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Information Governance Revisited

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Information governance is in the air.

Two days after my last article published, “Push for Strategic Governance in Information Management," Forrester Research released a report called “Reboot your Information Governance Program with an Outside-In Perspective.” Cheryl McKinnon (@cherylmckinnon), an old friend, lead the creation of that report and followed it up with a blogpost, “Information Governance: Not a Product, Not a Technology, Not a Market.”

McKinnon and her colleagues suggest that we view information governance “as a corporate objective, enabled by programs, projects, priorities, people and technology.” This aligns well with my recommendation to take a strategic approach to information governance.

Hortonworks Spreads its Open Source Wings to Bring Governance to Hadoop

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We all know Hortonworks is committed to open source, insisting that it’s the way to innovate on Hadoop and deliver the best enterprise-grade technology to the marketplace. And though its main competitor, Cloudera (or at least a member of its management team) may have taunted that Hortonworks’ business model is “undependable,” Wall Street certainly didn’t agree -- its shares soared 65 percent above the opening price on Dec. 12, 2014, its first day of trading as a public company.

Push for Strategic Governance in Information Management

In the middle of last year I moved roles from the corporate intranet team to my current role as Director of Technology Strategy and KM for Legal, Corporate and Compliance Group.

Though the roles are quite different, there's one word that links the two together -- governance. 

How to Be Smart with Your Corporate Data

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The cyber attack against Sony Pictures revealed a treasure trove of titillating sensitive corporate data: emails that revealed the true feelings of certain producers for certain movie stars, sensitive compensation data for employees up and down the company's food chain, and scripts of future movies.

The attack has been declared the work of a mysterious group that calls itself the Guardians of Peace — a group US intelligence officials have concluded are involved with the North Korean government.

But imagine how foolish – and how liable – the IT security shop at Sony Pictures would look if this information leaked to the public through its own sloppy policies and willingness to look the other way as employees took short cuts to make their work processes easier. That is, imagine the headlines if this data had been snatched from an unprotected or minimally protected collaboration app that resided in the cloud.

For that's a major vulnerability at many companies, concludes SailPoint's Annual Market Pulse Survey.

Getting a Grip on Information Governance

Cyberspace is looking a lot like the Wild West these days, with outlaw hackers ready to rob you of your data and the sheriff nearby looking to make sure you’re sticking to the letter of ever-tightening laws.

Are you ready?

A new Forrester Consulting survey report, Governance Takes a Central Role as Enterprises Shift to Mobile, commissioned by Druva, a data protection and governance firm, shows that more and more companies are responding to these pressures by boosting spending on information governance (IG) and adopting new systems to better-manage data.

The State of Information and Cyber Security

2014-09-December-Guard.jpgThe ways in which criminals are attacking us are changing constantly, in a cycle of new method -- defense -- new method -- defense, and so on. If an organization is not able to adapt at speed, it is (at speed) becoming vulnerable and an easy target.

Similarly, an organization needs to be able to detect attacks, especially attacks using a new method, if it is to respond, limit the damage and harden its defenses.

Few organizations can do all of this with only internal resources. Every sane organization should partner with specialized organizations that have the ability to monitor what new attacks are being used now or will be soon, and then help the company respond with new defenses. 

A Sneak Peek Into Information Governance's Future

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Information governance is slowly moving beyond its traditional image as a center of risks and costs as it evolves into a technology practice that delivers added value for companies.

That was one of the themes yesterday in a CMSWire Webinar, "Real Customer Successes: Business Transformation with Information Governance." The speakers were Barclay T. Blair, executive director and founder of the Information Governance Initiative (IGI), and Stephen Ludlow, the director of product marketing at OpenText who leads that company's e-discovery and information governance (IG) practice.

The core of the presentation was a preview of a benchmarking study by IGI that is based on interviews with 30 information governance managers.  You can watch the full webinar by clicking here or at the end of this story. The full IGI study is scheduled to be released in January.

Google for Work Puts Security in the Hands of Employees

Microsoft may be making a lot of noise about additional security features in Office 365, but Google has been working away behind the scenes too, if perhaps in a less vocal way. Yesterday, it launched the Devices and Activity dashboard, which monitors Google accounts on enterprise devices.

