September 12, 2016

Minimize the amount of data – and stay safe

Markus Melin

Head of Tieto Security Services, Tieto

A common misconception in today’s analytics frenzy is that more is more. It goes like this: we have an infinite Internet with endless touchpoints and data storage is cheap. So why not harvest all the customer data one can! Who knows, maybe something valuable we don’t even recognize yet might fall into our laps?

I want to challenge this principle because it has disadvantages. 

First of all, you are very likely to do futile work and raise extra suspicion among consumers. Most importantly, the business environment is changing rapidly: from spring 2018 onwards you have to be able to justify to your national data protection authorities each piece of personal data you collect. 

Even though the exact interpretations of the new regulation are to be seen, we do know that personal data will be considered in a wider scope. So in the very near future customers’ IP addresses and server logs are seen as a part of that category. If you are collecting it, you have to be able to justify why.

I’m of the opinion that in data collection and management the days of Forrest Gump (“you never know what you gonna get”) are over. You should know exactly, what data is collected and where it is stored. And it is not about the data anyway: value is created in the algorithms you run on top of the collected information anyway.

So, the KonMari approach to data management is in order. You know, Japanese Marie Kondo and her organizing philosophy of sticking to what matters the most. Other stuff – be it pieces of furniture or in our case data – should be disregarded.

Come to think of it, this minimalistic approach sounds rather business-savvy. Why not stick to your core business and cut off extra duties? Nowadays, less is more.

Simplifying processes and file management has positive impacts to your organisation’s security as well. It means less servers and networks to be worried about. And if a breach should happen, the damage is more contained.

Read more what we can do to keep you safe.

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