In the modern era, data governance plays a greater role than ever before. Businesses across industries, infrastructure, and government services all rely on a constant stream of accurate, up-to-date information to function. 

With each passing year, both the volume and depth of information being gathered and stored grow exponentially, increasing the need for top-notch data governance in turn. While the levels of automation and capability available today far surpass past data management options, when it comes to securing that data, many organizations still operate in the “dark ages” of cybersecurity. 

What Is Data Governance?

According to the Data Governance Institute, data governance is a “system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related processes, executed according to agreed-upon models which describe who can take what actions with what information, and when, under what circumstances, using what methods.”

Put more simply, data governance refers to any actions that your organization takes to input, track, share, secure, and dispose of the information you gather. Sometimes, all data governance functions are handled by a single, comprehensive system. There are certain advantages to the simplicity of a single, unified platform, but more sensitive data often requires a more specialized approach. 

Regardless of whether all data within a system is taken in, stored, shared, and accessed within a single platform, security is one notorious pain point in many data governance systems.  

Why Does Secure Data Governance Matter?

Some organizations simply rely on network firewalls and secure access protocols to keep their information secure, but these measures are often woefully inadequate. When dealing with any information, whether it be for a small private business or a high-level government intelligence agency, proper data protection is absolutely essential. 

Overall, good information security is valuable for innumerable reasons. That said, from a data governance perspective, there are two primary concerns stemming from infosec: accuracy and privacy. 

For one, if the data collected and stored within a system is to be of any use, it needs to be precisely and verifiably accurate. If files can’t be tracked at every step, with only approved users making verified changes to them, attempting to rely on the information therein carries significant risk. The fallout from making decisions based on faulty data can range from moderately damaging to catastrophic, depending on the source and nature of the inaccuracy. 

Of equal concern to many organizations are the regulations surrounding the data they collect and handle. HIPAA, CCPA, GDPR, and many other forms of legislation both in the United States and abroad enforce the need for secure data files with steep consequences. 

Following a number of high-profile data breaches, the maximum fines for noncompliance in many of these areas are increasing. In some cases, criminal charges may even be laid if a company is determined by the court to have been negligent in its secure data governance policies. In some instances, security noncompliance can even lead to issues of national security

As such, any data governance strategy needs to include a comprehensive security plan. Even within an ostensibly secure network, if users within a system have unfettered access to data stores, the files therein are susceptible to tampering. This is where self-protecting data and Zero-Trust protocols enter the picture. 

The Role of Self-Protecting Files in Data Governance

As we mentioned above, when it comes to securing sensitive information, many organizations — even those handling potentially volatile private data — often still rely on fundamentally outdated types of perimeter security. 

Traditionally, the focus of digital privacy systems has been to keep outsiders from accessing the private networks and stores where data is hosted. While there will always be a place for maintaining this security perimeter, relying on this alone leaves all data within vulnerable to anyone who has already gained access to the servers or data files. Although new upgrades are constantly being made to firewalls and user authentication systems, attempting to truly protect data with this type of security framework is a perpetual game of catch-up. 

This is where a Zero-Trust framework for self-protecting data can be of the most use. Rather than simply trying to improve on perimeter measures, self-protecting data reimagines the entire approach to security. As the name implies, the goal of self-protecting data is not just to keep hackers out of your system but to create truly secure files. Instead of being left accessible to any “trusted” users, self-protecting files themselves are coded with the ability to recognize malicious activity and counter it immediately, regardless of who appears to be performing the action. 

Because these systems operate on a Zero-Trust basis, basic perimeter security like password-protected logins becomes a first layer of defense rather than the sole source of protection for your files. This allows for data governance solutions that can be relied upon to be both accurate and secure.  

Creating Secure Data Governance Solutions

While implementing a self-protecting data framework independently of other data governance tools is possible, built-in security is often a smoother, more elegant solution. For this reason, Sertainty UXP technology goes beyond simple “plug-and-play” security options. Sertainty is pioneering a new, innovative Self-Protecting Data Governance category to address the unique needs of data privacy programs. 

Corporations and institutions facing data leakage, compliance issues, and Personal Identifiable Information (PII) theft can all benefit from unique, tailored solutions, and with the Sertainty Software Development Kit, novel information security programs can be created to not only meet but surpass other, less optimized data governance solutions. 

Truly Secure Data Governance with Sertainty

As a leader in self-protecting data, Sertainty leverages proprietary processes that enable data to govern, track, and defend itself. These protocols mean that even if systems are compromised or accessed from the inside, all data stored in them remains secure. 

At Sertainty, we know that the ability to maintain secure files is the most valuable asset to your organization’s continued success. Our industry-leading Data Privacy Platform has pioneered data solutions that are intelligent and actionable, helping companies move forward with a proven and sustainable approach to their cybersecurity needs. 

As the digital landscape evolves and networks become more widely accessible, Sertainty is committed to providing self-protecting data solutions that evolve and grow to defend sensitive data. Threats to security may be inevitable, but with Sertainty, privacy loss doesn’t have to be.