The Competing Forces of Access and Security

BrandPost By Ignacio Martinez
Jun 05, 2018
IT Leadership

You want teams to be open and collaborative, but sometimes you need to restrict sensitive information. rn

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Credit: Shutterstock

Today’s organizations face a new work paradigm. Workers can collaborate and communicate easier than ever before, thanks to the rise of enterprise collaboration apps. These apps can also provide unprecedented access to and shareability of data.  

At the same time, these collaboration advances leave IT and other business leaders facing increased scrutiny around data security and privacy. This, in turn, increases the focus on  ensuring compliance and reducing the risks around regulatory issues.

To manage these competing forces, IT and business leaders find themselves performing a delicate balancing act: maintaining compliance and security standards, while ensuring the business is nimble enough to move forward quickly.

The key is finding the sweet spot that addresses the needs of workers — easily accessing and sharing information — with IT’s “need to know” approach to sharing data and auditing data access.

During their regular course of business, employees often need to share and exchange information with customers, contractors, vendors, and other parties outside of the business.

IT must support this exchange of information, while enforcing confidential workflows and data, to make sure only those who really need visibility into confidential information have access to it.

Organizations must also control and monitor how employees share that data outside of company walls and what is done with that data once it “leaves the office.” Compliance teams, in turn, must perform audits to validate that nothing inappropriate was done with that data–internally or externally.

Balancing Collaboration with Security

The solution: Investing in software and BI capabilities that give users access to data and information they need, when they need it, and in a format that’s useful to them, without simply sharing all the information available. This helps ensure access on a need-to-know basis, without slowing the business down.

Auditing who has access to information and how that information is being used is also key. Tracking down information that is stored in a spreadsheet and emailed around is nearly impossible. Making sure you have the software and systems in place to perform as-needed data audits will pay off in the long run.

Securing Data in a Collaborative World

The tension is always there: you want teams to be open and collaborative, but sometimes you need to lock down sensitive information.

To keep data secure, look for software that meets your organization’s security, privacy, and auditability requirements. It should balance the needs of keeping data secure and sharing information on a need-to-know basis, while simultaneously enabling collaboration and ensuring auditability.

Smartsheet is solving for the new work paradigm by helping enterprises balance data demands with security. Discover how  controlled collaboration and other data controls can help your business thrive.