How to Reduce Your Compliance Risk with Better Data Management

Effectively managing enterprise information is challenging - especially when you consider all the regulations you must comply with. Financial organizations in particular need to worry, as recent headlines would attest. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has levied stiff fines in the tune of $3.75 million to such respected firms as Barclays for systemic record and email retention failures. It is of critical importance to make sure that you keep up with compliance to save your company from huge mistakes like this one.

We know that finding, installing and updating software that securely captures, retains and organizes data can be a logistical and financial nightmare. But the good news is that with the right mindset and resources, you can get information where it needs to be in a safe and affordable way. 

Information security regulations are in place for a reason, and although some may be harder to interpret than others, your business must adhere to what's required. You don't want to suffer the legal consequences if you're found non-compliant.

In addition to knowing which laws and acts apply, you need to know what kind of risks are out there. That way, you can outline the necessary steps to bring you into compliance and ensure both externally and internally communicated information is secure. When you explore and leverage the data you own and fully understand the compliance standards you must meet, you will also see results in regards to costs, revenue and efficiency.

The first step to reducing compliance risk is to look at data management. Take control of what you own by making a game plan to organize information, regardless of its location, and keep up with changing legal requirements. This means modernizing your - or creating your first - information governance strategy. Not only will you automate critical tasks, but you'll optimize storage.

One of the best ways to reduce compliance risk and efficiently manage data at the same time? A business taxonomy.

Taxonomies organize information in a clear and concise way; It's the primary storage design for your data. When you arrange data in a hierarchical structure and use tags to sort them, you can search, find and retrieve content, documents or records much more quickly.

A business taxonomy will increase usability across all users of the organization. As with most solutions though a considerable amount of employee training and quality assurance is required, but selecting the right solution utilizing machine learning in combination with other classification methodologies can almost eliminate this traditional training requirement.

With a pre-determined classification system, there's little chance for compliance mismanagement. You'll have auto-encryption, access control and retention schedules in place to align with both required and self-determined compliance requirements. Plus, it's easy to monitor data and generate audit reports when things are already in their place.

Because IT environments are dynamic, you must stay flexible. Be ready to adapt to change and support changing regulations. It may not always be clear what's required of you, so stay up to date with regulation changes and consider new risks when you implement new software or workflow processes.

Your software should retain documents properly and keep sensitive information secure. DRS Imaging platforms do just that. They will administer access control and help manage information throughout its lifecycle, ensuring that policies are applied across the board.

It's a time-intensive process to become and stay compliant - and getting started can be daunting. But if you're serious about reducing your risk and improving how you manage data, you need a team on your side that will find the right customized solution for your company needs.