Australia: Have No Fear, Data Governance Is Here: Tips To Securing Your Organisation's Data

In a world of an ever increasing volume of data, there is little room for businesses to be complacent when it comes to data governance and management. Organisations are increasingly becoming exposed and vulnerable to cyber-attacks which by their very nature compromise the security and integrity of the data an organisation holds. Key to managing this risk is understanding and addressing the risk, so as to respond most effectively in the event of a breach.

Whilst a conversation around 'governing and managing data' can be daunting, organisations must be proactive in how they think about data as an asset and as to how it is managed.

Implementing a data governance framework (framework) is a key first step in this process, and business should ensure that a strong data governance framework is applied for the regulation and organisation of their data.

What is data governance and why is it important?

Data governance refers to the process of organisation of an enterprise's data, involving an enterprise-wide system of policies, procedures and controls to ensure that data is properly monitored, stored and managed. Governance should be designed, implemented so as to follow the full life cycle of data from inception through to destruction.

As an asset, data can be used to identify new business streams and target markets and to leverage growth of an organisation.  Ineffective governance and management can lead to issues with data integrity, quality and security, which leads to data, as an asset, not being used in the most effective way possible.  To use data effectively, it must be managed efficiently.  A solid data governance framework will help organisations realise data's true potential.

Tips when considering a data governance framework

The following tips are useful to consider when implementing a data governance framework. Organisations should keep in mind that frameworks vary depending on the data held, the organisations structure, size and sector, as well as management's priorities as to data quality, privacy, compliance and security.

  1. Clearly establish the goals and purpose your framework
    The overall vision and goals for the data governance framework must be clear, simple, and precise.  Before standing out, consider why your organisation wants a data governance framework.  What are the key goals and priorities?  Only put governance where needed.
  2. Identify your data
    Organisations need to first understand what data they have before it can be managed. These may include personal information, financial data and/or business and employee records.  Again, consider priorities.  What information is more valuable; what information demands more protection from a legal/regulatory standpoint? What are the ramifications of not managing certain data effectively?
  3. Identify your stakeholders and accountabilities
    Select sponsors, owners, and participants for different sets of data, and establish processes focused on results. Prioritise those selections based on business need.

    Communicate the activities of the framework often, and to all of the business's stakeholders.
  4. Establish and monitor standards, policy and procedures
    Keep the governance model as simple as possible and make sure that all tasks are adding value to the overall organisation. Organisations need to recognise that "one size does not fit all" when it comes to governance.  Design policies, standards, and processes for the entire organisation and try to incorporate or build around assessment policies.  Do not reinvent the wheel.
  5. Establish and monitor relevant laws and regulations
    Keep an eye on evolving legal and regulatory obligations, which often expect good data governance and which are increasingly becoming more onerous in the event of a data breach. Both local and international standards continue to evolve as awareness as to privacy and data security increases.

    Having a proper framework in place could assist in your compliance with Australia as new mandatory data reporting laws, which are due to become law on or before  22  February 2018.  Once implemented, organisations will need processes in place to consider whether an incident involving personal information is an "eligible data breach".  Building this process into a broader framework will ensure an organisation is ready to address the new laws, as and when they go live, will be more important now that mandatory data reporting is on the way for 'eligible data breaches'.1
  6. Establish a plan to implement in the event of a breach
    Establish compliance breach response plan to assist your organisation in preparing and responding to data breaches.  To do so, you must understand the organisation's risks and obligations and how the organisation can mitigate loss through its implemented policies, procedures whilst maintaining compliance with laws and regulations. Employees should be effectively trained in privacy and security and this should be an integral part of business operations.

    Establishing a data governance framework is extensive and daunting. However, being able to manage and implement an effective framework will present businesses with a competitive advantage and ensure that data is held securely and with integrity to realise its true value.

1 Privacy Amendment (Notifiable Data Breaches) Act 2017 introduced in February 2017; ASIC and APRA have also released reports: APRA: Prudential Practice Guide CPG 235: Managing Data Risk; ASIC: Release of report 429 Cyber Resilience: Health Check (March 2015), ASIC's Corporate Plan – emphasis on cyber resilience and gatekeepers (2016 and 2016), Assessment report on the cyber resilience of ASX and Chi-X companies (March 2016)

Have No Fear, Data Governance Is Here: Tips To Securing Your Organisation's Data

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

John Gallagher
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Video
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

*** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.