Policy Lifecycle Management is essential for safeguarding sensitive data and maintaining competitive advantage in a data-driven world. Many organizations rely on Policy Lifecycle Management applications to enhance product design and collaboration through cross-functional teams and knowledge sharing. Collaboration occurs between many different industries, projects and teams spanning different organizations and time zones. This mixture requires ensuring security demands and compliance requirements are met without slowing down business.

What is Policy Lifecycle Management?

Policy Lifecycle Management is the process of creating, implementing, monitoring, reviewing, and updating current data security policies. A policy is a rule that uses attributes to decide whether to grant or deny access to a resource. Policy Lifecycle Management oversees the entire journey of a policy, ensuring that it remains effective and relevant.

Policy Lifecycle Management is constantly being updated and evolving due to the constant change in the digital environment. In addition, the most robust policies have a zero-trust policy platform that enforces security policies consistently across the enterprise and beyond. A policy engine uses real-time data to make authorization decisions and powers this policy platform.  

How Does Policy Lifecycle Management Work?

Policy Lifecycle Management requires many stages to be a dynamic and proactive approach to managing data security policies.

These stages are:    

#1 Policy Creation involves developing new policies where organizations define the scope and objectives of their data security policies. Policy authors create policies to control information access and use in an organization. They identify what data needs protection, outline acceptable usage guidelines, and specify compliance requirements.

#2 Testing and Deployment enables policies to be sent to the policy engine and enforced throughout the organization. It involves a strategic planning process to set the policy management plans and daily operations. Effective policy management relies on the implementation of approval workflows, version control and policy rollback capabilities. These components enhance accountability and compliance of policies while enabling transparency and efficient policy maintenance.

#3 Monitoring is essential to Policy Lifecycle Management as it ensures policies are not violated while data is trying to be accessed and guarantees minimal security incidents.

#4 Reviewing and Updating confirms that security measures remain effective and relevant to security threats. This stage may involve revising policies, updating procedures, and adopting new technologies or security controls.

#5 Documentation assists with having a clear record of policy changes and incident reports. It ensures that both internal and external teams record policy updates and security improvements. Documentation is essential for audits because it offers a solid foundation of evidence to ensure compliance, transparency and accountability.   

Why is Policy Lifecycle Management important?

Policy Lifecycle Management is of paramount importance in data security for several compelling reasons:

#1 Risk Mitigation
Policy Lifecycle Management helps to monitor and enforce policies while reducing risk exposure. Policy Lifecycle Management is essential in minimizing the likelihood of a data breach. In addition, it also prevents the potential financial and reputational damage associated with security incidents. Managing policies can help identify and mitigate risks early while continually addressing top risks and concerns to ensure a business is fully protected.

#2 Adapting to Evolving Threats
Policy Lifecycle Management ensures that an organization’s data security policies remain adaptable to evolving threats due to the continuous evolution of the digital environment. Policy Lifecycle Management’s agility is vital to staying ahead of cybercriminals and minimizes security vulnerabilities. 

#3 Compliance
Compliance in Policy Lifecycle Management is crucial as it ensures organizations operate both legally and ethically and can easily undergo audits. Policy Lifecycle Management assists with protecting your data which makes achieving compliance possible. Failure to comply and adapt to evolving regulations can result in legal consequences and fines or penalties, therefore, effective policies operate within the boundaries of the law.

#4 Competitive Advantage
Policy Lifecycle Management provides organizations with a competitive advantage by supporting a robust data security strategy and fighting against data breaches and cyber threats. Organizations that prioritize data security with a strong Policy Lifecycle Management are more likely to earn the trust of customers, partners, and stakeholders. Effective data security policies and consistent enforcement contribute to more trust in your organization and a positive reputation. 

To learn more about Policy Lifecycle Management, check out these videos.