It’s 2021: enterprises have made it past the most digitally disruptive year in recent memory. 2020 was a year of drastic change – it reconfigured the workforce, evolved the way data and content flows and changed the way businesses and consumers operate. If last year was about adapting quickly and surviving uncertainty, 2021 is about laying a long-term foundation for the post-pandemic world and digital economy. A vital part of laying that foundation is enterprises knowing where all their customers’ personally identifiable information (PII) is.
We’ve come a long way since 2018, the year of the GDPR deadline. Privacy regulations are no longer a novel risk to companies; they are part of the fabric of the future. We expect them, we know them, we are challenged by them. When it comes to data privacy, this year is a turning point – and while organizations say that every year, the stakes have changed. Enterprises are now preparing for the inevitable next disruption, which means digital transformation and risk reduction have become deeply intertwined. As privacy becomes a priority, organization must be able to answer the question: where is your PII?
Major strides have been made in managing structured data for regulatory compliance, but the personal information living in content is still largely “untamed.” In 2021, enterprises must expand their compliance and governance strategies to know where PII is living in their content. Here are three more questions to consider as organizations tackle regulatory compliance.
Why are enterprises struggling to find PII in their content?
Companies are collecting and storing more information than ever before, especially since remote work has become the norm and employees are using more shared drives to store and collaborate on information. Yet the pace of information gathering doesn’t seem to be slowing, making it difficult for enterprises to discover where personal and sensitive private data lives as it’s scattered across the enterprise in various documents, records and databases.
As a result, enterprises are struggling to:
- locate sensitive information quickly
- determine which specific customer information is attributed to
- know who has accessed or viewed the PII
- understand how long the PII has lived in shared drives
- manage the storage and deletion and PII
These are the key challenges enterprises face in managing information. To address these successfully in their compliance and governance strategies in 2021, organizations must adopt a solution to manage and govern their content.
How can enterprises operationalize privacy compliance?
Enterprises can tackle these challenges by elevating their governance strategies to know where personal and sensitive data lives and to make sure its collection and use complies with regulations like the GDPR, CCPA and upcoming state data protection legislation. To handle this immense task, organizations can deploy a content services solution to
automate the discovery process of locating where sensitive PII resides, identify which specific person it is associated with, manage the access, storage and deletion of the information and extend information governance and data privacy to shared drives, Microsoft® 365, SharePoint and OneDrive. These capabilities will give enterprises the visibility and transparency they need for a privacy-aware governance strategy.
How can enterprises leverage automation for compliance?
Implementing privacy-aware governance can seem like a daunting project, especially since the amount of content the average organization generates, collects and stores is only set to rise. However, enterprises have automation on their side. A content services solution will not only locate personal information anywhere in the enterprise – across potentially billions of documents – but it can also automate the classification, access and governance for the records containing sensitive information. Automation allows organizations to respond to growing security and compliance needs by enabling rules-based retention, redaction and audibility of access, while also improving business processes and efficiency. Underpinning governance with automation can even deliver other benefits, such as reducing human error and operational costs by eliminating manual processes, freeing up valuable resources and boosting team productivity.
In 2021, content should not be a source of risk just because it’s been neglected in enterprises’ data governance and compliance strategies. Instead, it should be tackled proactively and see an opportunity of untapped value, waiting to be governed, managed and gleaned for insights. By laying this foundation now, enterprises will be able to better navigate current and future compliance and privacy regulations while improving the organization’s productivity, flexibility and operation performance.