Clean up your room…the risk is real.


Remember when your mother had to tell you to clean up your room?   That messy room was nothing compared to what your company’s network probably looks like today.   According to a new study, in 2007 the digital universe was 45 gigabytes per person on the planet and the annual growth rate between now and 2011 is expected to be almost 60 percent.

Your business faces three types of risk from the failure to manage your electronically stored information: litigation risk, security risk, and operational risk.

And all three carry heavy costs.

More data increases litigation costs and risk.

If you don’t have a document management policy that provides for the proper retention, storage and destruction of documents, you’re probably keeping pretty much everything. What’s the risk?  An email that should have been deleted, for example, or a scenario that you tested and agreed was inappropriate, can be taken out of context and used against you.

Poorly managed data means more security risk.Businesses have custody of a great deal of non-public personal data. Confidential information disclosed in an unauthorized manner puts your company at risk for a variety of regulatory penalties. Perhaps even more dangerous is the risk of theft of your intellectual property.

Failure to manage your data makes it more difficult to manage your business.

As data continues to grow and you continue to back up unnecessary files, the backup process takes longer and longer.  But more important, if there’s a disruption in your network it takes longer and longer to get back in business.

So clean your room!

Establish a policy for what you keep, where you keep it, and for how long.  Set rules for how information gets destroyed.  Pay particular attention to emails: some should be treated as business records, but most should be deleted.  And set a “litigation hold” procedure that prevents deletion of related information if a lawsuit is threatened.

Read the full article here

Jorge Rey, CISA, CISM, is a Cybersecurity & Compliance Principal at Kaufman Rossin, one of the Top 100 CPA and advisory firms in the U.S.

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