Best Data Governance Application Practices For Secure and Clean Data

In the wake of many major data breaches, such as LastPass, businesses are now much more cautious about how they manage important documents within the company.

Best Data Governance Application Practices For Secure and Clean Data

But how to do it the right way?

Proper data governance should be:

  • Secure from hacking threats — sensitive information in particular
  • High-quality
  • Consistent across versatile platforms
  • Available for specific business functions
  • Easy to understand
  • Neatly organized

In reality, data management practices tend to be:

  • Chaotic
  • Outdated
  • Hard to search
  • Not automated to the desired degree
  • Difficult to integrate into the company’s architecture

With more information to manage than ever before, applying the previously mentioned best practices is a challenge for companies that want safe and clean data.

What are some of the top data governance applications you need to know when working towards more secure and less chaotic management?

Let’s find out.

Automation of Data Management Processes

With such a high volume of data nowadays, automated management is a necessity. It’s also essential for making company data safe and organized in the scaling process.

Some of the processes that can be automated are the classification and identification of data.

Once the organization knows what kind of data they have and where it is within the system, it can enforce the necessary policies that protect them.

Another problem that automation of the data solves is the proper management of high volumes of data.

New information is coming into the network but is also being generated within the infrastructure and often moved from one part of the infrastructure to another.

This means that it requires continual classification and discovery.

To sum up, automation should be able to handle:

  • Scanning to uncover any new data within the system
  • Identification of the information within the system
  • Cataloging of data

Securing Data From Theft and Leaks

As mentioned, automation has an important role in the security of data. It enforces the continual scanning, discovery, and cataloging of private information.

During data breaches, malicious actors are typically solely interested in sensitive information. They’re after the resource for which they can demand ransom in exchange for not leaking sensitive files or they intend to sell the data on the dark web or hacking forums. All in all, not a great situation to be the victim of.

To secure the data, it’s necessary to keep the bad actors far away from it.

One of the best practices for securing data is to keep an eye on it — using automated tools to figure out where the data is within the system at all times.

This information helps security teams to figure out who has access to the possibly sensitive information.

Also, another important element when it comes to securing the data is restricting who has the access to sensitive information.

For example, one common way to do so is to implement a zero-trust policy within the infrastructure — implementing role-based access (depending on one’s role within the company) is one way to do it.

If the actors obtain the credentials of a single employee, their password and username should grant them access to the deepest parts of your network.

Even if they use the credentials for illicit access, the system shouldn’t automatically conclude that the person using the credentials is in fact a genuine user who has the right to access their account.

Setting the Data in Context

Data put in context — also known as information, is the key to proper data governance and securing it from bad actors.

This is why knowing which data a company has, as well as who can alter and access it matters.

For instance, automation paired with correlation in data analysis can flag potentially malicious activity — such as a person accessing data outside of the working hours of a company.

Therefore, the context is extremely important for security analysts. It helps them figure out whether the malicious intruder has access to the data or is a genuine user.

In case the incident has already taken place, the context can aid businesses to uncover how much and which data was exposed in a breach as well as which user data is in the hacker’s hands.

For instance, insider threats, such as employees misusing their access, can threaten sensitive data. Threat actors could then obtain these credentials on the dark web and use them to log into an employee's account.

If the information that has been stolen and leaked is the personal data of clients who use the services of a company, this means that such users are now potential victims of further phishing attacks and possible identity theft.

Automation paired with the contextual analysis of data can prevent such a domino effect.

The thing is, the context of how the data is used and where it is within the system is changing all the time. This requires continual and automated scanning for the data, its classification, and identification within the context in which it’s used.

In a Nutshell: Automate, Restrict Access, And Provide Context

Businesses collect a lot of data from their users, but also create a lot of new information within their systems.

As a result, they have more data to govern than ever before. Here, we're also talking about data that is scattered in versatile repositories.

Types of data are varied as well.

To complicate things even further, the data is placed within complex modern infrastructures.

Overall, governing data is even more complex and nuanced than you might imagine. This is also the process that goes beyond securing sensitive data.

Protecting the assets that the business has and having a bird's eye view of the information is essential. Know who has the access to the sensitive data within your company.

Automating the processes that have to be done at all times — such as the discovery of data, and their classification — essentially increasing the visibility of the attack surface for security teams is a must.

Know what kind of data you have, where it is, who can access and use it — and repeat.

Check the comment section below for additional information, share what you know, or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. And, to quickly find answers to your questions, use our search Search engine.

Note: Some of the information in samples on this website may have been impersonated or spoofed.

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Online Threat Alerts Security Tips

Pay the safest way

Credit cards are the safest way to pay for online purchases because you can dispute the charges if you never get the goods or services or if the offer was misrepresented. Federal law limits your liability to $50 if someone makes unauthorized charges to your account, and most credit card issuers will remove them completely if you report the problem promptly.

Guard your personal information

In any transaction you conduct, make sure to check with your state or local consumer protection agency and the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if the seller, charity, company, or organization is credible. Be especially wary if the entity is unfamiliar to you. Always call the number found on a website’s contact information to make sure the number legitimately belongs to the entity you are dealing with.

Be careful of the information you share

Never give out your codes, passwords or personal information, unless you are sure of who you're dealing with

Know who you’re dealing with

Crooks pretending to be from companies you do business with may call or send an email, claiming they need to verify your personal information. Don’t provide your credit card or bank account number unless you are actually paying for something and know who you are sending payment to. Your social security number should not be necessary unless you are applying for credit. Be especially suspicious if someone claiming to be from a company with whom you have an account asks for information that the business already has.

