Do you have full visibility into your company’s data?

In Data Lineage by clairvoya

If you can’t answer these 5 questions, you have blind spots.

As a CISO or someone responsible for your company’s and clients’ data, you are charged with protecting the most sensitive information. You manage incident response when something gets breached. You play a role in privacy compliance and information governance. You evaluate and make decisions on technology investments. You help shape the company’s digital transformation. And, within the last 90 days, your operating model was likely turned on its head.

Your role is more critical than ever. And, your challenges are increasingly complex. Threats are rising, systems and budgets are stretched, and we are all facing a new reality with the COVID crisis.

Leadership is looking to you for insights and recommendations. According to a global survey of information security heads in 2019, more than half (57%) of the surveyed IT security chiefs schedule meetings with the board on a regular basis, and 56% are requested to provide their expert opinions on future IT projects.

Are you ready to respond? Will your organization persevere and come out ahead?

To eliminate blind spots and future-proof your company against whatever comes next, you must have full visibility into your organization’s data and be able to answer the following 5 questions:

  1. What’s in your data?
  2. Who touched it?
  3. Where it come from?
  4. How did it change?
  5. Where else did the data go?

What’s in your data?

You can’t protect what you can’t see. Whether you’re a small company with gigabytes of data or a large enterprise with terabytes of information, you have to know what’s in your data in order to protect it and comply with privacy and other regulations.

According to a 2019 Veritas data management study, ~52% of all data within organizations remains unclassified or untagged. This means companies have little to no visibility into what they are trying to protect.

“The majority of CISOs would be shocked to know the type of data their organization is storing and where it’s being stored,” says Clairvoya CTO, Phil Richards. “I’ve helped hundreds of companies with their data issues and not one, from boutique firms to Fortune 100 businesses, had a firm grasp on what was in their data.”

Phil Richards, CTO, Clairvoya

What happens when you don’t have full visibility into your data?

It means improper information security controls. You could miss what’s needed to meet the privacy requirements of CCPA, GDPR, and, ultimately, your customers.

Storing information longer than necessary also comes with disadvantages. Unnecessary storage inevitably leads to greater costs, increased litigation exposure, and added complexity for your digital transformation initiatives.

But, simply understanding what’s in your data doesn’t give you the complete picture. It’s the data’s lineage and entire history that tells the full story. Without knowing who’s accessed data, how it flows, and what’s happened to it, you’re flying blind.

Who touched the data?

When it comes to protecting access to sensitive data, for most companies, the best they can do is answer who last touched the data and possibly who created it. Now, add the complexity of remote workforces accessing data outside of in-house systems.

Can you really see all the touchpoints in your data’s lineage?

According to Richards, “If you know who’s accessing information and if that access is appropriate, you can make decisions based on reality, not speculation.” You can conduct faster and more accurate root cause analysis; important when the C-suite is demanding answers and reputations are at stake. You are also empowered to answer critical questions of context needed for privacy compliance like, “Under what circumstances is access to certain data acceptable?”

With the complete picture, you can verify and fine tune controls for maximum effectiveness, fueling the insight you need to inform your organization and drive smarter decisions that reduce risk, achieve compliance, and save money.

Where did the data come from?

When it comes to data flows, most companies are in the dark and dependent on people’s qualitative input. Now, add to that the complexity of a distributed workforce. How can you fully and confidently understand your data’s lineage?

How data flows between people, systems, and organizations is often a mystery unless there’s a manual effort to map it out. Interviews can recreate data lineage, but this only captures information at a point in time and input is subject to the judgment and recollections of those surveyed.

Do you want to base the investment and implementation of identity and access management technology, DLP, and firewall solutions on imperfect and subjective perspectives? Will you be confident in answering the Board’s questions about whether or not your company has the appropriate protections in place?

How did the data change?

For a complete understanding of your data, you also need to know how it has changed over time. It’s critical information to understanding lineage and shedding light on its true history.

It’s also a path to more effective version control, processes and protocols.

Armed with this knowledge, you not only have the evolutionary trail of your data, you have the insights to improve controls and avoid future missteps that could put sensitive data at risk.

Where did the data go?

If there’s a sensitive data breach in your organization, “Where did it go?” is the million-dollar question. And your answer is critical to regaining confidence and compliance.

Being able to answer where your company’s data went will tell you if your information security policies and processes work as intended. It the key to knowing that a breach has been contained and you understand its full scope. It affirms whether you’re in full privacy compliance with a request to delete all personal data. And, it ensures that everything is covered in a digital transformation project.

Now what?

It starts at the beginning: your data’s lineage. It’s the key to understanding your operational reality and to staying ahead of challenges known and unknown. It’s the surest path to eliminating your blind spots.

When you can answer these 5 questions, you’ll be empowered to protect your data and your organization. You’ll be equipped to implement controls and manage risk. You’ll move beyond subjective, anecdotal information and gain an objective, higher perspective. And, you’ll be able to amplify the effectiveness of your cybersecurity and compliance programs.

This is important when business is running as planned, and absolutely critical when your workforce is now accessing information remotely.

Clairvoya can help you get started— our software delivers the answers to all 5 questions with ease, speed and zero disruption. With minimal investment, you can have complete visibility and command over your data, and full confidence in your system and in your ability to answer the inevitable questions any CISO will be asked.

Contact us for a demo to see how Clairvoya can give you unprecedented clarity and control to persevere in unprecedented times.