The new dashboard provides IT administrators a way of monitoring who has been accessing what accounts, where and why, but adds an underlying current to the security discussion that's becoming increasingly important in enterprises: responsibility.

Gartner Names 6 Leaders in Resurgent Information Archiving Space

The financial crisis that started in 2008 changed many things. Financial companies closed down. CEOs lost their jobs. IT changed, too. Over the past few years data governance preservation has become a critical enterprise need. And Enterprise Information Archiving (EIA) is making a reappearance as a key technology to meet that need.

According to Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for EIA (registration required), technologies in this space are getting a second life as businesses turn to them to underpin enterprise strategies for compliance, information governance, e-discovery and the historical preservation of data.

EIA has been around for a long time -- Gartner estimates almost 20 years -- but with the economic crisis came increasingly complicated compliance requirements, resulting in enterprises searching for technology to help manage these complexities.

Customers Aren't Worried About Data Breaches [Infographic]

2014-20-November-yawn.jpgHere's good news for every company that's careless with personally identifiable information: Your customers apparently don't care.

A new study by global IT association ISACA shows that consumers haven’t changed their shopping behaviors despite a year of retail data breaches — worrisome, the organization maintains, especially with the shopaholic trifecta of Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday and Cyber Monday is just a week away.

It's not that consumers are unaware of the problem. According to the 2014 ISACA IT Risk/Reward Barometer, almost all US consumers (94 percent) have read or heard about major retailer data breaches in the past year. But while three-fourths of those surveyed claim those data breaches have increased their concerns about their personal data privacy, few are doing anything about it.

Few Organizations Have Strong Internal Search Capabilities

Why is it so easy to find virtually any information you need with a quick search online and so difficult to find what you need on internal networks? According to a new study (registration required), the problem is pervasive. 

The study, conduced by AIIM — the Association for Information and Image Management — found three out of four information professionals think it is easier to find information outside of their organizations than within. And 25 percent acknowledged their organizations lack advanced or dedicated search tools.

And that’s not all. More than 50 percent of the 415 information professionals polled describe their legal discovery procedures as “ad hoc, manual, disruptive and expensive,” said study author Doug Miles, head of the AIIM Market Intelligence Division.

“These people, and particularly the 28 percent who have no policy or process for legal discovery, could find themselves hit with litigation, or a compliance investigation at any time, and they would be in chaos — very expensive chaos!” he said.

When Your Organization's Reputation is at Risk

An organization’s reputation is critical to their success (in almost every case). A smart CEO and her board pay attention to the organization’s reputation and take care to nurture, protect and grow it.

A new survey by Deloitte reinforces that obvious truth and states one other truth that should be obvious to us all: “reputation risk is driven by other business risks.”

Office 365 Promises Greater Data Security, Theft Protection

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Despite the progress Microsoft is making with Office 365, its claim to universality won't stand up until it gains traction with government and public bodies. Microsoft obviously understands this.

While Microsoft the company has given Office 365 for private enterprises a lot of love in the past few months, it hasn’t been neglecting the public sector either. And that makes the thorny issue of regulatory compliance even more critical.

Regulatory compliance is important for the private sector, but it is essential for public agencies. As a result, Microsoft is introducing IRS 1075 compliance to Office 365. The goal here is to prevent anyone from walking away with personal financial information, especially tax related data.

Security Today: Dynamic Access, Permissions, Encryption

2014-22-October-Security.jpgContent security is top of mind these days. Every week brings news of yet another data breach, with companies large and small making the news for all the wrong reasons.

Many of these breaches occurred because of a failure to maintain base level security or enterprise data. Although structured databases are a treasure trove of sensitive information, most database systems offer many layers of protection with the advantage that the database itself remains, usually on IT-managed infrastructure.

Security controls are potentially more critical for unstructured content -- because file-based information is insanely portable and moveable with modern devices and always-on connections. It’s important to consider content security in light of the more recent history of enterprise security. For a long time, security has been defined by borders and boxes.

Why Risk Management Technology Projects Fail

Too many organizations buy risk management solutions for today, without thinking of their needs for the future.

Michael Rasmussen works with a number of companies that sell solutions for risk management (these days typically packaged with other “stuff” and mislabeled GRC solutions) and helps buyers of those solutions, as well as participating in related conferences and seminars.

And though he has never run a risk management function, his views merit attention.

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