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Once bitten, twice shy. Protect your data assets.

During my career, which has seen data play a fundamental and important role in my life, a small group of colleagues broke away to set up their own company. Having started companies before I know just how hard it is and genuinely salute anyone taking that ultimate step into the unknown - colleague or not. It's a gargantuan challenge. However, when these colleagues left, they decided to take with them data that belonged to the company. Data we had spent years creating.

The first thing that gripped me was that gut wrenching shock of being robbed. It reminded me of the time I returned to my flat one evening to find my front door open and my precious belongings gone. A wave of shock spreads through you whilst at the same time you begin to feel quite helpless. Anger then follows which simply clouds your better judgement and then lastly, you waste countless hours trying to fathom out why? Racking your brains for answers to what more you could have done to prevent this from happening and at times insanely blaming yourself for the loss.

As you piece the incident together and build the case for the lawyers you begin to start to see how truly difficult it is. The difference between how the law treats physical evidence and digital evidence is material. Whilst the cost of hiring in the experts to do this in a compliant way is out of this world!

Data for many remains an abstract concept and until an unfortunate event like a loss of it happens, its protection is often over looked. Although data may not be tangible to you, it is the single most important asset we humans have created and we need to start acting and behaving accordingly. This event rocked me to the core. I consider myself data savvy and if it could happen to me I saw a huge opportunity to support those that are less familiar with the risks and the importance of data protection. Furthermore, with new regulation in the shape of the GDPR coming down the track at us, there are material consequences for those that don't take this seriously and suffer a loss.

I believe that 99% of us get out of bed every morning wanting to do an honest days work, delight our customers, remain compliant and make the world a better place. It's the 1% that spoil it for all of us as the impact of their actions tend to result in disproportionate consequences. Simply, they destroy wealth, lives and trust.

My experience sharpened my focus and here we are on a mission to help you put in measures that protect your data assets, and monetize it in a compliant and powerful manner which gives you an advantage.

Some ideas to include in your data protection framework:

- Every employee signs a data protections policy and data compliance policy

- Clearly appoint & empower people to own and be accountable for key data assets

- Maintain a taxonomy of key data assets

- Track possible breaches and weaknesses by watermarking key data assets

- Have a clear reporting framework that goes up to the Board

We at the #dataofthings focus on helping clients protect and monetize their data assets.

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