Do you know how data goes through your organisation? Could this process be made more efficient, or more useful to you?

Understanding what actions are applied to data, determining who needs access to it and what they can or should be able to do to it is an important part of seeing how data moves and where it can be lost, damaged or compromised. Anyone who controls your data, at any point, should be a trusted party and have measures to match the value you apply to your data.

Data tracking is valuable for everyone in an organisation. You should be able to check who changed data and when, and if possible from what. Auditing information over a sensible timeframe should minimise the risk of data damage from the very people you authorize to change it. It also protects them from possible allegations of malicious or accidental damage.

In more highly secure environments, recording the system used, the user credentials,
secondary authentication and time controls can all ensure you know who did what when
and from where. You can also add a work flow control to ensure no one person can
change data without authorization from a second or peer review.

Simply keeping data history is one way of keeping control. As an example, no one should
be able to change what address someone lived at 10 years ago. Archiving unchanging old
data and focussing on more current changes will provide an effective block to data
damage and make management simpler.