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The Importance of Data Governance & Data Security in 2023 and onwards!


Data Governance & Data Security
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In today's data-driven world, data has become one of the most valuable assets for businesses. However, the increasing amount of data being generated and processed also poses significant risks to data security, privacy and data regulations. Therefore, it has become essential for businesses to implement robust data governance and data security practices to mitigate these risks. Now I understand, not all organizations have a clear data governance strategy or org in place, but I am seeing more and more of my customers make this investment due to data regulations such as CCPA, GDPR, and Virginia CDPA to name a few.


However, business and development teams often face significant challenges while working with data governance and data security teams. These teams can slow down the development process, making it difficult for business and development teams to deliver new features and functionality on time. This delay can cause frustration for the business users, developers and may impact the overall success of the project.


Despite these challenges, it's crucial for the business and development teams to work closely with data governance and data security teams. These teams are responsible for implementing the policies, procedures, and technologies that mitigate security risks, ensure data compliance, and protect sensitive information. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Mitigating security risks: Data governance and data security teams are responsible for identifying and mitigating security risks. These teams establish security policies and procedures, perform security assessments, and implement security controls to protect data from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse. By working closely with these teams, developers can ensure that the applications they develop are designed and implemented with security in mind, reducing the risk of security breaches.

  2. Ensuring data compliance: Data governance and data security teams are also responsible for ensuring that the organization's data practices comply with relevant laws and regulations, such as CCPA, Virginia CDPA, GDPR or HIPAA. These regulations have strict requirements for data protection, data privacy, and data access, which can be challenging for development teams to navigate. By working closely with data governance and data security teams, developers can ensure that their applications comply with these regulations, reducing the risk of non-compliance and potential legal and financial consequences.

  3. Protecting sensitive information: Data governance and data security teams are responsible for protecting sensitive information, such as personal information, financial information, and intellectual property. By working closely with these teams, developers can ensure that the applications they develop are designed and implemented with data protection in mind, reducing the risk of sensitive information being exposed or misused.

Now, let's take a look at some examples of companies that have faced consequences for poor data governance or data security practices:

  1. Facebook: In 2018, Facebook was embroiled in a massive data privacy scandal involving the data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica. It was discovered that Cambridge Analytica had obtained data from millions of Facebook users without their consent, which was used to influence political campaigns. This scandal led to a massive loss of trust in Facebook, and the company faced intense scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers around the world.

  2. Equifax: In 2017, credit reporting agency Equifax suffered a massive data breach that exposed the personal information of approximately 143 million people. The breach was caused by a vulnerability in Equifax's web application framework, which had not been patched despite a security alert being issued months earlier. The company faced intense criticism for its poor data security practices, and it ultimately had to pay a $700 million settlement to consumers, regulators, and lawmakers.

  3. Citibank: In 2020, Citibank was fined over $400M due to risk management and data governance issues. The bank had failed to implement proper risk management practices and internal controls, which led to a massive error in its payments system. The error resulted in Citibank accidentally transferring nearly $900 million to a group of creditors of Revlon, the cosmetic company. Citibank was unable to retrieve the funds, and it ultimately had to absorb the loss. The incident highlighted the importance of robust risk management and data governance practices, as failure to implement these practices can result in significant financial losses and regulatory consequences.

These examples illustrates how poor data governance and risk management practices can have severe consequences for organizations like these three examples. It's essential for business and development teams to work closely with data governance and security teams to ensure that the applications and solutions they develop are designed and implemented with these practices in mind. By doing so, organizations can reduce the risk of costly errors, data breaches, and regulatory fines.


In conclusion, while working with data governance and data security teams can be challenging, it's essential for development teams to prioritize these practices. By doing so, business and developers can ensure that the applications they develop are designed and implemented with security and compliance in mind, reducing the risk of security breaches, non-compliance, and potential legal and financial consequences. The mind set that these two parts of the organization are different should not exist. Think of these two parts of the org as an extended part of your team wanting you on the business or delivery team to succeed while making sure the proper governance and security is in place!




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