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Information security and data traceability

We’re wrapping up our series of articles on the four key goals of information security by discussing data traceability, a function that plays an essential role in data governance and information security.

Data traceability is the ability to pinpoint the origin of data and track its movements and modifications at each stage of its life cycle. It allows you to create a detailed record of activities relating to data collection, storage, transformation, and sharing, and provides significant benefits for your company, at multiple levels.

Traceability: the basis for data governance

Think of traceability as a security camera permanently monitoring your company’s data, cataloguing and documenting everything that happens, whether normal or not. And remember that just because an action doesn’t trigger an alarm, that doesn’t mean it’s legitimate.

Data traceability shows your transparency in terms of data governance and management because it enables you to track any decisions and modifications that have been made, and to see who was responsible for these actions. It helps to boost the confidence of your stakeholders, both internal and external, by demonstrating your ability to protect your data.

Photo of Sébastien Paquette

Sébastien Paquette

Team leader, network architecture & security

Increasingly, companies must show that their policies for handling personal data comply with legislation and guarantee confidentiality. As you’ve probably guessed, data traceability is your best ally to prove compliance with regulations. By recording all the activities that relate to your company’s data, you’ll be able to respond effectively to any audits.

A tool to identify vulnerabilities and manage risk

By consulting the record of data movements, you can locate points of vulnerability. A data traceability tool allows you to detect potential security breaches and unauthorized access, so you can quickly respond to incidents and strengthen the security of your information. All the data you collect can be used as proof in the event of legal proceedings.

Data traceability also enables you to assess the risks associated with data modifications. By analyzing their records, companies can identify any dangerous practices. This information will allow you to implement preventive measures to avoid compromising the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your data.

By monitoring your history and identifying any issues, data traceability allows you to track down problems at the source and take the necessary corrective actions. That way, you’ll improve the overall quality and raise your level of confidence in your data.

Pitfalls to avoid

As we’ve discussed, data traceability helps to guarantee the transparency and compliance of processes related to data. However, it’s important that you be aware of certain pitfalls associated with it.

You should avoid collecting too much data and limit what you do collect to what is strictly required for your business activities. Collecting excessive amounts of data can result in extra storage and processing costs. It can also expose you to additional security risks and confidentiality breaches.

Companies must be transparent in how they collect and process data. They can no longer improvise, because new regulations like Law 25, among others, have established clear guidelines. This means implementing systematic processes and policies for how the data is collected and used as well as identifying the third parties this data is shared with and why. This transparency will allow you to enhance the trust that your clients, suppliers, users and partners have in your company.

Photo of Louis-Mathieu Parent

Louis-Mathieu Parent

IT Solutions Architect - Network & Security

Lastly, don’t ignore the information provided by tracking your data. Make sure that it pinpoints any activities and movements related to your data to guarantee the relevance and longevity of the information collected. Remember, by maintaining detailed records, you can easily track the origin of your data as well as any actions taken and the people involved in doing so.

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you’ll bolster your approach to data traceability. The result will be better protected information, better managed risks, and increased compliance with confidentiality and security regulations.


  • Data traceability is your best tool to show how thoroughly your processes and policies protect information.
  • It should be central to managing your regulatory compliance by cataloguing all the activities related to your data.
  • Like any process that aims to protect information, data traceability requires you to be rigorous and systematic in applying it.

When it comes to data availability, integrity, confidentiality, and traceability, you should have one goal in mind: protecting your corporate knowledge. It’s what makes your company unique and allows you to aspire to the greatest achievements. Your company alone knows the true value of this asset. Contact a professional to steer you in the right direction and ensure your longevity is secured and your legacy is protected.

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