Beyond the Numbers: Managing Crown Jewel Data Within Organizations

An organization’s intellectual property, trade secrets, and any proprietary information that requires protection are considered crown jewel data. Managing this data can be as crucial to the organization as the data itself. Trip Hillman, Director of Cybersecurity Services at Weaver, and Hunter Sundbeck, a Privacy Lead for IT Advisory Services at Weaver, checked in with Beyond the Number’s Tyler Kern to provide insights and strategies for managing essential company data.

“Often, an organization doesn’t know what it has,” Hillman said. “So, for these types of data, this crown jewel data, the key that we’re looking at, the valuable sense of this data, we want to make sure we have a method to protect it.” Companies must create a plan to identify the data and assign the proper security for data access.

Recognizing the need to manage data and robust data management is different. One of the challenges for organizations is properly defining their data into the proper classifications. Sundbeck said companies must identify what those crown jewel data assets are, which are top secret, and what data people can access. “I’ve done a couple of discovery audits where we’re figuring out what exactly you have, what your key processes are, what data feeds those key processes, and how that data is protected.”

Through this discovery process, companies may realize they have hidden or ‘dark’ data they’d forgotten. Some of this data could be critical or not. “There is a point where maybe you’re collecting data you don’t need,” Sundbeck said. Identifying valued data from bad helps companies put security and controls around the right data sets and clean up the rest.

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