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Why Credit Unions need to understand their unstructured data.

How to manage the unstructured data explosion and manage GDPR compliance The financial services industry is facing a period of extensive changes

How to manage the unstructured data explosion and manage GDPR compliance

The financial services industry is facing a period of extensive changes in the forms of fintech disruption and challenging data regulations. In order to remain relevant in this new arena, credit unions must be able to integrate and optimise all their data.

Looking briefly at GDPR

Year 2 of GDPR there is still considerable buzz around the personal data protection legislation, the fines are making headline newsweekly, not to mention the reputation damage being inflicted on companies, there’s a good chance you know the basics of the regulation. In the event that you have been putting GDPR education on the back burner, here are some fast facts you need to know:

GDPR was developed to protect all EU citizens from privacy and data breaches in our data-driven world.

Possibly the most difficult data right to enforce is the right to be forgotten. That means if a customer asks for their data to be erased, organisations must be able to find and completely wipe out the entire record. Which brings us to the focus of today’s blog — unstructured data and how to manage it.

What is unstructured data?

Unstructured data is data that isn’t stored in a fixed record length format. It is information that either does not have a predefined data model or is not organised in a pre-defined manner.

In a credit union, data is coming from many different sources such as databases, CRM systems, email, file, HR systems, and customer portals and from all sides of the organisation. In order to overcome this, not being able to manage and control this can lead to bad data quality.

The data mentioned above can be divided into two types- there’s what you might call small data – this is structured data that comes in structured forms, such as the data created in a CRM system. It’s rather easy to manage, search and manipulate.

Then comes the big data which, by definition, is unstructured and large. Think of all the data in your email and file platforms. The ability to extract value from this unstructured data is one of the main drivers behind the quick growth of Big Data.

Challenges of unstructured data in a GDPR era

In the data regulation, world Credit Unions must consider the two mounds of data, structured and unstructured. 80% of data is unstructured – we have become data hoarders, before GDPR this may have been dismissible but in our current data-fuelled environments it could be a costly mistake to have data that has been forgotten or is unsearchable. If a credit union receives a DSAR from a customer and that customer wished to enact their right to be forgotten, it is not even possible for the same credit union to honour their right as the data isn’t recognised or categorised and therefore unsearchable, retrievable let alone deleted.

1TB of data takes approximately 9 months of searching manually – the manpower for this is unsustainable.

This can lead to huge problems if a data breach is reported and you are forced to produce a data subject access request (DSAR) or to adhere to GDPR compliance standards.

Many organisations still believe that GDPR doesn’t apply to them, however, there are serious consequences if you believe this to be true. Organisations need to be prepared for reputation damage and potentially crippling fines.

Benefits of bringing data into the light

Waterford Technologies has significantly invested in the development of our product set to provide GDPR functionality for unstructured data in both email and file. We have introduced a powerful smart GDPR solution, reimagined to make it easier for you to effortlessly manage your unstructured data- no matter the size of your company.

Some of the benefits of our technology include:

· Identify risks and apply GDPR tags to create preventative policies

· Understand what data you own- and where your personal data resides.

· Utilise the hidden data to make a better business decision, employee productivity and

· Reduce the risk of GDPR penalties, fines, and considerable reputation damage.

· Build trust with your community of customers.

What Should Your Credit Union Do Now?

The unstructured data explosion is happening but don’t panic just yet, start by following these steps;

Step 1:

Know what data you have by analysing all your unstructured data. Once you can locate data you need to be able to manage it by allowing a simple interface to find, present and then create the following actions – delete, apply the legal hold, apply access blocks and apply retention policies.

Thereby demonstrating that you can be in compliance with whatever regulations you need to conform to.

Step 2:

Categorise your data into the right areas, determine what needs to be archived and what can be deleted.

Determine what security mechanisms you need to protect the data and know when you’ve been breached, archived data needs to be protected and access controlled via encryption and audit trails to demonstrate the application of compliance rules

Determine realistic storage requirements, avoiding over-provisioning and overspending

Empower business decisions and improve business performance.

Waterford Technologies provides a premium data indexing and management solution that dives deep into the unchartered territories of file and email data and gives organisations easy ways to help keep their unstructured data accessible, ensuring that risks around compliance are kept to a minimum.

Credit Union Managers Association

Heading to CUMA Autumn Conference, Athlone, Ireland on September 10th & 11th?

Don’t forget to drop by the Waterford Technologies stand (Tepee) to find out the latest ways we de-risk your unstructured data.

We will give you an insight into why Credit Unions need to understand their email and file data and how to manage the unstructured data explosion and become GDPR compliant.

Click the link below to schedule a meeting at CUMA 2019 with one of our sales team:

Schedule a meeting with us at CUMA 2019