Data Hub: Protect Your Data with Better Governance

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Data Hub: Return of the Governance

Data Hub: Return of the Governance by Frank Baalbergen

The first step with security is understanding what you have to protect. Data—its location, permissions, uses, origins– is so volatile. Challenges arise when you don’t have a good grasp on the data you have to protect and where it resides throughout your organization’s IT landscape. If your business isn’t prepared for these challenges you face the risk of noncompliance, fines from regulatory entities, loss of license, and your customers’ and employees’ trust diminished.

The best way to prevent this is good data protection and governance practices.

The phrase “Governance” may cause you or your IT workers to shiver. But when there’s no good way to govern, data either remains more locked up in their silos, only to be used by a small number of people and processes, or it’s accessible by those who shouldn’t have it. Without control of your data and its access, you forego a lot of potential that your data would be able to add if it could be used by a wider, authorized audience.

Don’t worry. Good data governance has returned in the shape of Data Hub.

The Right Amount of Control

A good understanding of your data landscape could stem from a good governance program. From a security point of view, governance is necessary. Governance is good. But this, as Obi Wan Kenobi once told Luke Skywalker, is true…from a certain point of view. That’s because while many governance initiatives are designed to mitigate risk and create business value, they aren’t doing that.

Data protection and data governance is good business. When businesses invest in data privacy, for example, they recognize immediate benefits. As an example, while the cost of cybersecurity is high ($20 trillion annually), the compounding nature of the benefits, over time, could exceed $100 trillion annually through 2030, according to Hughes, et al. Beyond money, Siemens AG CEO Roland Busch said it well while initiating the Charter of Trust on Cybersecurity. “[Cybersecurity] is about the protection of data, of individuals and businesses to prevent harm on people, businesses, and infrastructures and to build confidence in the networked digital world.”

Good data protection is a valid selling point for businesses as well. 82% of organizations surveyed in Cisco’s 2020 Data Privacy Benchmark Study viewed privacy certifications as a buying factor when selecting a vendor. Data protection and good data governance form a glidepath for those benefits.

Data Hub allows you to find, understand and appropriately use data from all over your organization for applications built with Mendix. Through the Data Hub Catalog, you receive an open, standards-based metadata repository that enables you to describe data sources, assign ownership, identify sensitivity and tag data. This allows users to discover and use data through your entire connected data ecosystem.

What you also get is the ability to maintain control of access to metadata within a company, that is, who gets to see what data. This control, allows you to ensure compliance in a low-friction way, which fosters innovation while mitigating risk at the same time.

Find, Understand, Use

For developers, when you can find and understand data, you can use it. For those in charge of maintaining compliance to data laws and adhering to government regulations, when you can find and understand data, you can govern and protect it to make sure it’s being used appropriately.

With so many systems, users, customers, points of contact, attributions, (the list goes on and on), data can often be messy and difficult to understand. The results of this are risk-inducing. The inability to understand your data and its attributes means that you don’t know what you needs protecting and what doesn’t.

From a security perspective, Data Hub protects all data equally. If you’re a bakery, a healthcare company, an insurance firm, or a bank, there is no difference. This comes out-of-the-box. What this means for you is knowing your metadata is secure up front and you have a faster way of understanding of what each datum is, how it fits into your landscape, and how to tailor your protection protocols for it.

In many organizations, it’s unclear where data originates. For developers building applications, this causes issues with productivity. Developers can spend a lot of time merely tracking down where the source of data resides. While it’s important that permissions are set up so that certain data isn’t visible to certain organizational players, with whom data ownership lies still needs to be known.

With Data Hub acting as a centralized hub for your metadata, it’s evident where data lives and who is the owner. Not only this, it gives developers immediate information on who has access to certain types of data. When data and ownership is clear, governance is just that much easier for you.

It’s a wrap!

To come back to Star Wars for a bit, data is like The Force. It’s all around us, constantly affecting the world we live in. Because of that, it’s unstable. The more data points and data sources you have, the more potential vulnerabilities you have. But that’s just the nature of data in this connected world.

Of course, what comes with that volatility are the more potential lapses in governance. With Data Hub, there’s one central location of metadata to understand your landscape, allowing you to safely harness data, regardless of how volatile your environment. Better curating and understanding your data (in other words, governance), allows you to more easily comply with regulations and standards.

That’s good governance.

Want to know more about Data Hub? Reach out and contact us.

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