Information Governance Helps Mitigate Business Risk Challenges

Information Governance Helps Mitigate Business Risk Challenges

Organizations can reduce the chances of risk through an improved information governance program that seamlessly governs information through various processes like records management, legal hold, compliance, eDiscovery and effective retention policies

Many enterprises adopt a reactive approach of damage control rather than pre-emptively being proactive for risk mitigation. Risk mitigation is still not on the top priority lists of the corporates due to lack of understanding or awareness about the concept. In this information-driven knowledge economy, when information is being generated exponentially at a very rapid pace, it is essential to adopt a strategic approach to mitigate risks pertaining to information related vulnerabilities.

According to 2015-2016 Annual Report released by the Information Governance Initiative (IGI), among those surveyed, 75 % of practitioners and 79 % of Information Governance (IG) providers said that the lack of understanding and awareness within the organization about the value of IG is the biggest barrier to initiating an IG program.

Organization need to be proactive in quick adoption of Information Governance for comprehensive risk mitigation. Information governance helps to mitigate risks that arise when information flows through various processes in an organization. Organizations can reduce the chances of risk through an improved information governance program that seamlessly governs information through various processes like records management, legal hold, compliance, eDiscovery and effective retention policies. Information governance spans and consolidates various functions – like information management, privacy policies, and information security – to form a comprehensive risk mitigation barrier.

Why to have a robust Information Governance program?

Nowadays, enterprises need to tackle huge amount of risk associated with big data, data proliferation, online security threats, eDiscovery etc. A robust information governance program incorporates various practises, methods, and procedures that can help reduce the organization’s exposure to various kinds of risks. A strong information governance program can help tackle many challenges like:

Meet Regulatory Compliance Requirements

Enterprises are handling huge amount of data generated from various data sources. To protect the integrity and authenticity of this data, various regulatory compliance standards and industry regulations have been laid down. These regulations on the other hand emboldens consumer rights protection and privacy rights that clearly demarcates rules for what information need to retain, how to retain, and what information can be shared. 
Companies not following the mandated regulatory compliance standards and industry regulations can face legal sanctions, inquiry, or actions against the organizations.
Information Governance empowers organizations to fulfil various regulatory compliance standards, rules, laws, and mandates.

Big Data and Discovery of Information

With advancements in new technologies and innovations, immense amount of electronic data is being generated every day. This data generated can provide immense insights and business intelligence. This information in the form of electronic data needs to be governed efficiently in order to reduce risk and storage and IT footprints.
Information governance provides for a unified governance solution consolidating the data from various data sources at a centralized location allowing to perform various information governance operations.
Data can be identified, collected, thoroughly processed, classified and customized retention policies applied on it that preserves the data based on the requirement. After the retention policy expires, the retained data undergoes stringent compliance procedure, and is then ‘defensibly’ destructed minimizing the business risk, eDiscovery risks and costs.
Dharmesh Singhala, CEO at Capital Novus, said, “Information Governance offers a platform that provides efficient identification, collection, and classification of data ensuring storage of only relevant data thus reducing storage requirements and costs. Information Governance helps enterprises derive vital business intelligence from the data by extracting critical insights that will help in improving the core business process efficiency.” He further added, “Information is a crucial strategic asset for any Enterprise and many critical decisions are taken based on authentic information. It becomes imperative to efficiently govern the information as it explodes across all the spheres. Information governance helps to deliver consistent and accurate results to the enterprise.”

Risk of Cyber Threats
The risk of cyber threats is one of the many information risks that an organization faces. The possibility of cyber-attacks or hacking always looms large over organizations. Such cyber-attacks pose a grave security risk for organizations as they might lose critical client information.
The loss of confidential information due to cyber threats means immense financial loss and reputation damage to the organizations.  Rather than investing in expensive resources to protect data, organizations should initiate steps to first proactively identify critical information and then spend on safeguarding this information.

Risk associated with Information Sharing
As data flows through various interconnected systems, it becomes difficult to monitor the data and check it against various regulatory compliance policies.
Even, outsourcing the core business processes to third party service providers heightens security and compliance risks as they might not be conforming to any information governance or compliance policies. Information governance alleviates these risks with comprehensive compliance and security processes.

Conclusion
Comprehensive information governance program helps mitigate various kinds of risks like financial, security, legal and compliance, and reputational. Information governance provides an amalgamated and integrated approach that combines all the information governing processes like records management, information security, privacy policy, eDiscovery into a single solution that helps efficiently tackle risk challenges.

This article in by DHARMESH SINGHALA, CEO, Capital Novus


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