Guide: Data Governance

Data Access Governance Defined

Poor data is guaranteed if a corporation does not have good data governance. Inconsistent definitions, duplication, missing fields, and other common data faux pas characterize this insufficient data governance. However, how can an organization that addresses these problems generate a return on its investment (ROI)?

This article aims to touch on the following points:

This is part of our comprehensive data governance guide.

Data Governance In A Nutshell

Data governance is defined by the Data Governance Institute as “a system of decision rights and accountabilities for information-related operations, carried out according to agreed-upon models that specify who may do what with what information, when, under what conditions, and using what means.”


People, procedures, and technology are part of data governance, controlling access, preservation, and use.


In contrast to “data management,” “data governance” is a business approach for dealing with data rather than a technological discipline.

Importance of Data Governance

Data discrepancies throughout an organization may not get handled if there are no adequate data access governance tools. User names may be listed differently based on whatever system you use. Unstructured data governance might hamper data integration efforts. Plus, unstructured data governance could impact the integrity of business intelligence (BI), corporate reporting, and analytics systems. In addition, data inaccuracies may go unnoticed and uncorrected, which might harm the business itself.

How to Govern Data Access

Governing data access involves three key pieces:

Keeping an Audit Trail

There must be a complete log of every action or activity linked to a report’s data for data security. Everything that happens to a piece of information falls under this category. Digital records may now be followed automatically via audit trail instead of the human tracking of paper audit trails to prevent a data breach. That said, it is imperative to have the appropriate software platform capable of threat detection and data auditing.


There are a few dozen to a few hundred activities that you may record in a data audit trail for small firms and thousands of actions in audit logs for larger enterprises. A specialized audit monitoring and data management system is critically necessary for this reason.


When it comes to most businesses, audit trails are necessary. Three of the most common reasons an audit trail can be important for your company are listed here.


Most companies are required by law to keep a record of all transactions involving their customers’ personal information. A wide range of government-mandated standards and regulations demand some type of audit trail.


Data audit trails, for example, must be put up so that you cannot manually manipulate them to reflect information that varies from what the log collected, as one rule mandates. Another important reason for implementing a data audit trail system is to assist in preventing the occurrence of fraud.

Internal Security Measures

you can avoid internal fraud if you have a data audit trail. For example, suppose financial information or other potential abnormalities get discovered. In that case, an audit trail will reveal exactly who accessed the information and what modifications they made at what point in time. An investigation or a search for the perpetrators will benefit greatly from this.


You may also use this approach to create a data audit trail, which aids in spotting little but costly errors made by employees and promotes employee accountability and responsible data usage.

External Security

It is possible to defend yourself from external and internal fraud by keeping a record of all your data. Sensitive information is now in more danger than ever before due to the exponential growth of cyber threats.


An audit trail may not be your first or best security against external data breaches. Still, it may help you discover how and where breaches occur and retrace your activities after an attack to restore your data to its original condition. When it comes to preventing future data breaches, this technique can assist in identifying weak spots in the data supply chain.

Monitoring Data Access

Data access is the ability to obtain, change, copy, or move data from IT systems at any time, provided that the user is permitted to do so. Data access enables users to carry out these tasks from any location, on any device, and with data in any state. Data at rest gets saved on disks or hard drives in a database, data warehouse, or cloud repository. Individuals must confirm their identity to the company that has it to access this data and its location.


Effective data governance initiatives can access data as one of their major deliverables. Organizations should have well-thought-out, systematic methods for providing diverse people access to their data.


This feature gets bolstered by a variety of access permissions and security levels. Organizational roles and responsibilities and data governance policies frequently dictate these rights.


Sequential access and random access are the two most common methods of retrieving data from a repository.


Sequential access moves data around on a disk in search of the requested data. Data must be read one segment at a time (in sequential order) until the desired data gets located, which strains the computer’s resources. Random access still has a leg up on this strategy in terms of speed since it requires far fewer seeks than random access does.


Data may be stored or retrieved from any location on the hard drive using random access. This way, users may locate what they’re seeking without going through the entire data set. This feature also indicates that the data is located in constant time, which means retrieving it will take a certain amount of time. Random access is better when the time required to read and recover data sequentially exceeds that threshold.

Special Importance of Logging and Monitoring Access to Sensitive Data

Since data keeps changing, monitoring access to such has to be continuous. To succeed, you must first establish a framework for clearly outlining your objectives. It’s common for companies to get excited about using new technology or working in new ways but often neglect to analyze the underlying organizational structure. Better results and less responsibility can both be achieved by prioritizing policy development.


Defining what constitutes sensitive information is the first stage in the process. Because it’s impossible to include all information deemed private or confidential, you should keep this list as wide as possible.


You might include user lists, passwords, and system details in a “sensitive” information list. The information you’ve gathered thus far, such as customer names, trade secrets, medical records, and financial data, may now be used to further your investigation.


A policy that lists several instances but also leaves room for future data collection sets the assumption that much of the information your employees acquire is confidential. It will help them think critically and make the proper judgments when confronted with data that may be new or not precisely stated in your list. This policy will assist.


Once you’ve defined sensitive data, you can start establishing rules for how it gets stored in your system. It starts with data storage.


First, think about how you want your data arranged digitally while not in use. Arrange data in a way that makes sense given the data’s sensitivity. This feature will help you define access restrictions for low-level personnel and build security and risk management solutions for sensitive data. You can’t handle your data effectively until it gets arranged rationally. Many firms face these issues despite observing data access governance best practices.


Data governance aims to reduce the number of data silos in an enterprise. Separate transaction processing systems without central coordination or a corporate data architecture typically result in these kinds of silos. Data governance uses a collaborative approach to ensure that the data in these systems is consistent across all business units.


It’s important to keep track of how your customers’ personal information and other sensitive details get utilized to prevent data mistakes from being introduced into your systems. Data should get governed by a set of rules and processes that you can continuously enforce. Achieving a balance between data gathering tactics and privacy standards may be made easier with data governance procedures.

Data Access Governance With Satori

Satori helps you with DataSecOps for your modern data stack. This includes continuous sensitive data discovery, integration with existing data governance tools to make data governance more efficient and immediate, and means to streamline access to sensitive data and create security policies that are independent of the specific data infrastructure you’re using.

Last updated on

January 25, 2022

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