Tag: Legal Holds

7 Ways to Prepare Data in the Age of Privacy and Information Governance

7 Ways To Prepare Data In The Age Of Privacy and Information Governance

7 Tips for Data Preparation in the Age of Information Governance

Content may still be king, but now the rights to some of it may belong to the people! In response to the EU’s General Data Protection Requirement (GDPR) and recent stateside efforts to enshrine data protection including the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), organizations are revisiting the efficacy of their Data and Information Governance (IG) programs. Laws and regulations vary by industry and company size but each intend to protect consumer’s personal data by prescribing technical and governance standards backed by stiff penalties for non-compliance.

Notably, while many companies are already familiar with records retention laws, these latest controls also introduce a duty to destroy data once no longer required for a legitimate business purpose. For entities that have grown accustomed to leveraging cheap digital storage, this new responsibility presents a number of logistical hurdles.

However, directives on how you may use your customer’s data or any other information you store doesn’t necessarily have to be burdensome. In fact, these new guardrails present numerous opportunities to implement better governance, monetize the lifecycle of information assets and foster trustworthy relationships that can actually enhance the customer experience.

These 7 tips can help prepare your data to support an IG strategy:

  1. Automate Retention Schedules – Legal and compliance requirements are the cornerstones of corporate governance programs. Yet tracking the multitude of historical and emerging state, federal and international laws and regulations that affect your data decisions can be a monumental task that even the most robust law departments aren’t prepared for. Consider leveraging SaaS software to keep your Risk, Compliance and Legal staff current on the latest citation changes to these nuanced instructions. These tools empower you to defensibly destroy and cleanse costly data no longer useful to your organization.
  2. Cover Your Assets – Satisfying new compliance requirements like GDPR and CCPA means it’s not enough to simply know what kinds of records you keep, you need to know what systems they’re kept in and how that data flows between them. That’s why Chief Data Officers and Enterprise Architects are increasingly embracing asset management tools that not only perform diagnostics on their application stack but allow them to inventory their attributes and map related processes that inform long-term strategic roadmap planning. Tools like these also help support application rationalization projects which in turn aid in classification and disposal of unneeded data.
  3. Introduce Big Buckets – The biggest challenges with enforcing retention across an enterprise are “event triggers” that complicate how long sets of records must be retained. For example, an employee file might be held X years following a termination “event.” Big Bucket strategies allow you to simplify and group “like” records together to support more efficient destruction actions while assuming some risk. Work with your governance partners to determine reasonable standards for a Big Bucket policy and quantifying the acceptable amount of risk your company is willing to assume to achieve cost and efficiency benefits.
  4. Enforce Legal Holds – Cleansing your data lakes and silos to save costs and minimize risk is an exercise in defensible destruction but requires awareness of outstanding legal holds. A company that spoliates evidence subject to a legal hold, even without malice, can be fined and suffer adverse inference litigation rulings resulting in unfavorable judgments. Additionally, healthy oversight of records under a preservation hold doesn’t just make good legal sense, it can also help better identify opportunities for even more defensible destruction, cost reduction and risk mitigation.
  5. Activate File Analysis – The tricky thing about new laws like the CCPA is that they require companies to find and produce data for the consumer wherever it exists. That can be a cumbersome test for many entities that have hundreds or thousands of repositories. Luckily, advanced File Analysis tools can plug directly into your network and help quickly identify sensitive and personally identifiable information (PII). They can also help you deduplicate records and find redundant, obsolete and trivial data clogging your systems, also known as ROT. These tools produce a tangible ROI that management can point to as a prime example of why IG works.
  6. Embrace Content Migrations – Unless you’ve only lived in one home your entire life, you’ve probably experienced the cathartic process of cleansing your old wares in preparation for a move. Bringing in a new content management system is not much different and it’s a unique opportunity to apply retention to your data, discard ROT and provide employees with more accurate knowledge resources.
  7. Bake-in Best Practices – Information Governance is not a “one and done” proposition, it’s a rinse and repeat discipline that only works when management sees to it that organizational culture is along for the ride. These days a basic understanding about data handling is vital for every new hire. Concepts like records retention, data protection and privacy should be part of any overall corporate training plan.

By complementing policy frameworks and toolsets with the types of Information Governance approaches noted here we can better enable our workforce to hone their knowledge skills, achieve defensible destruction and improve audit outcomes. In effect, we are future proofing ourselves for a business world destined to face increased scrutiny and under siege from data breaches and privacy issues with seemingly no end in sight. IG is the bright light at the end of that tunnel.

Rafael Moscatel, CRM, IGP, is the Managing Director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, LLC. Reach him at 323-413-7432, follow him on Twitter at @rafael_moscatel or visit http://www.capp-llc.com to learn more.

Originally published in Document Media Magazine, July 2019.

The Building Blocks of Information Governance

Information Governance (IG) is quite the buzzword these days, yet too many organizations still find themselves struggling with implementing a practical roadmap for success. Here’s a proven strategy and a few tips I picked up while developing board level IG programs for the Fortune 500.

