Making data a team sport

By Talend

Ssu-han Koh, Asia-Pacific Director of Solution Engineering at Talend, discusses how to achieve clarity in a state of data chaos.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much,” American author Helen Keller famously said.

This time-enduring statement can be applied to many situations - even to data management. “Data is not just an IT problem, or an issue for a business user,” but a team sport, says Ssu-han Koh, Asia-Pacific Director of Solution Engineering at Talend.

He discusses how making data a team sport can help organisations achieve clarity amid today’s chaos.

A state of data chaos

Governments across the world are undergoing digital transformation, Koh says. They are no longer using only on-premise or isolated networks - but are moving to cloud and using IoT devices.

But traditional methods of data security must still apply, he says. Organisations need to know who has access to data, where the data is, and if that data is confidential.

With the multitude of systems used today, much more data is being created and accessed by different groups of people, Koh adds. “It’s no longer just a smaller group of people within the organiszation, but there's going to be a lot more people getting involved.”

Enhancing data security

The increased number of systems and users accessing data enlarges the attack surface and volume, Koh says. If organisations don’t have the right controls in place, cyber attackers can also take advantage of the confusion to steal information.

The Identity Theft Resource Center revealed that there were 540 publicly reported data breaches affecting 163 million people in the US in the first six months of 2020.

Organisations must first start by defining the data, Koh says. Answering basic questions like who owns it, where it’s located, and who needs access to data will enable data security measures to be implemented accurately.

Access controls are crucial, he adds. Granting minimum rights of access that allow employees to only access what is needed to complete their tasks will help to enhance data security. The necessary cryptographic controls such as hashing, and masking, etc managed via a centralised data management platform will also be helpful.

Using a centralised data management platform like the Talend Data Fabric helps their customers to manage these controls effectively and reduce the other associated risks such as cryptographic key handling.

A team sport

Collaboration is crucial for these processes and technologies to come together, says Koh. Data is a “team sport that needs different skill sets and different personas to come together,” he adds.

A data engineer can just be focused on cleaning up the data and infrastructure, but the business user is the one who knows what he needs, he says. Organisations need a common platform that will allow these two groups of people to collaborate.

A data fabric platform will help to bridge these silos, Koh says. Talend’s data fabric helps to integrate any type of data from any source, and ensures data integrity and trust throughout the entire lifecycle.

It also allows anyone to understand problems in the data and correct it. Having a data fabric makes it easy enough for employees to comply with processes that protect data, he adds.

The amount of data an organisation generates and handles is only going to increase. Equipping non-technical employees with the necessary skills and technology to manage data will be key.

Find out how your agency can enhance data security amid digital transformation at Talend’s blog