Check your accounts

Regularly check your account transactions and report any suspicious or unauthorised transactions.

Don’t believe promises of easy money

If someone claims that you can earn money with little or no work, get a loan or credit card even if you have bad credit, or make money on an investment with little or no risk, it’s probably a scam. Oftentimes, offers that seem too good to be true, actually are too good to be true.

Do not open email from people you don’t know

If you are unsure whether an email you received is legitimate, try contacting the sender directly via other means. Do not click on any links in an email unless you are sure it is safe.

Think before you click

If an email or text message looks suspicious, don’t open any attachments or click on the links.

Verify urgent requests or unsolicited emails, messages or phone calls before you respond

If you receive a message or a phone call asking for immediate action and don't know the sender, it could be a phishing message.

Be careful with links and new website addresses

Malicious website addresses may appear almost identical to legitimate sites. Scammers often use a slight variation in spelling or logo to lure you. Malicious links can also come from friends whose email has unknowingly been compromised, so be careful.

Secure your personal information

Before providing any personal information, such as your date of birth, Social Security number, account numbers, and passwords, be sure the website is secure.

Stay informed on the latest cyber threats

Keep yourself up to date on current scams by visiting this website daily.

Use Strong Passwords

Strong passwords are critical to online security.

Keep your software up to date and maintain preventative software programs

Keep all of your software applications up to date on your computers and mobile devices. Install software that provides antivirus, firewall, and email filter services.

Update the operating systems on your electronic devices

Make sure your operating systems (OSs) and applications are up to date on all of your electronic devices. Older and unpatched versions of OSs and software are the target of many hacks. Read the CISA security tip on Understanding Patches and Software Updates for more information.

What if You Got Scammed?

Stop Contact With The Scammer

Hang up the phone. Do not reply to emails, messages, or letters that the scammer sends. Do not make any more payments to the scammer. Beware of additional scammers who may contact you claiming they can help you get your lost money back.

Secure Your Finances

  • Report potentially compromised bank account, credit or debit card information to your financial institution(s) immediately. They may be able to cancel or reverse fraudulent transactions.
  • Notify the three major credit bureaus. They can add a fraud alert to warn potential credit grantors that you may be a victim of identity theft. You may also want to consider placing a free security freeze on your credit report. Doing so prevents lenders and others from accessing your credit report entirely, which will prevent them from extending credit:

Check Your Computer

If your computer was accessed or otherwise affected by a scam, check to make sure that your anti-virus is up-to-date and running and that your system is free of malware and keylogging software. You may also need to seek the help of a computer repair company. Consider utilizing the Better Business Bureau’s website to find a reputable company.

Change Your Account Passwords

Update your bank, credit card, social media, and email account passwords to try to limit further unauthorized access. Make sure to choose strong passwords when changing account passwords.

Report The Scam

Reporting helps protect others. While agencies can’t always track down perpetrators of crimes against scammers, they can utilize the information gathered to record patterns of abuse which may lead to action being taken against a company or industry.

Report your issue to the following agencies based on the nature of the scam:

  • Local Law Enforcement: Consumers are encouraged to report scams to their local police department or sheriff’s office, especially if you lost money or property or had your identity compromised.
  • Federal Trade Commission: Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) at 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357) or use the Online Complaint Assistant to report various types of fraud, including counterfeit checks, lottery or sweepstakes scams, and more.
  • If someone is using your personal information, like your Social Security, credit card, or bank account number, to open new accounts, make purchases, or get a tax refund, report it at This federal government site will also help you create your Identity Theft Report and a personal recovery plan based on your situation. Questions can be directed to 877-ID THEFT.

How To Recognize a Phishing Scam

Scammers use email or text messages to try to steal your passwords, account numbers, or Social Security numbers. If they get that information, they could get access to your email, bank, or other accounts. Or they could sell your information to other scammers. Scammers launch thousands of phishing attacks like these every day — and they’re often successful.

Scammers often update their tactics to keep up with the latest news or trends, but here are some common tactics used in phishing emails or text messages:

Phishing emails and text messages often tell a story to trick you into clicking on a link or opening an attachment. You might get an unexpected email or text message that looks like it’s from a company you know or trust, like a bank or a credit card or utility company. Or maybe it’s from an online payment website or app. The message could be from a scammer, who might

  • say they’ve noticed some suspicious activity or log-in attempts — they haven’t
  • claim there’s a problem with your account or your payment information — there isn’t
  • say you need to confirm some personal or financial information — you don’t
  • include an invoice you don’t recognize — it’s fake
  • want you to click on a link to make a payment — but the link has malware
  • say you’re eligible to register for a government refund — it’s a scam
  • offer a coupon for free stuff — it’s not real

About Online Threat Alerts (OTA)

Online Threat Alerts or OTA is an anti-cybercrime community that started in 2012. OTA alerts the public to cyber crimes and other web threats.

By alerting the public, we have prevented a lot of online users from getting scammed or becoming victims of cybercrimes.

With the ever-increasing number of people going online, it important to have a community like OTA that continuously alerts or protects those same people from cyber-criminals, scammers and hackers, who are every day finding new ways of carrying out their malicious activities.

Online users can help by reporting suspicious or malicious messages or websites to OTA. And, if they want to determine if a message or website is a threat or scam, they can use OTA's search engine to search for the website or parts of the message for information.

Help maintain Online Threat Alerts (OTA).

Best Data Governance Application Practices For Secure and Clean Data