Walk Before You Run

It’s true that your strategy needs to be agile to support the modern workforce but it also must be driven by methodical policy and technology planning when it comes to IG. As a leading practitioner of this discipline at Fortune 500 companies as well as smaller firms, I learned first hand the benefits of careful strategic planning and executing capstone projects under the umbrella of IG. Over time and as a result of tough lessons learned, I began to develop tested strategies essential for enterprise wide adoption and success.

The first strategy is also a lesson… a lesson about cadence and setting expectations. Understanding company culture, its maturity level and appetite for change helps you plan your IG strategy over 1, 3, 5 years. These are not things you alone determine but they are considerations you leverage and may need to influence to get things done. A company that’s behind the curve on IG, or has slipped a little off the slope shouldn’t be perceived as a problem but an opportunity. How you respond to inefficiencies, gaps, audit findings and weaknesses will make the difference between an organization hostile to IG or welcoming to change. Rushing into IG will serve you up a big plate of the former.

Copyright 2019 Compliance and Privacy Partners LLC

For example, many groups that pick up the mantle of IG, excited by its potential, end up taking a scorched earth approach to handling their data projects, hurriedly setting up IG committees, imposing rules, writing up new guidelines, buying shelfware and basically racing towards what they think will be early wins. But IG is not a race, nor is it a repository for IT and Legal’s kitchen sink. It actually requires an initial 30,000 foot view and assessment of the regulatory landscape, a tactful application to core program components. A planned yet flexible cadence covers essential bases and addresses the unique needs of the business.

A clear executive level strategy around IG…

  • Presents opportunities for better governance to avoid fines and litigation exposure

  • Helps to reduce expenses and monetize the information lifecycle

  • Fosters trust to enhance customer experiences

Instead of rushing in, organizations first need to have the types of open, honest discussions that will achieve the goals and end results noted above. That happens by bringing the right people to the table and under the right setting.

Set the SME Table

At Compliance and Privacy Partners we work with highly regulated, US-based companies essential to America’s economic success. However, our solutions are only as effective as the commitment of our clients to their efficiency and compliance goals. Successful governance transformations require both capital investment and executive leadership.

Information Governance is an organization’s coordinated, interdisciplinary approach to satisfying information compliance requirements and managing information risks while optimizing information value.  The Sedona Conference® – Commentary On Information Governance Second Edition

The Sedona Conference, which has done an amazing job of raising the profile of Legal Hold and eDiscovery processes in litigation, offers up a decent definition of Information Governance but it leaves out (or at least does not fully define) one thing… the valuable people that make the whole process work. People are the “coordinated approach” in that definition and their subject matter expertise is the secret sauce in IG. So, what types of people do you want sitting at an IG table or on an IG committee?

Consider these folks for starters:

  • Chief Data Officer
  • Chief Enterprise Architect
  • Chief Compliance Officer
  • Chief Privacy Officer
  • Chief Risk Officer
  • Information Security
  • Internal Audit
  • General Counsel
  • Human Resources
  • Records Management

Now we know people are what make the world go around, and they’re the stakeholders that drive Information Governance, but what’s next? How do we begin building the type of IG program that will last, that will really manage our risks and optimize, or even monetize, our organization’s information and data value?

That next step is a core strategy that lays out the building blocks for establishing a world-class program. Yet this is the point where many companies get sidetracked and wander into the meeting hell desert for forty years. Companies that succeed stick to the basics when they’re starting new IG programs or even breathing life into old ones. At Compliance and Privacy Partners, our experience is that the formula for setting the cornerstones of IG include four basic building blocks.

The 4 Basic Building Blocks of IG

Any company serious about  Information Governance requires:

  1. Knowledge of what data they have and are obligated to retain / destroy
  2. Strategy for defensibly preserving and / or producing that data
  3. Tools to identify / protect those records
  4. Policies that tie that knowledge, strategy and toolset all together

Align Policy with Technology

Information Governance as a discipline has already proven to many corporations around the globe the importance of aligning their policy pillars and best practices with state of the art technology. It is almost a necessity in the high-paced, data driven world we live in. As AI, Machine Learning and Big Data continue to evolve as operational necessities and revenue streams, it becomes even more important to apply governance. But IG is also still a young discipline, exploited by some vendors and consultants as a cure-all with very little practical workmanship behind its practice and execution.

Copyright 2019 Compliance and Privacy Partners

Don’t put the cart before the horse when making a serious commitment to transforming your organization with the power of Information Governance. Spend time developing your strategy, setting the table with the right stakeholders, planning around the basic building blocks of IG and aligning your policies with your technology. Don’t just take our word for it, we’ve seen these principles in action and they work!

Rafael Moscatel, CRM, IGP, is the Managing Director of Compliance and Privacy Partners, LLC. Reach him at 323-413-7432, follow him on Twitter at @rafael_moscatel or visit http://www.capp-llc.com

Less is more, gaps are opportunities and relationships matter: A Case Study in Information Governance at #AIIM2018!

AIIM 2018 is just around the corner and I’m thrilled to be presenting my Case Study at this great conference which takes place April 10-13th, in San Antonio! Hope you can join me and so many like-minded in San Antonio this year or later in May when I’ll also be speaking about a program which was recently honored by ARMA International with its Excellence for an Organization Award!  Here are a few slides from my session which will be held on April 12th at 5PM.

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