How well are you maintaining yours?
Increasingly, modern businesses of all shapes and sizes fail to recognise the importance that data plays within their organisation.
Why is this?
After all isn’t data the oil that lubricates the numerous processes that enable a business to operate proficiently?
Data within a business can be likened to lubrication oil, within a modern combustion engine – invisible from the outside but critical to keeping the component parts moving.
Let’s say you went to buy a used performance motor vehicle or bike, only to discover that it has never had an oil change or that it had multiple leaks and a huge puddle of oil beneath it.
Would this make you think twice about buying this car or, at least, buying it for a significantly reduced purchase costs?
It is critical that the oil, within a modern combustion engine, is well maintained. Despite the fact that the oil is almost intangible, in that it helps the engine to function but isn’t visible.
Every engine needs the right type of oil to match the engine type:
- Premium conventional oil
- Full synthetic oil
- Synthetic blend oil
- Higher mileage oil
Additionally, each type of engine have their own limitation as to how much oil they can take. Put too much oil in and you will have a leak, or worse still it will cause some catastrophic damage.
- What if we allowed the integrity of the oil to degrade or become contaminated ?
This would have a significant impact on the performance of the engine’s component parts, or could even lead to the engine seizing.
- How about if the oil is not available to lubricate the engine, at the point that you need to turn that ignition key?
Much the same can be said for data within the modern business. However, the importance of this data within an organisation is often under estimated or frequently ignored.
Frequently, organisations perceive that they have no critical data assets, needing any maintenance or protection.
However, in order for a company to be successful, they develop mission statements and strategies.
What data assets are needed to support these mission statements or strategies?
- Employee details
- Supplier details
- Bank details
- Intellectual Property
- Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
- Trend analysis
- Financial data
What impact might it have on these strategies should this data not be available when it is required?
What happens when the data is uncontrolled, allowing it to be stored in unlimited locations or continually creating and adding new data into the supporting systems?
What happens when you reach capacity?
Much like the need to maintain the integrity and oil levels, to ensure the continual proficient workings of the modern combustion engine, modern businesses recognise the need to effectively maintain the integral data assets, within an organisation.
- Do you have a data retention policy – ensuring that the correct level of data is required to lubricate the business processes and that we’re reducing the risk of needless retention, exceeding the capacity of the supporting systems?
- Are you ensuring that the right type systems have suitable data assets?
- Have you trained your personnel in the correct maintenance processes?
- Are you maintaining the supporting systems?
- When was the last time your company had an independent service?
- Are you restricting access, based on business needs and are these individuals suitably trained and educated?
Performance operations, require performance oils on well-maintained systems.
Where do you start? How are you maintaining your data?
- Information Security and Governance
- Cyber Essentials
- CIS 20 Critical Security Controls
- NIST Cyber Security Framework
- COBIT 5
- Greater protection and support to company mission/strategy
- Business longevity
- Improved efficiency
- Reduced risk of breakdowns
- Improved performance
- Reduced costs
- Safeguarding from accidental or deliberate data leakage
When was the last time you had your oil checked?
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