NBConsult partners with NetGovern to champion information governance
Given its disorganised nature, governance of unstructured data is always difficult. Most organisations know they have to do something about it, but are unsure of how to tackle the problem.
"Where things get tricky is when they move to the cloud," notes Nicolas Blank, NBConsult Group's CEO. "This is because data sprawl is easy. Having a single point of information governance across your on-prem and cloud real estate is not only invaluable, but it could also keep you out of jail.
"Any business journeying to the cloud must be able to answer two key questions," explains Nicolas. "Firstly, where is my data? And secondly, who has access to what?" According to Nicolas, the NBConsult team is able to address these questions with the help of NetGovern's information governance software solutions.
Unpacking the unstructured data conundrum
Think about an organisation that's been around for 10 or even 15 years. Now consider how much data that organisation has produced during this time, everything from e-mails and invoices to customer information and transaction records.
"What we're seeing is that people simply don't delete things anymore. No one is going to go back to their data from 2002 and sift through it and get rid of what they don't need. This has various legal implications and also presents a number of compliance and audit issues. Information governance calls on businesses to properly dispose of what they don't need," explains Jacques Sauve, director of Partner Enablement at NetGovern (recently rebranded from Netmail). "In many instances, as much as 70% of the data in a customer's network is ROT: redundant, obsolete or trivial.
"A big issue is that companies simply don't know how to handle this situation. They've let their unstructured data get so big that they don't know where to start when it comes to sifting through all of this information," says Jacques.
NetGovern aims to help customers with this 'massive mountain' of unstructured data, says Jacques.
"Our approach is based on four actions: analyse, discover, remediate and enforce. Making sense of all of this data starts with analysing the information and taking inventory. This allows your compliance or information officer to really drill down into what information is being stored. A big part of this step is figuring out who owns the data and who has been granted access to what."
The next step entails indexing the content of these files and e-mails. This is important for any freedom of access to information requests, which is particularly relevant for the legal fraternity doing e-discovery, he adds. This is also hugely valuable for any businesses with compliance or audit issues. By indexing information, businesses can automatically scan files for something specific, like credit card numbers, for example, and then flag this information if it is being shared/stored incorrectly.
"With the data analysed and indexed, the business can then remediate any issues and enforce any necessary actions. Let's imagine you found a bunch of file duplicates during your analysis. In this step, you can export a list of duplicate files and then automatically delete anything you don't need," notes Jacques.
"NetGovern allows businesses to do this and so much more," says Nicolas. "Many of the other solutions out there only journal the data, especially when it comes to e-mails, but this approach fails to capture a lot of the metadata," he notes. The reality is that businesses can no longer be complacent about information governance, especially as legal requirements around data are ramped up around the globe.
"Why wait for this legislation to come into force? Everyone should be thinking about what they're storing, especially if they're looking to establish customer trust and maintain their reputation," concludes Jacques. "This isn't a nice to have, it's just good business practice."
If you'd like to learn more about NetGovern or find out how NBConsult and NetGovern can help you up your information governance game, simply contact them on (021) 914 2348 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.