Data governance and the future of digital work

Andrew Martin, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing EMEA and Managing Director UK at Egnyte, discusses the biggest trends in data governance that will shape the future of digital work

The measures needed to be truly compliant have evolved since Covid-19 took hold.

The demands placed on leaders in data governance have intensified in recent years: increasing amounts of data straddling the edge, on-premises, and across multiple cloud environments; business users demand self-service data access models; and stricter regulations such as GDPR each contribute to increased accountability and urgency.

Add to that the disruption and complexity brought on by COVID and virtually overnight, existing approaches to governance were called into question as many organizations were forced to reconsider their processes in a context of containment and remote working. Put it all together and data governance is under extreme pressure.

Specifically, recent research commissioned by egnyte has shown that remote working contributes to the existing to-do list by causing more data sprawl than ever before, while dramatically increasing the risks and vulnerabilities associated with sensitive information. It gives leaders sleepless nights. Three-quarters (76%) of CIOs surveyed were concerned about the effects of content sprawl, with 38% of C suite IT people falling into the “very concerned” category.

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Concerns are mounting

As the growth of content proliferates uncontrollably, the sensitive data it contains becomes increasingly vulnerable to breaches, breaches, and compliance fines. This may explain why nearly half of C suite IT managers (40%) say an increased risk of a data breach is their top concern. This is hardly surprising then that on average 47% of business files contain sensitive data such as personal identification information and credit card numbers.

For example, 56% of C suite IT managers say that half or more of their files contain sensitive data. In industries such as finance, insurance and healthcare, the number of sensitive files can reach 100%, which means that if a given file falls into the wrong hands, it is more likely than not contains data that a bad actor could exploit. .

And the problems don’t end there: Scattered employees using a wide variety of company-owned devices and “bring your own” make even the basics of file and access management more complex and risky. In fact, half of C suite IT managers (46%) say employees have access to files they shouldn’t, while 40% don’t have access to files they should. And in total, 97% of respondents say that existing approaches to digital file management create major problems, ranging from files kept on unsecured devices to those lost and unrecoverable.

Move forward with confidence

Given this wide range of pressing issues, how do IT managers want to move forward? Clearly, a priority should be finding solutions that can manage digital workloads and mitigate pervasive risks.

In fact, IT departments have already implemented a range of protocols to protect sensitive data during increased remote work, including keeping security tools up to date, such as antivirus software and firewalls ( 45%), avoiding public Wi-Fi (44%) and using a virtual private network, or VPN (40%).

In addition, they are also taking steps to combat sprawl and improve digital file management, especially in light of the increase in remote working. Of those surveyed, 42% have implemented at least four measures to improve their content management architectures. These include data lifecycle management (42%), virtual assistants and data automation (42%), authorization monitoring (41%), and automated content classification (40%).

Looking ahead to the measures they plan to invest in, AI virtual assistants and automation for file management were at the top of the wish list of CIOs (30%), followed by discovery and ransomware protection (29%) and monitoring and authorization management (29%).

Since artificial intelligence and machine learning are hot topics in the economy at large, they could offer many opportunities for governance officials and IT departments to improve their operations in the future. Today, nearly a quarter of IT managers in the C suite (23%) consider managing and organizing files to be one of the best applications for AI and machine learning, and 24% think that AI or machine learning would be better applied to identify and protect sensitive data. in files.

Ultimately, organizations need to take stock of their exposure to existing and new governance risks or gaps in their processes and technologies to fully prepare for the future of digital work. While some companies plan to revert to pre-pandemic working practices as soon as possible, many others see remote or hybrid working as a permanent solution. Regardless of the situation, the day-to-day realities and risks associated with data governance have grown dramatically over the past 18 months, to the point that standard pre-COVID processes may now be inadequate.

Organizations that recognize these realities around data governance and update their approach to reflect the pace of change in the workplace will be uniquely positioned to maintain the highest standards of quality and trust, scale operations and accelerate the impact of new business opportunities. .

Written by André Martin, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing EMEA and Managing Director UK at egnyte

About Donnie R. Losey

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