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Identifying your company’s Crown Jewels

This blog post has been supplied by our partners at Smoothwall. Smoothwall is a market leading developer of real time content and web filtering technologies.

In today’s business landscape ideas, innovation and knowledge make up around 80% of an organisation’s value. A company’s worth is no longer strictly tied to their tangible goods and products, but to their intellectual property, virtual products and confidential business data.

The importance of taking steps to reduce the risk of an online attack is clearly important in today’s digital age but, for many organisations, cyber security might fall to the end of a long list of priorities. However, with the majority of an organisation’s value made up of intangible assets, the reality of a breach will put all other priorities on a back burner. In order to protect their assets, every business, establishment, school and hospital must acknowledge the importance of information asset protection.

Information Lifecycle Management (ILM) is “an approach to data and storage management that recognises that the value of information changes over time and that it must be managed accordingly. ILM seeks to classify data according to its business value and establish policies to migrate and store data on the appropriate storage tier and, ultimately, remove it altogether.” An organisation’s greatest value virtual assets can be categorised as their ‘crown jewels’, indicating the high impact that piece of information can have on the organisation if exposed to threats.

With two thirds of large UK businesses hit by cyber breaches or attacks in the past year, it is key that organisations are able to correctly identify their information assets and protect them accordingly.

Do you know how to identify a crown jewel?

‘Crown jewels’ require advanced, balanced protection that is fast, automated and comprehensive. It is key to correctly evaluate and identify the level of protection your data requires as the prospect of ineffectively identifying a ‘crown jewel’ can result in wasted resources, time and money by providing protection to a minor information asset.

In order to effectively identify crown jewels within a company start with assessing the strongholds of the organisation and where it draws its power in the market from. This can range from technological information regarding virtual products, confidential client information, key data or business plans. Of course, it would be remiss not to mention the General Data Protection Regulation at this point. The GDPR dictates how businesses in the EU must handle personally identifiable data, which will in turn have an impact on what you classify as ‘crown jewels.’ Once the ‘crown jewels’ have been identified, it is then key to assess your threats, assets and protection.

Who’s responsibility is it to identify where security measures are needed and put them in place?

This responsibility usually falls to the board within an organisation. It is key that they are able to identify what the ‘crown jewels’ are and how they are protected. If these information assets are not effectively protected, the question is why? The risk of a damaged reputation, data loss or financial damage are too great to any organisation and warrant protection.

When looking for a partner to develop your data management policies and procedures, you need to be speaking to professionals who are happy to use a mix of technology and practical experience to develop data management in line with other elements of your organisation. Otherwise, practices fall foul of technological failures, or a technology-heavy data management practice becomes unmanageable. It’s all about the human touch. Get in touch with us today to discuss your precise requirements.