Why data minimization is important for your security teams

Unused digital information is an easy target for hackers, increasing your organization’s risk

Jason Koestenblatt
Manager, Content Marketing
May 16, 2023

Businesswoman works on her tablet in her home office.

The volume and velocity of data moving through your organization is at an all-time high. While that can be an incredible advantage when it comes to making decisions and expanding your bottom line, it also creates a new landscape of risk and attack vectors.

One of the best practices to keeping your organization as risk-reduced as possible is to monitor and manage the digital information your company actually holds and processes beyond its usefulness. This is what is known as data minimization. 


What is data minimization?

Data minimization is a principle that states data collected and processed should not be held or further used unless it is essential for business reasons and that you were given consent to maintain that data in advance to support data privacy.

Of course, the majority of businesses experience friction points in this area, many of which look like this:


Infographic with definitions of data visibility, data control, and data activation


Strategies, of course, can help course- correct these issues. A solid data minimization strategy for your organization has a three-pronged approach:

  • Discover data: Uncover hidden data including good data in insecure, unknown, or inappropriate places, sensitive data with inappropriate access, and hoarded data.
  • Control data: Trigger internal workflows to remove sensitive information, restrict access, or apply privacy-enhancing technology such as encryption or masking.
  • Activate Data: Promote responsible data usage by automating core security workflows and capturing and governing consent throughout the data lifecycle.

So why is data minimization important to your security team? Quite simply, the less data living in your ecosystem, the less opportunity for risk to present itself and for your security team to lose sleep over. 


Learn more about Data Discovery and how the flow, use, retention, and deletion of data impacts your business. 

Find out more about OneTrust’s Data Discovery program by requesting a demo

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