The Why of Data Governance

Data Governance is the foundation for information and cyber security.

Kate Carruthers 2020

Data governance is an essential risk management function that provides key information for decision-making around information and cyber security spending. If we do not understand where our data is, how valuable our data is, or how it is protected, then we are probably making ill-informed judgments about where to spend our scarce information and cyber security dollars.

To protect our data, we need to understand it. Increasingly our data landscape is moving from a simple internally hosted one, to a complex multiple-hosted landscape across which we disclose, manipulate, and consume data. Often now our data is hosted across multiple cloud environments as well as on-premise – and this adds to the complexity. There is also an increasingly complex landscape of privacy and compliance that we need to navigate, and data governance provides the foundations for this as well.

The world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data | The Economist

Some of the important things that a data governance program can assist with include:

  • Complying with increasing regulatory requirements.
  • Improving data security via information and cyber security.
  • Creating and enforcing data distribution policies.
  • Creating the basis for effective data & analytics operations.
  • Identifying your crown jewels for their protection by means of information and cyber security.

Author: Kate Carruthers

Kate Carruthers is Chief Data & Insights Officer for UNSW Sydney, and is also an Adjunct Senior Lecturer in the School of Computer Science & Engineering. She is certified in information security and is currently undertaking postgraduate studies terrorism and security. Kate has extensive experience in senior roles in ICT, marketing, data and digital; and is a member of the NSW Government’s Data Analytics Centre Advisory Board. Kate is currently working at the intersection of data analytics, AI, ML, privacy, cyber security, and data protection.