25 Jun Why Is Data Minimization Important For Organizations?
Why Is Data Minimization
Important For Organizations?
30 June 2021 · 4 min read
As organizations are shifting to hybrid work, many are empowering users to collaborate through platforms such as Microsoft Teams. And while Teams is becoming central, it adds to the already vast number of other collaboration systems organizations have, such as the Document Management System (DMS).
But while these systems provide beneficial features, they also present new challenges. When left ungoverned, data in these systems can quickly become chaotic. Users save documents everywhere, making it difficult to locate it, while risk management teams struggle to understand the business context of data and apply proper security and minimization policies.
When focusing on data security, many organizations place emphasis on who the data should be secured to, but overlook what happens once a project, matter, engagement- whatever you may call them – is over. This practice carries risk of cyberbreaches & non-compliance. and could be solved with proper data minimization or disposition policies.
So, why should your organization care about data minimization? Let’s look at the basics first.
What does data minimization entail?
Data minimization refers to the practice of deletion or minimization of data that is no longer necessary for the organization. It is done through setting disposition policies that take the data through different stages, depending on triggers. For example, these stages could be archival, movement to the DMS after the project has ended for one month, anonymization after one year, and finally, full deletion after two years. The steps vary depending on the organization’s policies, regulations, and client requirements.
Minimization goes beyond retention because it doesn’t only determine when to delete data, but also how to store it before its deletion. The way to go about it is by assigning rich custom metadata to projects, matters, engagements – whatever you may call them. Metadata helps users locate data and risk management teams understand its context to set minimization and disposition policies.
Organizations that engage in minimization ensure that they are managing and governing the entire content lifecycle, from project or matter start to its ending.
With an increase in privacy and cybersecurity standards, the privacy landscape has become more complex than ever. The privacy regulations make holding data for longer than necessary a risky endeavor for any organization and require limited retention, or what is called data minimization.
Despite this, organizations still apply insufficient governance and coordination when it comes to executing data minimization efforts. So, they end up holding on to data longer than necessary.
Another factor that intensifies the resistance towards executing data minimization efforts is the large discrepancy between national and international privacy law regulations creating several implications when it comes to standardizing the process of data minimization. For organizations to maintain compliance with regulatory, client requirements, Outside Counsel Guidelines (OCG), and limit the damage of cyberattacks, they need to become familiar with the notion of data minimization and ways to apply it efficiently across collaboration systems.
Why Should Organizations Minimize Data?
As organizations deploy collaboration systems to improve productivity and facilitate the rising hybrid work, they risk data sprawl across systems. Users find it difficult to locate content and risk management professionals struggle to understand context and apply security and minimization policies. This increases inefficiency and risk within the organization, exposing it to damaging hacks. Minimization can help tackle that challenge.
There are three main benefits to implementing data minimization policies.
Reducing the Risk & Damage of Cyberattacks
A data breach that exposes four weeks’ worth of customer information is far less damaging than a breach that exposes information from the previous year.
As cyberthreats and nation-state attacks rise, organizations should look at reducing their damage. Because it’s not if a breach will happen, but when. If organizations keep data longer than necessary, hackers will copy, steal, and delete it, or hold it ransom. This damages your reputation with clients and could have severe regulatory repercussions.
The less data a user has access to, the lower the impact of cyberattacks.
Through data minimization, organizations are able to leverage metadata to identify what data is no longer necessary and set the right disposition policies to delete it, ultimately reducing the impact of cyberbreaches and reputational damage.
Saving Money and Time
Data simply cannot be stored indefinitely, for different reasons, but especially financial ones. The storage required for indefinite data increases costs, and the management of expired data is redundant for organizations.
Through data minimization, organizations no longer have to hold on to data indefinitely, but will be able to archive, move, anonymize, or delete it. This process optimizes storage costs and leaves room for IT and risk professionals to manage and secure ongoing projects.
Maintaining Privacy & Regulatory Compliance
Increasing regulations such as the GDPR, CCPA, and other laws and cybersecurity frameworks, require organizations to have sound governance and data protection measures. Guess what? Data minimization is one of them. In case of a breach or investigation, organizations must prove they had necessary safeguards in place or risk hefty fines.
Properly provisioning projects and assigning rich custom metadata help. Users can quickly find content and risk management teams are able to understand context and see when each project will end so they can decide what to do with the data. This enhances regulatory compliance and mitigates risks of fines by showing that proper processes were in place in case of cyberattacks.
How Prosperoware Helps
Prosperoware CAM is a Software-as-a-Service platform (SaaS) for adoption and governance of collaboration systems. It allows organizations to provision, classify, protect, move, and minimize data, mitigating data chaos and reducing risks related to privacy & cybersecurity.
CAM integrates with Microsoft 365 (Microsoft Teams, SharePoint Online, OneDrive, OneNote, Planner, Lists), iManage, NetDocuments, HighQ, and more to come.
CAM enables organizations to create logical locations for users to place data and provides rich custom metadata capabilities to empower users to locate data and risk management teams to understand context so they can apply the right security and minimization policies.
Here is what CAM can do for you:
- Provisioning of workspaces, Teams, Channels, Lists, Users & Groups, and folders from Project Portfolio Management, CRM etc., or through a human workflow using readily available templates.
- Rich, custom metadata for project or document context.
- Unified project directory for content location for end users and risk management teams.
- Provision automatically or on-demand internal & external users, manage permissions across collaboration systems, and integrate with leading ethical wall systems.
- Data Loss Prevention (DLP) with activity monitoring and bulk security & metadata changes.
- Minimize data by setting automatic data disposition policies or apply litigation hold.