Consider this hypothetical situation: your company has lost a major customer and is forced to lay off a portion of your sales staff. Before everyone has left, one disgruntled employee casually prints a number of sensitive documents (e.g., customer contacts, financial records, sales data, etc.) and slips them into his briefcase. Would you have any way of identifying who had taken these records? Would you even know that anything was stolen in the first place?
For most businesses, the answer is most likely no. Information flows in and out with little to no visibility on the part of IT administrators or business leaders. The issue extends beyond willful wrongdoing as well. Increased insight into the path a document takes can go a long way towards curbing accidental misplacement of documents and version control issues.
An information audit offers an effective and straightforward solution by providing step-by-step documentation of a given file’s history. This level of insight is critical for organizations that face stringent compliance regulation, but can also be incredibly valuable for companies in less-regulated industries.