Managing Mountains of Data

By on September 19, 2019

Interviewees Sheila Mackay and Karla Wehbe, H5

Identifying and retaining data that has business value is critical, but that same data can pose risks for corporations. Today’s General Counsel interviewed Sheila Mackay and Karla Wehbe of the technology services firm H5 on how to manage these competing realities, a task made more difficult by the increasing volumes of data we’re seeing today.

The biggest risks are: Identity theft or inadvertent disclosure of consumer or employee confidential information either to hackers or to third parties such as suppliers and service providers; inadvertent disclosure of business-sensitive data that can have an impact on a company’s processes, operations and competitive position. The biggest obstacle to managing those risks effectively, says Wehbe, is too much data to wade through. Traditional methods of reviewing and categorizing data are not scalable and viable for large volumes. The business value of the data isn’t always visible to IT, and business units aren’t always equipped to divert resources to managing data that has business value. Most companies simply underestimate data risk, says Mackay, and managing data still isn’t viewed as a strategic activity but it is beginning to be viewed as a competitive advantage.

The interviewees see a growing role for legal and compliance in respect to data governance. For example, as more analytics and complexity are introduced into business processes, new challenges arise, some related to ethics and norms. The legal department will be instrumental in helping the business navigate those issues.

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Today's General Counsel

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