Ethical Data Management = User Access Monitoring.
Nearly every aspect of business is dependent on some form of data access, it is a fundamental part of everyday operational practice from employees performing their daily duties and activities to board directors and their management teams analysing data to identify critical trending statistics in the production of performance results and reports.
Historically we have granted data access across the workforce on a needs basis; if you need access to corporate data to do your job you get access, this is true of employee, contractor, branch office worker or employee working from home.
There is obviously a level of control and responsibility required here as when you start to examine the data rich environments we have created it quickly becomes apparent that there are now as many data management points as there are devices on the network.
This leaves quite a difficult problem to solve from a user access perspective; how do we monitor each user data management point (endpoint) to ensure data is being processed in a controlled and responsible manner?
Data Ethics is a practice that not only conforms to industry regulation and data protection legislation but also follows and delivers on a method for data processing that has been agreed with customers and partners throughout the supply chain, essentially an approach that asks “would this type of data access/processing be acceptable to me and my business if it was my data”.
An ethical approach to data processing would obviously need to be adopted organisation wide and be underpinned by user education, robust policies and technology that can identify and notify from data access and processing anomalies that do not conform to ethical data processing principles; user activity monitoring (UAM) solutions can track data access by every user and provide real time alerts and a comprehensive audit trail across your network regardless of location.
As we move forward with the masses of data we have gathered we must constantly ensure responsible and principled methods of data processing, business must adapt by employing an ethical approach which in turn must be carried out by our data dependent computer workforce.