Taking Steps to Improve Information Risk Management

, Corporate Counsel


Securing data and information couldn't be a more pressing topic for companies right now, with the overlapping threats of external hacking and weak internal security practices by employees.

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What's being said

  • Caroline Schroder

    The key problem really has been the 'silo-ization' of the entity, and not just in business. Granted that the increasing complexity and the overwhelming mass of data and change across all disciplines has forced specialization and hyper-specialization in business, law and technology, silo-ization has had two pernicious effects: isolation of the technical professionals from the business model and territoriality of all silos which give rise to not only a death grip on their own silo's information but an obstinate rejection of other silos' analysis and perspective. The more marginalized a silo, the more obstinate the territoriality.

    CIO's and IT have complained for years of being isolated from the business strategies, plan and model. Increasingly counsel have complained of being isolated from daily operations and "tactical" level activity, if not strategies, plan, and model. HR and other silos have increasingly complained that HR gets thrown in over its head, perhaps for the HR 'seal of approval'. Certainly Risk Management and Business Continuity planners are not a coherent, internally consistent element of the business model. The solution has to come from the top of the organization, as alignment of reality to "tone at the top" and be aligned from C-suite, and preferably board and C-suite down.

    As CEB is corporate membership entity, perhaps this report demonstrates a growing consensus on cross-silo risk identification and management.

  • applying infonomics

    Great piece. Content about valuing information assets always gets my attention. At Gartner we have introduced the concept of "infonomics" (information economics) -- recognizing or at least behaving as if information was an actual corp asset (despite current arcane accounting regs disallowing the capitalization of info assets). This includes valuation models we have developed. For more on infonomics, there's a Wiki site with links to articles in Forbes, FT, WSJ and other research & resources (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Infonomics). Note that from a legal perspective, courts are split around the world on whether electronic data constitutes "property". We are aware of a couple dozen rulings. --Doug Laney, VP Research, Gartner, @doug_laney

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