to accommodate rapidly advancing consumer technology. New tech such as IoT can ultimately prove very beneficial to business processes but will require input from the entire organization to make sure governance processes can accommodate groundbreaking technologies, he said.
"Infosec and governance have to be driven from the top down," Lazarikos said.