Information governance refers to the set of strategies, policies, and processes that guide how organizations create, use, share, store, archive, and delete their data. Effective information governance uses a holistic approach to ensure data accuracy, privacy, security, and compliance while enabling organizations to harness the power of data for informed decision-making and innovation.
The Goals of Information Governance
The goals of comprehensive information governance include:
- To streamline information management to cut waste, eliminate duplication, and reduce costs associated with gathering and storing data.
- To ensure compliance with all legal and regulatory requirements, reducing risk to the business.
- To provide employees with information that is trustworthy and easily accessible to them while making business decisions.
Core Principles of Information Governance
Data classification enables employees to effectively access and use data the organization has collected, allowing for streamlined access and retrieval, minimizing data clutter and ensuring that the right people have access to the right data at the right time.
Key questions to ask about all information used and stored by the organization in order for it to be properly classified include:
- What does this information mean?
- Who uses it?
- How is it created/where does it come from?
- What do users do with it?
- Who can access it?
- Why is it important?
- How long is it useful for?
- What other information depends upon this information?
Data Privacy and Security
With data breaches and privacy concerns on the rise, ensuring the security of data has become critical. This requires a multifaceted approach that involves a combination of technologies to:
- Protect Against Data Breaches: To prevent breaches, organizations must adopt a combination of technological and procedural measures.
- Implement Access Controls: Robust role-based access controls ensure that users can only access the information relevant to their roles and responsibilities, minimizing the risk of data exposure.
- Create and Implement Security Protocols: This includes regular software updates and patch management to address known vulnerabilities and implementing network security measures such as firewalls and intrusion detection systems.
- Train Employees and Raise Awareness: A lot of data breaches are as a result of human error. Organizations must invest in training their employees to recognize phishing attempts, practice secure data handling, and understand the importance of data privacy and security.
Compliance and Legal Considerations
Organizations need to stay up-to-date with data protection and privacy regulations relevant to their industry and jurisdiction as well as any other relevant laws. Information governance involves creating policies that align with these regulations, and ensuring that data is collected, processed, and stored in accordance with legal requirements. Proactive compliance minimizes the risk of fines, legal actions, and reputational damage. To this end, organizations must ensure that they:
- Understand the regulatory landscape, both nationally and industry-specific.
- Create comprehensive information use policies that align with legal mandates.
- Manage consent for personal data processing.
- Practice data minimization by collecting and holding the least amount of personal information required.
- Have mechanisms in place for user requests that are transparent and efficient.
Key Components of an Effective Information Governance Framework
A comprehensive information governance framework covers the entire data lifecycle from data creation, usage, and sharing, to archiving and eventual disposal. An effective framework covers the following areas:
- Scope and Charter: Clearly defines the areas of focus and outlines what aspects of data management, privacy, security, and compliance the framework will address.
- Roles and Responsibilities: A clear definition of the key responsibilities of different employees, teams, committees, and roles in the organization.
- Information Policies and Procedures: Specifies all the policies that affect information governance in the organization, and outlines procedures for the entire information lifecycle, from creation through to deletion.
- Third Parties: Some business information will be created and stored by third parties. The framework should establish how the organization manages information with partners, suppliers, and stakeholders.
- Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery: The framework should outline the process for reporting any breaches or incidents, and how these will be escalated and managed. This should include making sure disaster recovery systems are in place, and identifying how business continuity will be ensured.
- Audit and Review: The framework should describe how compliance will be monitored and reviewed, including real-time surveillance and regular audits.
How LeapXpert Can Help with Information Governance
LeapXpert’s communication platform automatically captures and archives all electronic messages in compliance with all relevant regulations. LeapXpert gives businesses a comprehensive view and full visibility of employee-customer communication without capturing employees’ private and personal messages.
With enhanced modules including Information Barriers/Ethical Walls and Data Leakage Prevention (DLP), enterprises are now able to manage business communication – messages, documents, images, or videos sent to customers, keeping everyone safe, professional, and in compliance. Learn more and book a Demo today.